Facebook. Nearly everyone uses it. And they offer free Pages for businesses! It seems like such a great way to save money. The reality though is that you’re potentially doing more harm than good by relying on your Facebook Page as your business’s main base of operation on the web.
When you use Facebook as your “website”, your Page can change on a whim – Facebook’s whim. Although Facebook doesn’t technically own the content you post, Facebook can change or remove content as they see fit. And Facebook decides to change its format and algorithms pretty frequently. Not to mention, there’s only so much customization you can make to your page.
Still not convinced? Let’s go over the points in more detail…
Facebook Pages pretty much all look the same
You can change your cover image. You can change your profile picture. You can add lots of pretty pictures to albums. At the end of the day though, every Facebook Page has the same layout and types of content. You might think this is advantageous – people will know where to look on your Page to find the information they want. That may be true, but the features and customization you’re missing out on by relying on a Page far outweigh that one positive note on the bland-ness of Pages.
On Facebook, every type of business has the same type of Page whether they are a restaurant, a clothing boutique, or a marketing agency. But each of those types of businesses have distinct needs – a restaurant wants to post its menu, a clothing boutique wants to provide an online shop, a marketing agency wants to provide examples of its work. When it comes to business websites, one size does not fit all! If your business has its own website that you control, you can have it set up to fit your business’s unique needs. You can have your website customized for your own customers. Not Facebook’s.
Facebook is always changing its rules
Probably the most frustrating thing about using a Facebook Page is the way Facebook is always changing its algorithms. Facebook uses a complicated algorithm to decide who gets to see the posts you make from your business Facebook Page. It can be complex and difficult to figure out what percentage of people are seeing posts from a given Page and on top of that, Facebook is always changing the algorithm. The bottom line, though, is that a very small percentage of your Facebook fans will actually see the posts you make in their timelines because of the filtering algorithms. What’s the point in posting if so few of your fans will even see the post?
These frequent changes to who sees your posts aren’t the only changes you have to worry about though. You are hosting your content on Facebook’s site, so you have to play by their rules. However they can decide to change the site entirely at the drop of a hat. Other social networks have certainly done so – in 2013 Myspace completely rebranded itself and deleted all of the blogs and images hosted to the site. Facebook could even decide one day to stop allowing businesses to promote themselves via Pages. Then what would you do? That is the kind of risk you take when you rely on a social network to be your business website.
You are much better off having your own, dedicated website that you can customize and be in control over. Facebook is definitely still a great way to advertise and engage with your customers. I don’t recommend leaving the site completely! But when it comes down to it, having your own website where you control the content, rules, and format is well worth the extra money.