I recently stopped at a local coffee shop to fill my travel mug with Colombian dark roast before I made my way to meet a client.
I had never been to this particular shop before, so — as I typically do when I stop somewhere new — I asked them if they had a website.
The barista said, “No, but we’re on Facebook. It’s free!”
“I need to speak to your manager immediately so I can explain why Facebook should not be your website!”
That’s what I WANTED to say, anyway.
Instead, I smiled at the barista, paid for my coffee, and gave him one of my business cards to give to the manager.
I love Facebook! Who doesn’t, right? I mean, where else can you keep up with old friends, make new friends through common interests, learn new things about your favorite TV shows and movies, and play games — all in the same place?!
With so many things in one place, Facebook is like the Wal-Mart of social media sites!
The problem is, users are so inundated with pictures, videos, and quizzes to find out which Kardashian you are most like that we tend to get distracted easily.
Why Facebook is Good for Your Business
Share images and videos with your fans — Much like Instagram, Facebook is an easy way to share pictures and videos with everyone that follows your page. While you may not post an image of you writing a blog post within an actual blog post, it’s often nice for your fans to see the “behind the scenes” shots like that. It helps them connect to you on a more personal level, and that builds more trust between you and your fans.
Faster than posting on your website — Most top-notch bloggers I know take a good bit of time to develop a strong blog post. They do some research, find links to other authoritative articles, write, proofread, and edit an article before they ever publish it. The article becomes an excellent learning tool for the reader — a post which is comprised of many smaller ideas. On Facebook, you can post quick thoughts or rambling ideas that get your fans engaged (which may actually give you more ideas for the blog post you’re working on — or may even be a jumping-off point for a totally different article).
Facebook Notes — Facebook Notes is basically a blog-style online notebook on Facebook itself. They recently beefed up their “Notes” feature to include images and rich editing features so that it is indeed more like a blog post. This gives all of their users the opportunity to write stories online that are more than 60,000 characters (Facebook’s limit on typical status updates).
Why Facebook Should Not Replace a Stand-Alone Website
So with all the good points about Facebook, why should you not use it as your sole source of information to your audience? Why not just use the Notes feature as your blog instead of putting so much time into an actual website?
1) You Don’t Own Facebook
That’s right, you don’t own Facebook. Even if you’re a shareholder, you don’t own Facebook. What I mean is, they do what they want with the site, and can — at any given time — delete anything you post for any reason they see fit. They also control all aspects of their design, including your post’s layout. You are very limited to any customization (even using the beefier Facebook Notes).
With a stand-alone website, you can do anything your heart desires with the design and layout of not only your blog posts, but the rest of the site, as well. No more boring Facebook blue — use an entire rainbow of colors to express your personal style and flair, if you want. You control where your pictures go, where the text goes, and how many columns you want in different sections of your site. It’s like your own customization wonderland where the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!Having your own website is like being in your own customization wonderland! Click To Tweet
2) People Can’t Subscribe to Your Facebook Page
It used to be that when someone liked your Facebook page, they saw everything you posted in their news feed for the time frame they were scrolling through. Unfortunately, they’ve changed their algorithms for business pages, and people don’t see as many of your posts (if any) as they used to on a daily basis.
In fact, no matter how many people like your page, they don’t see all of the content you post unless they go to your page every day and scroll through your timeline. On my Survival at Home page on Facebook, I have over 16,000 fans. I recently did a quick survey to see how many people were seeing my stuff. My numbers showed that the post reached less than 4,000 of those people (about 24% of my fanbase). It got 268 likes (less than 2% of my fanbase), and only 25 people commented (about 0.2% of my fanbase).
In other words, Facebook decides who they want to show your posts to in some random form of algorithm that makes no sense to anyone (not even them). They’re unreliable, at best.
If you add a newsletter to your website, you can email people with new articles, special offers, and things they may never see anywhere else. This is motivation to subscribe, and is a better way to deliver your message.
3) A Website is a More Effective Way to Deliver Content
When I’m looking for information in general, I typically go do a Google search. The problem is, search engines don’t serve links for Facebook posts. If you’re only posting your information to Facebook, it would take someone going to Facebook and searching for you to find your information. The fact is, not everyone uses Facebook.
Search engines crawl your website periodically to see what your site is all about. They see what you’ve said on each page, analyze it for keywords, and then serve your links when someone searches for that information. If you’re using similar keywords throughout your site, you’ll get more attention from those kinds of searches.
4) Facebook Isn’t Your Domain Name
The URL for my site is ninjawolfstudios.com — on Facebook, the URL to my page is facebook.com/ninjawolfstudios. The URL for this post is ninjawolfstudios.com/why-facebook-should-not-be-your-website. As best I can tell, a business page cannot post Notes on Facebook, so if I had wanted to write this article on Facebook (ironic, huh?), I would have had to do it with my personal account page… and that URL would have been a gigantic mess, ending with a bunch of numbers, but definitely beginning with “facebook.com”.
The point there is, you can have a custom URL for your Facebook page, but it still starts with “Facebook”. With your website, you own that domain name and can have as many variations of it as you choose.
5) You Can’t Monetize Your Facebook Feed
However, with your website, you can sell ads directly to companies looking to advertise on your blog. You can also use ad networks like Google Adsense, The Blogger Network, and Media.net to make money from your website even if you don’t sell a product to your visitors.
Facebook Is Great, But It’s Not Your Website
Listen, I could spend hours on Facebook reading up on what my friends are doing, laughing at the bounty of endless memes and videos, and playing silly games to burn a little (ok, a LOT) of time.
Facebook is a great way to interact with your fans and customers that may be on Facebook a lot. It’s a fantastic companion tool, but Facebook should never be considered as a substitute for a full website for your company or blog.