Is a Website Necessary For Your Business?

by Kelly on June 20, 2010

With the advent of Social Media, we now have at our fingertips hundreds of new online applications, such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.  They all allow you to create a profile and hence an online presence for your business… with the best thing about it being that it’s absolutely free!… But hang on, isn’t that why we go to the trouble of creating a website?  What’s the difference between a website then and all these profiles we can create online?

Firstly, lets cast our eye over the term ‘Website’ as defined by Wikipedia:

A website … is a collection of related web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that are addressed relative to a common URL, often consisting of only the domain name… The pages of a website can usually be accessed from a simple URL called the homepage. The URLs of the pages organize them into a hierarchy, although hyper-linking between them conveys the reader’s perceived site structure and guides the reader’s navigation of the site.  Some websites require a subscription to access some or all of their content.

Now we are clear on what a website is, lets compare a typical Facebook Business page with a Website, looking at the pro’s and cons of each:

Creating a Facebook page for your business, the Pro’s and Con’s:

The Pro’s

+ It’s free.

+  There are no ongoing costs.

+ You can create an online presence for your business in minutes.

+ You can make changes to your Facebook page 24/7 (except your page name).

+ You have the opportunity to engage with your customers and create online communities/ social networks.

+ You can upload and link to video, images,  podcasts (audio) from you Facebook wall.

+ You can have a new user to your Facebook page land on a ‘Welcome’, ‘About us’ or ‘Home’ page just like a website.

+ You can add a basic online store by adding the application to your Facebook page.

+ Facebook has more than 400 million active users with 50% of their active users logging on to Facebook in any given day… People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook.  So, you have to ask yourself, how many people are coming through your website?  At a guess I would say not as many as Facebook.  Utilizing Social Media marketing by being on Facebook then gives you the opportunity to tap in a MASSIVE market compared to that very small market coming through your website (People can still search and find your Facebook page on google as well).

The Con’s

- Your branding does not stand alone on a Facebook page, as the Facebook branding is very prominent.

- If you have a website that requires a booking engine for accommodation or tickets, Facebook does not yet offer this.

- If you have a website that requires subscription for access, Facebook does not yet offer this.  Examples of subscription sites include many business sites, parts of many news sites, academic journal sites, gaming sites, services and sites providing real-time stock market data.

- If you want to customise your online store, this is not possible on Facebook, unless you create your own application, which would cost money and time (however, it would also cost money and time if you incorporated it into your website).

So there you have it in a nutshell!  I believe that there is still a reason for some companies to have a website.  If you are still wondering if you need to create a website or save a few coins and create a Facebook page instead then you need to sit down and take a few minutes to weigh up the reasons discussed above, as to whether a website is going to be a good fit in your Social Media plan.  If you still can not figure it out, then contact me i’d love to hear from you!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Croatia October 1, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Excellent article, plenty of good quality info. I am going to point out to my friend and ask them the things they think.

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