From time to time we get the question, "Can our company work with just a robust Facebook business page, or do we need both a full business website and Facebook?" It's a popular question because Facebook accounts are very easy to set up, while professional websites are expensive, time-consuming, and complicated. It's a tempting idea to see if one can be cut out. So let's take a look at the pros of each, and see what really works.
Pros of a Facebook Page
It's a Great Summary of Your Business: When people visit a Facebook page, they gain immediate and valuable information (assuming a properly designed Facebook profile). In today's fast-moving world, this type of summary can prove useful in the first steps down the sales funnel – especially on mobile devices, where an increasing number of B2B buyers are making their purchasing decisions. At a glance, you can see business focus, location, hours of operating, contact information, reviews/ratings from current clients, and important URLs. That's a powerful and reliable beacon for those first investigating your company.
A Lot of People are There: Facebook gives you potential access to a whole lot of followers that you may not otherwise meet. There are at least 1.44 billion monthly active users on Facebook, and nearly a billion daily active users. Plus, it doesn't have the same (fading) stigma of newer social apps like Snapchat or Instagram. People in your industry use it. So if you are looking for more ways to connect with prospects and can't find them, then it may be time to invest more in Facebook.
You Get Access to Some Strong Tools: Facebook is not designed solely for casual consumer users. From analysis to advertising, many tools are made specifically for businesses. Even Facebook Live, the new live-streaming option Facebook provides, is particularly well-suited to companies that want to interact in real-time with buyers. So you won't be missing out on analysis by using Facebook.
It Integrates Well: Facebook is best chums with Instagram, friendly towards Twitter, highly tolerant of YouTube, and much more. If you have a lot invested in multiple social media platforms, then Facebook is a necessary component – and can serve as a lynchpin that holds your social strategy together.
Likes and Follows Lead to Constant Engagement: Facebook is home to many well-known social signals, including likes and follows and comments. If your business prefers a more hands-on approach that encourages buyers to ask questions and focuses on conversations or maintaining contacts, Facebook can help out...as long as you know that your clients are already there.
Pros of a Business Website
Professionalism: B2B buyers not only like to see a true business website, they often need to see one before they progress down the sales funnel. It doesn't have to be particularly fancy or span a dozen different landing pages, but it has to be there, and it has to look updated and professional.
Product Info: Facebook isn't really the place to post in-depth product lists or information. For this you need a professional website with a product section or a section describing service packages. Plus, it's much better to refer prospects to product sheets on your website than saying, "Well, check us out on Facebook."
Scalability: Facebook can be an enabler, but it's not much use if you are dealing with a sudden influx of customers, or a new expansion into different sectors. How can Facebook properly relate or adapt to those changes? It really can't. But a business website is changeable, and it can scale with the size of your company, and change along with your focus or mission.
Room for More Content: Blogs, in-depth testimonials, company histories, product customization options, valuable CTA forms – websites can provide a lot of different content that can be customized to your goals. Facebook only supports basic summaries, short reviews, posts, and similar types of limited content.
If you are a very new business that's trying to gain recognition and build a quick following before pushing into long-term strategies, then Facebook is an excellent place to focus. But it cannot replace a business website, especially in the B2B world. Plan on a real website, and plan for it sooner than later, because a website is your real key to sales and conversions. Facebook is more optional, but remember that it provides a valuable gateway for new clients.