There is an interesting conversation happening about using Facebook in place of a business website.
With 700 million active users on the social network, it’s hard to ignore . But should you use it as your only web presence?
Let’s say you have a retail shop, with only one location, and one or two employees. Developing a site, with a content management system so you can change it every time you have a sale or a promotion might be too cumbersome.
Is it easier to change content on a Facebook page instead of trying to do it on a website?
In order to really think through the conversation, I’ve developed some pros and cons to help.
- You don’t have to take on the expense and time of building a website
- Setting up a Facebook page is free
- Using third-party apps on Facebook is easy and fairy inexpensive
- Developing new pages is very easy
- You can sell products using their ecommerce platform with PayPal
- Builds relationships with customers and prospects
- You don’t own the content or the data on the page
- Not everyone uses Facebook or social media
- Other than the Insights Facebook gives you (which isn’t a lot), you can’t measure its effectiveness
- You’re always working with the Facebook terms of service and, if violated, they can remove your page
- Facebook is geared toward brand awareness and networking, not revenues or profits for your business
- If Facebook goes away tomorrow, so do your relationships
- Someone on your team (or you) needs to stay on top of changes at Facebook, which happen multiple times a month and sometimes without communication
All of this said, I don’t think you should rely solely on Facebook as your web presence. You absolutely should use it as an outpost for your activities, but it should not be a sole use.
Website design is so easy these days, it’s silly not to spend a few hundred dollars to have something. But I also understand, especially for small businesses, it’s not an expense that is easy to swallow.
What you do is up to you, as long as you’re aware of the risks.
What do you think?