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Why is a Facebook Page Not Enough?

Facebook is an undeniable necessity in the business world.  Nearly everyone has a Facebook account these days, even 77 year old grandmas.  Because they spend time socializing here, it just makes sense to seek out information about their local businesses.  In fact, many businesses just starting out are using Facebook pages instead of websites. 

While I will be the first to suggest that a business start a Facebook page and be actively posting on it, I think it is a grave error to have that page take the place of a simple web page. Here's why:

When you post on Facebook, your posts move around.  You will expect them to stay in the order by which they were posted, but every "like" or comment will send that post back up to the top.  If you are trying to lead customers through a buying decision, this can become impossible to control.

You cannot categorize your posts or relate them.  If you sell a handbag, for instance, and there is a matching pair of boots in another post, your customers may never see that.  On a web page you can link your images, place them side by side and a million other ways to make sure customers are led to other purchases they are likely to make.

Facebook pages can become confusing.  Every time a change in format is made, users have to relearn where things are.  During these frequent transitions, Facebook users will not be trying to learn on a business page.  It is simply too frustrating;  so that's down time for you.  Your web page only changes when you say.  You again are in complete control.

Facebook chooses to whom you advertise.  You may think that your followers are seeing every one of your posts.  They are not.  Facebook picks and chooses who sees what posts.  At any given time you are only reaching a small percentage of your followers.  Even when you pay for reach, you still will not be reaching all of your followers.  This is a big disappointment for your followers as well, who probably assume they will be keeping up with your activities by clicking that follow button.  A website, specifically a blog, allows people who follow you to get notified by email EVERY time you post.  There is no doubt that ALL your contacts know your every publication.

You can still reach your Facebook audience without extra work.  By linking a blog to your Facebook page, you can post in one place and it will automatically update your Facebook page with a link back to your site!  This is what you want from Facebook in the first place, to bring people to you!

Facebook does not always display your contact information where your customers can find it.  Many times I have been frustrated because I want an address, phone number, hours of operation, or a link back to the main website from a Facebook page and it is no where to be found.  On your site, you control where that information is, and it is always right where you left it!

Facebook hoards viewers.  Ever tried to follow a link out of Facebook?  It sends you an "oops" notification" that looks much like a warning.  It is warning you that the link you have selected will take you away from Facebook.  Clearly this is a huge mistake. You can't possibly want to leave Facebook.  I clicked back several times before I realized that there was no mistake, yes I did want to do the unthinkable.  I really wanted to see the link that was not Facebook.  You can bet that "oops" notification is scaring off a lot of potential readers!

There is no personalization in Facebook.  You get blue.  You get to stand out just like everyone else.

So, while I recommend you have a Facebook page and post on it radically, I think you should think of it as an accessory--like a purse.  You need a purse.  But please, don't just walk around with only your purse!
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