Do I need a website to promote my business?

Posted on August 14, 2018

 

Two years ago I went on a massive rant about people who don’t think they need a website. I listed some of the reasons I had heard over the years that people give for not believing in websites, and I challenged each one accordingly.

It was very therapeutic… for me at least. However, this is something that still annoys me today. Only this week I saw someone in a business Facebook group advising another business owner on how they didn’t need a website because social media should be all they need to promote their business online.

Not just social media, mind you. Facebook. ONLY Facebook.

I had to walk away from the computer to avoid replying, as anything I wrote would not have been the measured response you’re reading now.

So, you believe you can promote your business just using Facebook and you don’t need a website? Let’s see if there are any potential problems with that idea, shall we?

What if your potential customer isn’t on Facebook?

I know, what sort of person ISN’T on Facebook right? They must be mental! However, most people aren’t. That may come as a shock, especially when Facebook’s stats say over two billion people have Facebook accounts. That still leaves over six billion people on the planet who don’t use Facebook. Maybe one of them might be your customer. Who knows. If you’re just using Facebook, however, they’ll never become your customer.

Will Facebook be around forever?

If you think Facebook is the platform to build your audience and market your business, do you think people said the same thing about Myspace 10 years ago? Yes, they did. Where is it now?

Facebook moving the goalposts

Don’t panic, I’m not about to launch into a football metaphor. Facebook has a habit of changing the rules on how businesses can promote themselves. A few years ago, if you had a business Facebook page and you posted an update, a large number of the people who ‘like’ your page would have seen it. Not so now, however. Now, if you post on your Facebook page, you could find you’re getting little or no interaction. That’s because Facebook has changed how people see page updates in their feeds.

These days, you need to either boost your posts or promote your business using groups. Anyone who had spent a lot of time building a Facebook page audience (and maybe spent a lot of money building a Facebook page audience) will now find it relatively useless.

Facebook’s rules

Have you ever fallen foul of Facebook’s rules? Do you know how inflexible and random they are? I have seen personal trainers having posts removed because they were flagged for body shaming, I’ve seen finance companies have posts turned down because they used the word ‘you’ – which Facebook believes could be offensive, and I’ve seen pages deleted (yes, deleted) because someone has complained they were offended by something posted.

This could be your Facebook page. If you use Facebook to promote your business, you’re placing all of your eggs in the one Facebook basket, a basket run by a faceless corporation that is answerable only to itself and it can make arbitrary decisions concerning the future of your business’ online presence seemingly on a whim.

Or you could have a website. You could have a website you control, you update and you own. You can take advantage of those six billion people NOT on Facebook, and instead market to a much wider audience.

Here’s the best bit – you can still promote your business on Facebook. You’re not limiting yourself by having a website, you’re just opening yourself up to a much wider audience.

 

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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