Can a Facebook page replace a business website?

The short and simple answer is no – a business should have its own website plus a Facebook business page – and possibly a Twitter page, a Google Plus page and a LinkedIn page.

The only advantage to only having a Facebook page is the savings in terms of the cost of web design and hosting – but the disadvantages are many…

Disadvantages of Facebook as a Business Website

You have little control over the features available on a Facebook business page.   If you want to produce something beyond the default features and third-party add-ons and features this could potentially cost more than a website to build.  And even if you do use custom apps there is still not the scope and ability to organise, expand and display content in the same way you would on a website.

You can’t optimize for SEO – you are restricted on how much you can post via their interface, what you post via their terms of service and where you can post from via their API.

Having a Facebook business page doesn’t guarantee traffic or Likes in fact there is research that shows that once a Facebook user likes a page they will rarely come back.

You  are limited in terms of functionality – there is the Wall, the Info tab and Notes but that is all.  In general Facebook is good for driving traffic to the place where your content is hosted but is not the place to host the content.

Your audience may not be on Facebook and if your business page is only on Facebook, then it will likely only be findable and usable by people who have a Facebook account.

You do not own the content on Facebook, they own it and they control it. They have the right to shut down anytime they want, you have no control over this.

You are restricted in that only a certain number of people use Facebook to search for products – google is by far the winner in this regard.

You are at Facebook’s whim as features that are available today could be gone tomorrow and there is nothing that you can do about it.  Furthermore if you violate Facebook’s terms of service, they can shut your page down.

There is limited tracking ability to determine the success of your Facebook page in attracting your customers.

Under Facebook, you content structure and organization is not under your control.

Facebook’s guidelines may not align with your needs, there are many limits to what you can and can’t do for a cover including adding your phone number and address.  In general you have very little control over what and how your information is displayed in Facebook.

Using Facebook as a website means your business will be limited to Facebook’s business profiles and fields.

There is no guarantee on the longevity of Facebook.  While it is massively popular today there is no guarantee that this trend will continue in the future.

Finally, contrary to popular belief having a Facebook page is not free as while you don’t have to pay Facebook to establish a business page there is still the cost (in terms of labour) for setup, maintenance, production of content and interaction with customers.

Summary

In summary, Facebook is a social media platform and not a good substitute for a business website.  Facebook does not function like a website and you are limited to what you can do.  Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms should be used to promote your website, not replace it.  Having a website and a Facebook business page and other social media outlets allows customers an opportunity to find your business and interact with your business in a variety of different ways and this should help build your business and business profile.

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Can a Facebook page replace a business website?

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