Recently, I’ve seen a few discussions around the topic of whether or not a Facebook fan page is enough of an online presence that it could potentially replace a website for small businesses. Surprisingly, at least to me, some people feel that this is a good idea.
So I decided to give it a little thought, and came up with this list of the top five (slightly tongue-in-cheek) reasons why you should consider replacing your company website with a Facebook page.
Ready? Here goes:
You feel that the best way to represent your brand online is to plug it into a cookie-cutter mold.
After all, it’s cool to look exactly like everyone else, right? And designing a website from scratch is a time-consuming process, so really, what’s the point when Facebook can decide for you how everything will look. Takes all the guessing out of the process and makes it nice and painless and bland. Just how you want your brand to look.
You prefer that another company displays their logo and search box at the top of your web page.
Top billing is highly over-rated anyways. They’ll get to your stuff eventually. And if a visitor goes to the Facebook search box (the one in plain sight right at the top of your company page) to find what they’re looking for and completely skips over your page, another visitor will be along eventually.
You would rather not have any control over pesky details like functionality and page layout.
Here’s another thing that just takes takes up valuable time. Besides, Facebook is a big company, they must know how every company wants their page to work, so just leave it up to them, they’ll sort it out eventually.
You support market competition to the point that you welcome your competitors’ (or better yet, completely unrelated and distracting) advertisements on your primary web page.
Your mom taught you to share, right? So naturally that extends to your web presence too. Make it nice and easy for your customers to find your competitors, karma will take care of your revenue.
You aren’t bothered by the prospect that you could wake up one morning and find your web presence has been inexplicably deleted.
In fact, the possibility adds a little excitement to your job. Knowing what to expect from day to day is sooo boring. Why not spice it up a little and relinquish all control to someone else.
OK, so am I saying you shouldn’t put effort into having a really great Facebook presence? No, absolutely not. If your customers are on Facebook, you need to be there too. And it does give you a great opportunity to talk to them on a real level, the way you just can’t do on a website unless you’ve built that ability right into your website.
What I am saying is take advantage of what Facebook has to offer by way of engagement, and then take the opportunity to direct fans back to your website, which is hopefully also engaging enough to keep them interested and turn them into customers. Because YOU are in control of your website, YOU get to decide what the user experience is like, and YOU are the only person who should be making those decisions.