With over 1 billion users, Facebook is undoubtedly the most commonly used Social Media avenue. Millions of people interact on Facebook daily, even hourly, creating lots of traffic and lots of opportunities to promote business. Good business leaders know that the most strategic place to be is where the people are, and Facebook is certainly a nice spot. However, is Facebook the best place to run all of your online business?
Chances are, if you're reading this article, you probably followed the link from Facebook, bringing you to our website, where the article is located. Facebook is a wonderful connection point. However, trying to use Facebook as not only a connection point but also your business's website is not an effective strategy. Here are a few reasons why.
First of all, Facebook pages lack individuality.
Sure, you can choose a cover photo and a profile picture to demonstrate who your company is, but the customization ends there (aside from the tiny allowance for "About Us" copy). Clients often tell us that they do not want a cookie-cutter website and, coincidentally, we certainly do not want to make one. Facebook is made up entirely of a standard template that each person (or business) can fill in and customize to the same length as anyone else. Facebook is a cookie-cutter platform by nature. In order to truly represent your business, you really need your own site. Another thing working against Facebook is credibility.
Facebook was never created for businesses.
It was nearly a connection point for students to interact with one another. In recent years, Facebook has created an outlet for business pages, but in terms of aesthetic of the Facebook Business page and the way in which posts are made, businesses can easily get lost among the sea of many personal faces (personal users making posts about what they had for breakfast or their extreme annoyance with the polar vortex). Your business's Facebook posts will look identical to any other user's personal posts (or other business's posts, for that matter), and can easily be disregarded when users really just want to see what everyone else is up to. How credible can your business appear when it's only online presence is among personal pages? Facebook is also lacking many things that websites would generally have.
Facebook Messages = Headaches.
Have you ever been in an on-going consultation with someone via Facebook message? If not, I assure you it can make you want to delete your Facebook page all together. Facebook messages are quite inefficient and create many gaps. With Facebook, there is no capability for a contact form with the information you would need from potential clients in order to begin a working relationship. Contact forms save a lot of time on a business's end, and also help clients to organize their thoughts. They help businesses get the information they need from the client in one sitting, as opposed to a relay of scattered Facebook Messages containing bits of information. Sorting all of these messages through Facebook can be a nightmare, especially compared to most email servers. Although it is possible to have Facebook messages forwarded to your email of choice, people are generally more relaxed on Facebook and are often not as serious. Commitment level is lower. It is far better to establish conversation through your website, where the platform is [hopefully] professional and initial contact is simplified.
Lesson to be learned?
Use Facebook as a connection point to your website. Most likely, if people actually want to pursue the idea of using your business they will visit your website (if you have one) in order to find out more about your business. A website allows people to get a better feel for who your business is with boundless information and a customized look, and includes an efficient (and professional) way for people to contact you.