Why Facebook should not be your website

  • June 29, 2020
  • /   Jamie Walker
  • /   Website
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I was searching through a directory of churches and nonprofits the other day and I was surprised to find a significant number of the organizations listed were using Facebook as their website. I work for a technology company so I understand that a Facebook business page is a necessity, but I wondered if these organizations knew or cared that they were missing an opportunity to fully present their brand and mission by not investing in a website.

While Facebook is good at delivering content, serving ads, and sparking outrage it is not very good at fully representing your brand and letting you engage with your key audiences on your terms.

Essentially, Facebook is a box and you must stay in that box or you will end in Facebook jail. Your website on the other is a blank canvas that you can craft and mold to your vision. Below we will review the pros and cons on why Facebook should not be your website and hopefully, we can turn the tide against this recent phenomenon:

Facebook Pros –
1. Easy to set up – All you need is a logo, photography to use (good or bad), and some info on your organization and you can have a Facebook business page in minutes. There is no true verification process so anyone can create a Facebook business page

2. It is free – There is no cost to set up a Facebook business page.

3. A low-cost way to advertise – Facebook ads are still one of the most effective and affordable ways to promote your organization to a targeted audience.

4. A great place to deliver content – If you have built up a sizable number of followers, Facebook is an excellent channel to distribute and share content. The key to whether your content catches on depends on how many people are following you and are engaged with your Facebook page.

Facebook Cons –
1. Competition is high – There is so much content being delivered on Facebook that it can be overwhelming at times. People can only absorb so much information on a given day and it is difficult to break through all the noise.

2. Facebook’s priorities are not your priorities – They want users to stay on their platform so that they can continue to collect data and personal information from interactions. While your goal is to promote your mission, their goal is to serve more ads and suck up more data on your followers.

3. Limited representation of your brand – While you can upload a logo and a cover image to your Facebook business page it essentially looks like every other business page on the platform.

4. Facebook thrives on misinformation – Facebook is undergoing a reputation crisis because of the lack of control on unverified information, nasty comments, and people trolling legitimate content and pages.

5. Your Facebook page is hard to find – In a competitive digital landscape, one of your primary goals should be getting found. When people search for something specific, they are most likely searching for it on Google. While there is a chance that your Facebook page will be listed in the search results your website and your most important pages are designed to be found and featured in Google search.

6. Who owns the data – There are a lot of gray areas in Facebook’s data ownership policies but when you agree to their terms and service you also give consent for other people on the platform to download, embed, share, and comment on (positively or negatively) on your content.

Website Pros –
1. Fully represents your brand and your values – There are no limitations in what you can do with your website and how you want it to tell your story. You have complete control over the look, feel, and content that is featured on your site. Ultimately, your website lets you build your brand on your terms.

2. Stand out from the crowd – You are not going to blow people away with your Facebook page because they all look the same. Your website allows you to differentiate your organization from similar organizations that you are competing with for people’s attention.

3. You own the content and you own the data collected - You retain 100% ownership of original content published to your website. Data collected from a purchase, donation, or webform belongs to you. This information is an asset and creates value for your organization (see item #4 below). 

4. True Relationship building – What do you know about your Facebook followers? Most likely not much because Facebook is not designed to build lasting customer relationships. When a person visits your website, you can engage them with organized and structured content and then convert them with either a donation, purchase, or webform sign-up. All three actions provide you with the opportunity to gather more robust audience data than you can get on Facebook. Once you have this information you can continue to build the relationship using email marketing, text message marketing, or a simple phone conversation. 

5. Builds creditability – You want people to know that your organization is safe and trustworthy and a professional-looking website helps you build trust.

Website Cons –
1. Cost – If you build a website yourself there is a cost in time that it takes. If you prefer to have a professional build your website you will pay for your builder’s time. Luckily, our team at Reason Funding is stocked full of professional builders and we have website packages starting at $99.

2. Content Creation– If you are going to invest in a website you need to make sure that you have a logo and website copy.  

3. WordPress Users (updating plugins) – If you are a WordPress user you know the pain of constantly having to update plugins after every new WordPress release. Sometimes a nasty plugin can take down your whole website or become a security liability. If this is an issue for you we can help as Reason Funding is a platform that does not require the use of 3rd party plugins for SEO, eCommerce, web forms, and accessibility.

In Closing –
Facebook and the other social media platforms serve a purpose and they should be looked upon as a tool that can be deployed in coordination with a website to represent an organization or business. Content should originate on your website and then be shared with your social media platforms for engagement.

Facebook wants people to stay on their platform so that they can suck more data out of them. Your goal is counter to this because you need to dangle the bait out on Facebook and then lure people to your website where you can set the hook. 

If you would like to chat about your needs and learn more about Reason Funding I encourage you to schedule a quick demo with us.