Is a Facebook page not enough for my small business? Why should I need a website?
In the Caribbean many small businesses use Facebook as their only tool to reach consumers online, and many argue that this is all they need.
But, is a Facebook page enough for your business?
Maybe. If you have a small local business and you want to reach family and friends to share your service or products, Facebook may be enough. The power of Social Media is undeniable. When you use a Social platform to promote your story you are taking it to a place where at least part of your audience is spending a lot of time.
However, if you want to achieve the following business objectives a Facebook page will not be enough, and, having that as your sole calling card can even be detrimental to your business growth.
- You are serious about growing your business beyond a small local community and the reach of your personal network.
- You are serious about building a brand.
- You want to establish relationships with larger entities to get contracts or distributorships etc.
- You want people, consumers, suppliers and partners to respect you more.
Imagine that you have a small home cleaning business and you want to move into the commercial sector. You approach a business owner or the maintenance manager of a large facility, and you introduce yourself. You pass your business card to him or her, and there is no website address on it.
They ask you, “do you have a web-presence?” And you answer brightly “Yes, we have a Facebook page”.
They may not respond, but they may not be impressed.
Having a FB page only can be a negative for you in the eyes of many business people.
When you invest in a good website, regardless of the size of your business, it says the following to a potential supplier, or other business associate or a consumer:
- You are serious about your business.
- You are not fly-by-night or just experimenting.
- You are transparent.
- You have an easily accessible place where you have enough information about you and your service that they do not need to call two or three times to ask.
- You have some business stability and stature.
Other considerations in owning a website:
- You have a platform to structurally display your goods and services
- You own your site. You can design it according to your branding thrust. You own the content. Facebook is owned by a third party, and they can change the look and feel of their ‘page’ anytime. They own your content. They can change the rules as it suits them. Their own business model is their primary concern, not yours.
It is not advisable to depend solely on social platforms
- Organic reach (non-paid reach) is dwindling significantly as Facebook ramps up its paid-reach model. Its algorithms are designed to enhance its own monetization of your data, and to retard your own organic reach. You must pay to play.
- Facebook’s popularity is dwindling and whereas it was the rave ten years ago, today many younger people see it as a ‘mom and dad thing’ and are opting for platforms like Snap and TikTok.
- Social platforms are inherently fickle. You cannot trust them to permanently represent your brand. They may be here this year and overrun next year.
Having a website is not without challenges. A key challenge is that, whereas you are guaranteed some traffic on your social pages, getting traffic to your site is not as easy. This is where the social platforms can be used effectively. You drive traffic from social platforms to your site. You can also drive traffic from credible and popular directories like CaribFind.TEL, or from outdoor advertising, or print, TV or Radio ads. It is important to cast a wide net on the web, to have a broad foot-print.
You spend a lot of money on starting your business, investing in inventory, rent, staff, etc, and you also invest a lot of personal time. You should not neglect to invest in today’s main driver of ‘eyes’ and ‘feet’ coming to you for goods and services. That 'driver' is the internet.
If you need advice or direction on building the digital capacity for your business, feel free to reach out to Kiskadee Media Inc. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We wish you all success in your endeavours.