In an economy where companies are watching their budgets and deciding where to spend in order to get the most return, many think trimming marketing is an easy way to make cuts or take shortcuts to reduce costs. Digital marketing requires a multi-pronged approach that includes, web, mobile, and social. When working with our clients, we explain the big picture, and show how each channel feeds the others. Cutting back will not save your business money in the long run, because you can’t expect sales to continue as they have with less marketing.
A common question we receive, especially from small businesses is “Do I need a website if I have a Facebook page?” Admittedly, it’s hard not to cringe when we hear this question because we live, eat, and breathe in the digital space. But when we look at it from their perspective, it almost makes sense. Almost.
Everyone’s On Facebook
There’s no doubt that Facebook is popular, or that brands who cultivate engaged communities can benefit from the conversation on Facebook pages. A brand with a Facebook page benefits from being on a social network that is highly trafficked, establishes a forum where two-way conversation is held between brand and community, has an outlet to personify the brand, and creates an easy way for brand ambassadors to share content from the page to their personal networks. Mileage varies based on how large and committed your community is, but ultimately, the perks of a Facebook page can be enticing.
But (and there’s always a but, isn’t there?), how many changes has Facebook made to its privacy, design, and engagement protocols? Lost count? Yeah. Every time Facebook makes changes, they see a deluge of complaints and users have to relearn to do very simple things. Add to this the fact that Facebook could go at any time. Maybe that seems far-fetched, but if Facebook pulled the plug tomorrow, everything you cultivated on the social network would be gone. All the creative, all the conversation, all the custom tabs….gone.
This lack of control over your own content is the price you pay to access Facebook’s huge user base and wealth of marketing tools, but it should never be the only place for you to share the story of your product/service and customers. Social networks are just a tool to enhance what you should already have established on a website. Your website is where you ultimately connect with customers and make sales.
The Longevity Of Your Website
Your website should stand as the foundation of your digital presence. Your website is where people can learn about your company’s history, mission, team members, services, etc. – all the information you want people to have about you. This is where you blog, post photos, share client stories, show off press mentions, and detail your products and services. The content you place here is yours and yours alone. If Facebook or any other social network bites it, your site remains. If Facebook goes through another redesign or changes their policies, your website remains the same.
The website is the constant you can rely on. Having conversations on Facebook or Twitter, or even posting videos on YouTube is great for your brand, but should ultimately point people back. Social media should always link back to your home on the web, where you control the story and the message.
So is a Facebook page a substitute for a website? Never. Too many limitations, not enough control. Seek out a digital agency that specializes in web and be sure to ask the right questions in order to get your site set up and built to last.