4-6 MIN READ.
Can a Facebook Page Replace a Business Website in 2019?
Facebook has become a bit of a global phenomenon since its inception in 2004. Users across social media platforms continue to grow in 2019 and most people visit Facebook daily. But, how effective is a Facebook page vs a website? You might ask yourself, “Do I even need a website for my business if I can use Facebook?” We have put together information for you which explains the importance of a website in business showing you the impact of a Facebook page vs a website.
Facebook – With a good product and some innovative posts it’s easy to generate a following and reach an audience in their 1000’s every time you post. Facebook has over 40 million users (*1) in the UK and therefore it’s fair to say that a large amount of your target audience is using the platform. That being said, 40% of Facebook users don’t “like” company/brand pages (*4). Therefore, without paid for advertising, you’re unlikely to reach this large percentage of Facebookers.
A Business Website – Most interactions start on the internet with a search. Google handles 3.5 billion searches every day making it the number one platform to ‘bee’ found online. While Facebook pages do appear in search results but very sparingly except for branded search terms such as your business name.
Users & Their Intent
Facebook – Facebook is predominantly a younger persons platform with 65% of its users below 35. This makes it great for targeting a younger audience. However unlike previous generations, millennials have less disposable income (*2) which will ultimately affect your sales. It’s also unlikely a Facebook user is browsing the platform looking for a product or service like yours; in fact only 17% of people said they look for local information, while 82% said they used a search engine (*3). This means, Facebook pages and posts are more useful for brand awareness unless your product is likely to be purchased on a whim.
Website – If your website is full of useful and engaging content, it’s likely that most of your visitors are specifically interested in what you have to offer. This is because when a user types in a search term, they are showing “intent”, i.e. they are already considering or ready to buy your product. Even with less visitors you may find that these users showing intent are much more likely to buy, enquire or visit your business.
Facebook – Free! Well, a Facebook page is free, getting more people to like your page isn’t always. An audience can grow organically from people sharing and liking your content. To get noticed fast you may need to invest in pay-per-click advertising. While these clicks are each relatively inexpensive it is easy to spend money fast if you’re not experienced or cast your net too wide.
Website – While there are some providers offering websites for as little as £200-300 it’s fair to say these aren’t a good long-term investment. You also have to consider the ongoing costs of running a website. These can be hosting, e-commerce platforms or the cost for optimising your site so that it can be found in Google’s search results. In summary a dedicated business website can be expensive.
Ownership & Control
Facebook – While you own all of the photos and content you post on Facebook; you don’t own your page. You are also impacted by Facebook’s decisions without any say in them. Now that Facebook is publicly traded, who is to say that investor pressure could make Facebook business pages not-free in the future? What also happens if Facebook disappears? It sounds unlikely but many social media platforms have just disappeared leaving businesses and individuals without anything they spent countless hours producing.
Website – While someone may host your website or design your content everything is owned by you. You also have full control over your host, your designer and how your website looks and is found online. If you do not have access to administrate your website or the expertise to update it; you could be at the mercy of your designer/developer should the working relationship deteriorate.
Features & Performance
Facebook – Facebook pages give you the ability to list all of your company details in their template. You can upload products, services and instantly post content and offers to your followers and pay to have them distributed to a target audience. You can also receive direct messages from potential clients to answer their queries in real time and one day we may see Facebook’s shop function work independently from a dedicated website the UK. Facebook is also a key site in the internet ecosystem and has a direct influence on your local SEO. The snag is you need your own business website to really benefit from this.
Website – The sky is the limit here, you’re only limited by your imagination and your budget. That said, you don’t need an expensive custom-built site to get functionality and performance. Open source platforms such as WordPress have countless contributors that allow the integration of shops, improved SEO, social media integration, blogs and pretty much anything you can think of for free or at least a low price. The downside is getting your site recognised by search engines like Google takes time and work and you won’t see instant results from having a website.
Facebook can give you instant access to your followers but unless you have 10’s of 1,000’s of followers and loads of great reviews it’s unlikely someone who doesn’t know your brand will buy without increasing your reputation with a link to your website with information about you and your products. It’s also unlikely that your Facebook page will be found by search engine users looking for your product or service.
A website is a bit more of a long game and without a huge budget, it is unlikely to gain much organic search traffic unless there is little competition in your area. It takes time and work to increase your visibility but sites like Facebook and pages/citations in other key sites/online directories can boost your rankings locally and help you be found by an intent in audience.
In conclusion a Facebook page cannot replace a dedicated business website in the vast majority of cases. Nor can a dedicated website function well without active social media accounts in 2019. Both a Facebook business page and a dedicated website have huge benefits and very few drawbacks. But most importantly they both need each other, and you cannot fully realise one without the other in a competitive online world.
Thanks for reading and we hope you’ve found the information in this post useful.
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*1 – https://www.avocadosocial.com/latest-social-media-statistics-and-demographics-for-the-uk-in-2019/ – Examining the user base, it is easy to see why. Of all internet users in the UK, 78% of them use Facebook. More compelling is that a whopping 40 million people, or 71% of UK adults (+13 years old) can be reached with adverts on the platform.
*2 – millenials are the poorer and they’ve got less income to spend.(https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/bns/bn187.pdf)
*3 – https://www.consumerbarometer.com/en/graph-builder/?question=N41&filter=country:united_kingdom 17% of people use social media to find local information while 83% of people use search engines.
*4 – https://www.kentico.com/company/press-center/press-releases/2014/kentico-digital-experience-survey-68-don%E2%80%99t-pay-att – 40% of FB users don’t like brands.