Should your business have a dedicated website or stick with Facebook?

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Ten years ago, marketing and advertising were a very different beast. It was a known commodity, and businesses knew exactly how to navigate those waters. One of the most important elements for successful business was the company website. If you didn’t have a website, you were missing out on so much potential. Of course, not having a website in this modern era shouldn’t be considered an option.

If you don’t have the in-house resources to build a modern, fully-functioning website, one outstanding route to success is the IT outsource option. With that website you could drive customers to your ecommerce option, or offer them information about your company. With a well-built website, there was no limit to what you could do. And as for advertising, you could pay up for online slots on various publications or other related sites.

That was then. This is now. And in the now, things get a bit tricky. Why? Social media. Every day, hundreds of millions of people spend a good amount of their free time (and/or company time) on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram … you name it and people are there. Even better, those people are seeing advertisements for companies and posts by companies. According to Adspresso, there are 1.49 billion daily active users on Facebook and users are accessing the site at least eight times a day. Even better, 39% of Facebook users will follow a Facebook Page to receive a special offer. Those offers can easily drive users from Facebook to your company website. With thise statistics, it’s definitely time for you to get into the game.

But what does that mean for your company?

A Must Have

A social media presence is a must-have. Why? The answer to that question is unavoidable, and has become problematic for businesses, especially those that have spent considerable time and money on the IT outsourcing company responsible for building the business website. The answer is that because people are spending so much time on social media, they have less time to spend on other sites.

Couple that with the fact that users have become accustomed to locating companies and their products via social media and you’ll find that a social media presence is a must-have. In fact, a good many users have begun using company social media accounts as a means for help. Nothing gets a company’s attention like a consumer calling them out on social media.

But there’s an elephant in the room with regards to the likes of Facebook.

A few years ago, Facebook was an absolute goldmine for marketing. The platform had yet to realize that artists and companies were finding incredible results marketing their goods and services. Once Facebook realized this, they understood they were the ones sitting on the goldmine and made profound changes to how things work. Since then, marketing on the social media giant has been considerably less effective. Even so, the habits of the masses have been changed and having a Facebook presence is practically a requirement to do business.

And so, companies of all sizes create Facebook pages, where they can post information about their products and services, offer sales, answer questions, and just generally connect with users.

The Big “However”

The one thing you’ll find with having a Facebook page for your business is that it’s limited. On top of that, Facebook wants you to pony up fees to get your posts seen by more and more users. That, of course, is an opportunity you shouldn’t overlook. However, there is one other point you should not miss with Facebook.

What you can offer to consumers, via Facebook, is limited. On top of which, you don’t want to have to double down on the efforts made by either your in-house developers or the IT outsourcing company that built your company website. Considering Facebook’s limited offerings, you wouldn’t be able to duplicate those options on their platform anyway.

To that end, one item you must include on your company’s Facebook page is a link to your website. Without this, users might not even think about visiting your site. Beyond that, you should also frequently post the URL in your posts—as often as you can. In order to retrain consumers to find you on your company site instead of automatically navigating to Facebook, they need to have that website address emblazoned upon their memories.

But without that Facebook “launching” page, you might find it harder to attract consumers to your site. After spending the budget on that company web presence, you don’t want it to go unused. And that is one of the best usages you’ll find from Facebook as a marketing tool.

If used properly, Facebook can help you convert a percentage of their massive user base into customers. As mentioned earlier, run specials on Facebook to not only attract users to your company FB page, but to those users who subscribe to your company mailing list or purchase a product from your company site. Beyond that, interact with those Facebook users who like your page. By design, social media is all about interaction, so the more you (and your company) can interact with users the better your chances of converting those FB users to loyal customers. It’s no guarantee, but even if you’re only picking up a fraction of a percentage, it’s better than none. And considering the average user lives in a world where their first point of web entry is social media, it makes perfect sense that you would opt to make use of the platform.

And once you’ve taken care of that, don’t forget to interact with those who have “liked” your page.

So the answer to the question is a resounding “both”. Have your company website (and make sure to keep the site updated and as “on trend” as possible) and use your Facebook company page as one of your key tools for driving users to that site. With such a one-two punch, your web presence will find considerably more success than trying to go with one or the other.

Just remember, your company website should come first. Build it and build it well. Once your company is well represented on its own domain, then you can create your company’s Facebook page and point users to your website from there.

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