"I don't need a website, I have Facebook."
Some people think that their small business does not need a website; they have a Facebook page and that is enough. If missing opportunities and losing potential customers is enough for them, they do not need to continue reading this article.
But, for most companies, no matter how small, a website is essential. Only on your own website can you control the narrative. This is your dedicated space to proclaim, “This is what we do!” Everything on your website is about you.
Social media is fine to use, and is recommended, but NOT as your main means of communication. Your message can easily be lost on social media, and if a social media post was the only method used to send a message, it might never be heard. Use social media only as a secondary information outlet.
Take a look at your personal Facebook page. Besides posts from your likes and follows, are there posts in your feeds that make you wonder? What is this real estate listing? What is this boot sale? These are “boosted” feeds; the owners paid Facebook to include them in your feed. And if a friend sent you a funny video of a squirrel running around in the road, don’t be surprised if you now get quite a few posts featuring squirrels, chipmunks, and a rabbit or two. This is how the social network works. Which is all well and good, but if these feeds are pushing your post down on your followers’ pages, your message may not be seen. (That said, this also works in reverse; your post that a follower liked may show up in the follower’s friends’ posts.)
Before you leave your Facebook page, look what else is there. Next to the posts are ads. A competitor’s ad could be featured here, which means a customer could click on the ad instead on scrolling down to read your post. Not good.
Only on your own website can you depend on your message being delivered. There is nothing else popping up vying for your visitor’s attention. No competing company mentions. No crazy squirrels.
Think about how you get a new customer. An internet search is the number one way people find a business or service. It is likely that a potential customer will search the internet for a product, service, name, or location. Is it realistic to believe that he will log onto Facebook and search for your not-yet-known company name to see if you have what he is looking for? What if a person does not even have a Facebook account? What then? Logically, if there is no website to be found, your business will not be found.
Your website is your presence in the world. It can do so much more than a social media page can do. On a website you can sell products, subscription, or digital downloads, accept reservations and appointments, post forms and FAQs, and have expanded information on your products and services.
A website is a powerful tool and it should be at the top of your toolbox. It is as important as a phone number. Having your own website is critical in today’s world.