A couple of months ago, I came across the following question on Quora from a small business owner: “I have a Facebook page for my company—do I still need a website?”
Now, much as I love me some social media engagement, I was quite surprised that someone would ask such a thing. After all, there are some things you just don’t mess with … one of them being that, yes, you do need a website in addition to all your various social media outposts. It’s your storefront, your hub, your online home to which all roads must lead. So I crafted a response to that effect, clicked “Add Answer,” and went about my day.
Then a funny thing happened: this issue started popping up everywhere. In blog posts, in discussion forums, in casual conversation at networking mixers, it seemed everyone was talking about whether Facebook pages will replace traditional websites. After all, now that said pages are becoming more functional and SMBs are looking to trim marketing budgets, why not?
Let’s take a closer look at the issue, starting with the pros of opting for a Facebook page over a traditional website:
- A Facebook page is free (design and customization aren’t, but the basic page is)
- It’s fast and easy to set up (again, any bells and whistles will take time, but the page itself can go up in a snap)
- You need one anyway
And now a few of the cons:
- Facebook is a social network, not a marketplace
- You’re extremely limited in functionality (yes, still) and appearance
- Downtime—yep, it’s been known to happen
- Think you own your Facebook page, its fans, and its content? Guess again.
You can probably tell which side of the issue I came down on.
But it’s an interesting question. More than that, it’s a sign of just how far social media has come in terms of being viewed as a serious business tool. If anyone had raised the possibility a couple of years ago, they might as well have asked if they should ditch their computer in favor of a mobile device. And that does this li’l social media groupie’s heart good.
So, what are your thoughts? Is the traditional “dub-dub-dub” website here to stay, or are its days numbered as social media outposts become more sophisticated? Sound off in the comments—we’d love to hear from you!