A Facebook page costs nothing, is easy to set up and is a great way to connect and share the latest news and offers with your customers.

However, not everyone uses Facebook! Although I have a Facebook account I never think to look for products or services via Facebook. I open up a browser and use Google almost exclusively. In my experience hardly any of these searches show Facebook pages on the first page or top results.

Also, going back as far as 2012 and Facebook reported that as little as 16% of posts on business pages reach their fans. To make matters worse, in 2014 they posted an article discussing that organic reach of posts is declining. It’s easy to assume that because your page has been “liked” a certain amount of times that everyone fan is a captive audience and will see what you post. The reality is that everyone is jostling for position in the Facebook feeds and what this inevitably means is that in order to increase your visibility you have to consider paying for advertisements and the cost of these adverts is rising—advertisers paid 335% more for each ad purchased in the last quarter of 2014 than the price they paid a year earlier.

Whilst your Facebook page costs nothing to set up it is not free in the sense that you are ultimately building on someone else’s platform and are therefore subject to their terms and conditions. One complaint from a Facebook user (it could be that they are genuinely disgruntled, a competitor or just malicious) about your advertisements breaking these terms and conditions and your page could be shut down immediately without warning.

This is in addition to their restrictions on content and layout. You do not get the ultimate flexibility offered by your own website from your design and layout to search engine optimisation.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

I'm not saying that a website should be the be all and end all for your online marketing. Far from it. Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all valuable marketing tools and great ways of connecting easily with your customers but are not a panacea and are not as effective as they appear on the surface. They should work in conjunction with your website not in the absence of it.

Who could have predicted the phenomenal growth of these social media networks? Who knows what the next big social network will be that could usurp the current big players? The only thing you know for certain is that for as long as you have your business you can provide a website under your full control which is accessible to all.


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