Can Facebook Replace a Small Business Website?

The short answer is NO! 

Mark Zuckerberg is in the businesses of growing Facebook, and clearly has no specific interest in growing your local small business.

Social media marketing on Facebook can bring a lot of value to a small business. But if the question is "Can Facebook Replace a Small Business Website?" effectively, the answer is an emphatic and absolute HECK NO! 

Mark Derho

CAN YOUR BUSINESS BE TRUSTED?

Do consumers trust a business that does not even have a professional website?

Can Facebook Effectively Replace a Small Business Website?

Many consumers and the majority of B2B decision-makers will say NO. 

While it is accurate that almost anyone can make some version of a website, the requirements are higher to build a quality and informative website. 

The costs for designing and developing a professional website are higher, and the skills required are far more complex. 

Building a functioning website takes a significant level of commitment and consideration to be effective for both the business and for the end user.

When a small business takes the time and invests the resources and effort to put together an attractive, easy-to-use modern website with helpful information, they are showing visitors that they take clients and prospects seriously

Remember the original question, “Can Facebook Replace a Small Business Website“? The answer is an emphatic NO.

The existance of a secure professional website for  a small business is a major “trust indicator”. Online Trust Indicators inform the user that the experience they can expect will be professional and trustworthy.

FORBES ASKS…

Is a bad website better than no website?

By now it’s clear that if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on opportunities for customers to identify who you are and if they want to spend money with you. This said, if you have a bad website it is better to have no website. While no website equals missed opportunities, a bad website can actually be worse since it literally makes your business look bad.

Forbes

Can Facebook Replace a Small Business Website and Meet Consumer Expectations?

First Impressions Count Online too!

Consumers are passing judgement and making decisions about whether or not they will even visit your local small business store, restaurant or office. They ovrwhelmingly begin with reviewing your website. There is a good chance your  business will be dismissed entirely if your website doesn’t exist and reflect the kind of experience they believe your business should offer.

FORBES

8 GREAT Reasons why Facebook Cannot Replace a Small Business Website

.01

Legitimate businesses generally have websites.

Most working businesses have a relevant and functional website, because, they have known for many years that it’s a requirement to be successful in today’s modern world. 

If you were to ask these business owners “Can Facebook Replace a Small Business Website?”, they would explain that today consumers expect to purchase or make decisions online and many consumers do not trust a business that does posses a professional website. 

.02

Facebook's goal is to keep users on Facebook, collect more personal information, and serve more ads.

Facebook’s platform does not give marketers and content producers the same advantages as a website, so it may be critical to maintain both.

Facebook Developers work hard but they do not share the same goals as thier business owners.  

Relying on a Facebook Page instead of a company website removes your ability to focus on conversion goals.

So, “Can Facebook Replace a Small Business Website?” Heck no, it’s too political and not skewed for business. Consider the negative press and global dissatisfaction with Facebook’s use as a political weapon, and the personal information and security breach nightmares.

.03

(SEO) search optimization is not possible, and the platform can alienate non-users.

Forget about organic SEO. Facebook actively restricts the ability to be found by Google. Adding “no follow” attributes to links is the most-obvious example, of many.  

If someone does find you in the search results, they’ll have to login to a personal Facebook account or be restricted to limited information. 

Can Facebook Replace a Small Business Website? Not unless it’s acceptablte to you to discourage the majority of potential customers by eliminating thier interest and trust.

.04

All Facebook business pages use the same "boring" generic template.

Generic, and just like everyone else. Let the sink-in. “if you’ve seen one Facebook business page, you’ve seen them all”.

Simply stated, Facebook has many has significant design limitations.  Websites cannot be replaced by Facebook as they place the most important information that should be “front-and-center”, at the “front-and-center”.

You can and should populate your Facebook business page with branded content including  product information, FAQ’s that visitors would normally find on a website, job postings, and maybe even team member bios (if team members are willing).

.05

Facebook is a branded "news feed", not a web destination or a landing page.

Facebook Pages are essentially “news feeds” that include (Facebook social media channel) status updates and advertising, photos and videos posted on the platform, promoted app activity, and, likes from people/Pages/groups that you already follow on Facebook.

So, until you build a community, you will have no activity to or benefit. “Got to my new Facebook Page with 0-X followers”, … no thanks. 

“See my new Facebook Page and follow me”. 

No thanks, I just wanted to get information or buy something.  

.06

Facebook is not a "good fit" for B2B businesses.

Facebook was never created with the needs of a B2B business in mind. Facebook’s interface and the absence of CRM-like tools or outside integration makes curating and managing prospects nearly impossible.

Also, most people on Facebook are on the platform as individuals, they are not representing businesses or seeking business opportunities or solutions or partnerships.

Yes, many people have find and purchase retail products on Facebook, however, LinkedIn is the accepted and defacto social media channel to make business contacts.

.07

Facebook is in charge of the feed and the forum, not you.

Social media channels are a feed and an open forum. When feeds are used for business purposes, you are open to your happy customers and also to possible detractors.

Has any customer ever been dissatisfied? Of course, they’re people. It’s impossible to know who will choose to publicly post grievances (real or fake)? This may not be your best or preferred forum for failed attempts to mitigate issues or handle dissatisfied people appropriately.

Accepting and leveraging feedback is a great strategyto improve your products, services, and overall transparency. However, having negative comments, experiences, or reactions you cannot control posted at the forefront of your business’s image isn’t likely to leave many people with a good impression.

.08

Facebook is already in decline due to distrust and disinterest.

Many consumers do not trust Facebook, period. Since 2017 Facebook has seen users across all demographics abandon the platform (8% rate from 2017 to 2018), and for a variety of reasons.

  1. Distrust
  2. Disinterest

The reason for the declines are generally the complicit roles Facebook has played in political turmoil, the admitted illegal use and staggering losses of user’s personal data, and the fact that many users are now increasingly more skeptical of the information that is provided on the platform as a whole. 

This reduces the effectiveness and perceived trustworthiness any marketing efforts your business may take on Facebook.

Mark Derho reccomendation aran darling vitek cctv ivp

Mark built us a quality WordPress site, and delivered vitekcctv.com on time and ready-to-go. He provided ample instruction for us to get started as first time WordPress users, with the objective of managing and updating the site in-house. Mark is a fun and light hearted person to work with, takes projects seriously, and demonstrated a great deal of patience during some of the delays that were coming from our previous hosting company. So far he has been always available for questions and follow-ups when needed, and I would recommend him without hesitation.

Aran Darling

director, VITEK IVP