I get it. Facebook is a popular social media website. You use it everyday so it’s something you’re familiar with. Your friends and family are all on it, and hey, it’s free! So it’s understandable why you might consider having your business’s Facebook page serve as its website.
But actually, there are a few reasons why that is probably a bad idea.
To be clear, I’m not saying you shouldn’t create a Facebook page for your business. Of course you should. But it definitely should not be the only place where your customers can find you on the internet. Here’s three reasons why.
1. Believe it or not, not everybody uses Facebook.
If you are running a business, you need customers. So the last thing you want to do is limit your reach to potential new customers.
As popular as Facebook is, believe it or not, not everybody is on there. Pew research shows that 70% of US adults use Facebook. While that is impressive, and actually among the best for social media platforms, it still means that 30% of US adults do not use Facebook.
Plus, there’s no guarantee that Facebook will maintain this level of popularity into the future. Meta recently reported, for the first time in the company’s history, a decline in active users on Facebook. This could be due simply to user “fatigue” or the increasing competition in social media platforms, but Meta’s increasing use of censorship and creepy data collection tactics are probably not helping the situation much either.
Regardless of why the decline is happening, it’s important to bear in mind that no one company can dominate a market forever. Remember MySpace? The once extremely popular, social media platform is now a shell of its former self. Not too many people are updating their MySpace page these days.
Remember, if Facebook’s user-base tanks, so does your business’s potential reach on that platform. It’s probably a good idea to not put all your eggs into one basket.
2. You have to pay to reach your customers on Facebook
While this is kind-of true no matter where you put your business online, some people don’t realize how Facebook’s pages work. Long-gone are the days where you posted something to your page and all of your followers got to see that post in their News Feed. Facebook’s algorithms now deliberately down rank the visibility of page posts.
The reason why is because Meta is a business and their objective is to make money. Facebook is free to the users because the users are the product, and Meta’s business model is selling you access to those users.
So if you have 1,000 likes on your business’s Facebook page, and you create a post, Facebook might show your post to 100 or 200 of your “likes,” but the vast majority won’t see your post at all, unless they actively go looking for it or have set their follow settings to prioritize the posts from your page.
Facebook will be happy to “boost” your post to all of your ‘likes” for a fee. And while it may only take $50 or so to reach an extra few hundred people with a post, that can add up over time.
3. If your customers can only find you on Facebook, they may not trust you as much.
Trust is a big component in a customer deciding to hire or shop with a particular business. Unfortunately, just having a Facebook page doesn’t necessarily convey a whole lot of legitimacy.
Think about it for a second; A Facebook page is free to set up and anyone can do it without much effort. In other words, the barrier to creating a Facebook page is very low. If that’s all you have to represent your business online, what does that communicate to your potential customers?
Perhaps it means that you don’t take your business all that seriously. If you haven’t put forth the effort to create a website or buy a domain, then how much effort are you putting into your business or customer service?
Customers want to know you are committed to your business. Simply putting up a Facebook page doesn’t take much commitment. A website on the other hand, takes a few bucks to make happen, and that tells everyone that at least you have enough confidence in your business to justify investing in the creation of your very own website.
Put yourself in the shoes of the customer: suppose you are considering hiring two local businesses, and you’re researching them online. Both businesses seem pretty comparable in their services, but one only has a Facebook page, while the other has a Facebook page and a professionally-designed, easy-to-navigate website at a domain that matches the business name. Which business are you more likely to go with?