When it comes to business, Facebook can be exceptionally effective in several ways. Outside of offering insightful statistics, solid ROI on digital ads, a direct connection to customers, and a user base in the billions, it also has one particularly alluring feature: it’s free to set up.
Unfortunately, many businesses also confuse that effectiveness (cost or otherwise) with a reason to skip out on having an actual website. But let’s make one thing perfectly clear: A Facebook page is NOT an alternative to a website.
While useful, in the grand scheme of your marketing efforts, there is a hefty list of reasons why a Facebook page falls short of replacing an actual website.
It’s harder for search—and alienates non-users
To put it simply, Facebook does little to nothing when it comes to search – SEO or otherwise. Although your business’s Facebook page may appear in a search engine’s results, chances are slim to none that it will be the first on the list, let alone near the top.
And even if someone does find you in the search results, if they don’t have a Facebook account they will only have access to limited information on your page without signing up. This will leave those potential customers discouraged or turned off entirely.
Unfortunately, Facebook’s internal search feature is not optimized for much of anything, let alone your business. Even if you have a particularly unique name, Facebook uses its own algorithm for search that may not give you the priority you hope for—and there’s nothing you can do to change that.
It doesn’t look legit
Here’s a circular statement that speaks volumes: If anyone can make a Facebook page, anyone can make a Facebook page—even those who don’t have legitimate businesses. Although just about anyone can also make a website, not only is the bar higher, the cost greater, and the steps more complex, creating a website takes a significant level of consideration to be effective for the end user.
Taking the time, resources, and effort to put together an attractive, easy-to-use site with helpful information will tell visitors that they should take you as seriously as you take yourself and the experience you aim to give them.
It has significant design limitations
If you’ve seen one Facebook business page, you’ve seen them all. Why? Because there’s only one template!
Not only are you unable to stand out in terms of design, but you have to follow the same clunky field and navigation formats as everyone else. Sure, you can populate your page with all the team member bios, product information, and FAQs visitors would normally find on a website, but who really wants to spend time clicking around an uninteresting page looking for basic information that should be front and center?
It’s a place for conversation
Social media channels are a place to be social, so your Facebook wall is basically a forum for your business and your customers, fans, and prospects—and your detractors.
While your true intentions might be to provide top notch customer service to everyone, even those who are dissatisfied, there’s no accounting for how it looks when someone airs their grievances publicly—let alone any failed attempts to mitigate or handle them appropriately.
Even though there’s certainly something to be said about accepting and leveraging feedback to improve your products, services, and overall transparency, having negative comments, experiences, or reactions at the forefront of your business’s image or page isn’t likely to leave many with good impressions.
It’s already in decline
Despite some of the impressive numbers it’s posted in years past in regard to user engagement, ad impressions, and overall reach over the course of its lifetime, Facebook is already on the decline in nearly every category.
Since 2017, users of all demographics have been abandoning the platform at a significant rate—around 8% from 2017 to 2018 alone—for a variety of reasons, two of which are highly important to business owners: distrust and disinterest.
Due to the complicit roles Facebook has played in the political arena, the use of personal data, and beyond, users are increasingly more skeptical of the information that is provided on the platform as a whole, including any marketing efforts your business might undertake. That means despite the increased cost of ads, you’re getting less and less reach and return.
That distrust, combined with Facebook’s mediocre ability to leverage photo and video as well as its more focused contemporaries like SnapChat and Instagram, is also causing a growing disinterest in using the platform as the whole.
It’s a generally poor fit for B2B businesses
Most people spend a majority of their time on the platform as individuals, not representing businesses or seeking business opportunities (or solutions), so although 78% people have found some retail products through Facebook in recent years, for all the reasons we’ve listed above, it’s just not a common place to make business contacts.
Beyond there being a significant lack of B2B and networking opportunities – even if they did exist – Facebook’s clumsy interface and absence of CRM-like tools and outside integration makes curating and managing prospects nearly impossible.
Regardless of how you look at it, there are far too many glaring reasons why Facebook is not an appropriate substitute for an actual website.
Although it takes more time, effort, and resources to assemble a professional website, your business will yield significantly better results with every marketing effort you put forth. Sure, it may look like a lot more to manage, but with the right web development and marketing teams handling the legwork, you can worry about the more important facets of your work—like growing your business.
For any help on putting together the foundation for your brand or moving your marketing strategy forward, check out our comprehensive Brand Blueprint Checklist below!