Websites and Facebook can work well together
With close to 3 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most used online social networking platform.
Having a social media presence is a must for many small businesses, whether you’re an electrician, plumber, landscape gardener, dog groomer, foot health practitioner, or... the list of possibilities is a pretty long one.
It is therefore understandable why so many small businesses use Facebook as their main platform to try and attract new customers.
It is also understandable why many of those businesses ask
Why would I need a website if I already have a Facebook page?
Here are some reasons why you could benefit from having both.
Definitely keep your Facebook page
The first point I want to make is that if you already have a Facebook page for your business, I am in no way going to suggest that you ditch it and get a website built instead.
My advice would be to keep your Facebook page and also have a website.
They both serve a purpose and each have their strengths and weaknesses, so utilising both could be really beneficial to your business.
Your Facebook page provides you with an easy means to communicate news, updates, special offers and photos of your latest work. For example if you’re an electrician and have just installed some garden lighting for a customer, you could take photos and upload them to Facebook that same day.
If Facebook offers such convenience, why would you need a website?
If you specialise in providing specific services, your website could list them in ways which Facebook is not designed for. Your website will allow you to dedicate specific pages to each service, make references to other pages and services, and provide links to them so your customers can navigate from one to another.
For example, staying with the electrician example for a moment, you might specialise in:
- the installation of electric vehicle charging points;
- house rewiring;
- installation or replacement of consumer units;
- new build planning and installation;
- commercial electrical installations;
- providing electrical services for outdoor festivals;
- electrical installation reports (which are also known as electrical installation condition reports, EICRs, landlord electrical safety certificate, etc);
- installation of hot tubs, electric garage doors, garden lighting, etc.
Dedicated web pages for your services
Dedicated pages on your website could show a portfolio of work in these areas, as well as providing evidence of any specific qualifications you have, and answers to frequently asked questions.
For example a potential customer might want an electric vehicle charging point to be installed and want to know if it can be plugged into a mains socket. There may be concerns about where they park their car, and potential difficulties in supplying power to get their car charged.
Your dedicated EV charging point web page could be your opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, and differentiate you from other electricians in the area who also install EV charging points.
By using your website in this way it can show why potential customers should come to you instead, and enable you to differentiate yourself from your competitors more easily than by simply having a Facebook page.
Your brand is the entire identity of your business
Websites for branding
According to the Forbes article The Importance Of Branding In Business...
A business’s branding is more important than you might think.
Your brand may seem like it consists only of elements such as logos and colors, but your brand is actually the entire identity of your business.
Branding may be more important now than ever before. With social media, consumers get exposed to new brands every day. This can be great for consumers who have plenty of options and are able to do research to find the best one, but it makes it harder for businesses.
To some businesses, branding is more important than to others.
As a business owner you will know how important branding is to your business and within your industry. So from a branding perspective could you honestly differential yourself from your competitors sufficiently by only using Facebook?
Your website could reinforce your brand far more effectively because you will have control over everything. From the design, colours, font styles and sizes, positioning and sizing of images, logos, what your enquiry or feedback form contains, and many other branding methods.
Being able to explain more about you, your business, your team, etc., and demonstrate your knowledge and professionalism via dedicated information pages, blogs, articles, etc., can all be far more effective on a website than via social media. But you could (and should) use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., to supplement your online presence.
Not everyone is on Facebook, and many Facebook users use it for nothing more than keeping in touch with friends. So you could be missing out on a potentially large audience if your business relies entirely on Facebook.
If your website is built well and optimised to be found easily in search engine results, you stand a very good chance of reaching out to a wider audience for the products or services you provide in your industry or geographic area.
Additionally, by setting up a Google Business Profile for your business and also registering your business and website with Bing Places, you can provide a lot of information about your business, location, services, hours of operation, etc., with the benefit of geographic locations giving your business greater visibility in local searches.
More professional email addresses
Besides adding a certain amount of credibility to your businesses by having a website, an email address based on your website address looks far more professional than an email address with generic provider such as Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.
Imagine that you need an accountant. Which of the following looks more professional to you?
Anyone can quickly and easily create an email address on publically available email platforms even if that business didn’t actually exist. So in my view the first three examples do not look as professional and credible as the 4th example.
In fact I receive many emails from people with only Hotmail, Outlook or Gmail email addresses offering online marketing services, such as:
Hi, I am Anamika, Online Business Advisor
We have a team of 125+ highly qualified professionals who are certified and ISO standards providing a wide range of services... etc.
Even if I had been interested in the services on offer, the fact that the email had been sent using a hotmail.com address immediately gave me doubts that this was even legitimate.
Where was the website address? If there was one, I would have taken a look to find out bit more about the company and the services they provide. But there was no website. Does this organisation even exist? Should I email Anamika to find out? No thanks!
Those were my views, but by all means draw your own conclusions.
You know your business better than anyone
It's your business
You know your business better than anyone, although there will be people out there who are able to offer suggestions about how you could potentially improve certain aspects of your business.
If your Facebook page is bringing in all the work or sales that you need and you're happy with it, that’s fantastic. But if some of the points I have made here have prompted you to think about adding a professionally built website to your business, please feel free to get in touch.
Get in Touch
If you would like to discuss anything further, feel free to reach us by email or phone as follows:
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About the author: Having begun building websites back in 1996, Daron Harvey has been professionally involved in website design, UX and eCommerce best practices for over 26 years, including management of large multi-lingual global websites. Following the global pandemic Daron founded Targa Web Services, specialising in Website Design, Search Engine Optimisation, User Experience (UX/UI), etc.