Many businesses ask if it is necessary to have both a website and a Facebook page. Also up for debate is whether you should use Facebook as your website. Your goals will determine what is right for you.
A few pros and cons to help you decide:
- You don’t have to take on the expense and time of building a website
- Setting up a Facebook page is free
- Using third-party apps on Facebook is easy and fairy inexpensive
- Developing new pages is very easy
- You can sell products using their ecommerce platform with PayPal
- Builds relationships with customers and prospects
- You don’t own the content or the data on the page
- Not everyone uses Facebook or social media
- Other than the Insights Facebook gives you (which isn’t a lot), you can’t measure its effectiveness
- You’re always working with the Facebook terms of service and, if violated, they can remove your page
- Facebook is geared toward brand awareness and networking, not revenues or profits for your business
- If Facebook goes away tomorrow, so do your relationships
- Someone on your team (or you) needs to stay on top of changes at Facebook, which happen multiple times a month and sometimes without communication
Website design has become so easy these days that there isn’t much of a downside of building your own site. In addition, having a website can lend to the credibility of your business. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a compelling and competitive website. There are many services that will allow you to build your site for free. Below are some of the top contenders to think about when looking for free website service:
- Yola – Create a free website in minutes with no technical skills.
- Weebly – Named one of TIME’s 50 Best Websites, Weebly has an easy, drag and drop interface to create your own website. It’s free, powerful, and professional.
- Webstarts – Make a free website with Webstarts and get ranked on Google, Yahoo, Bing and MSN.
- Google Sites – Create free website pages in a few easy steps and share webpages among groups.
Note, however, that while setting up your website can be free and easy, you should invest some real time and effort in deciding where to host your website. The real expense with websites is not necessarily in the design but in the hosting. Services such as GoDaddy, Firehost, HostGator all offer competitive pricing but you will want to do your homework before you choose a hosting site. Of course with Facebook, you can host your page for free but you will not always have control over the content. With their ever changing policies, the information on your Facebook Page is at risk of being changed or even deleted at any time.
So, Facebook or website? It’s really up to you, as long as you’re aware of the pros and cons, you can make the most educated decision for you and your company.