With the proliferation of social, it is natural to ask if websites are even necessary anymore. After all, Facebook is free and works extremely well for a wide variety of companies. As the recent Timeline change has taught us, however, Facebook has complete control of the way you share and present your content on its platform. Relying solely on spreading your brand's message through Facebook has its limitations, and perhaps most detrimentally leaves your brand in the hands of another company. Additionally, not everyone is active on Facebook, and many use it socially rather than as a medium to interact with brands.
The Downsides to Facebook:
Lack of Customization
Even with the new cover photos, every brand's Facebook page basically looks and functions the same. Apps can be customized, but few ever visit these apps and Facebook can change the format or get rid of them altogether at any time. A website gives your brand a professional look that gives people confidence in your product or service. Anyone can create a Facebook page, but building a professionally designed website projects that you are serious about your business.
Giving Up Ownership
When it comes to Facebook, you give up control of how your brand is presented. As we saw from the change to Timeline, Facebook can make changes to its brand pages at any time, and can force your brand to adhere to the changes. Even if its as simple as a change in format, businesses can lose the design and content that they worked so hard to create. The regulations with the cover photo are a great example of how Facebook controls how your brand presents itself on Facebook. Additionally, if Facebook shuts down or changes it policies one day, your online presence will be gone.
With the right programmers and design team, your website can have virtually unlimited functionality. From e-commerce to a customized social network to a blog, you control what your website can do and how the content is presented. Navigation is much easier on a website, and content does not get pushed down or lost as with Facebook. Complaints, negative comments and reviews can be moderated on websites, and e-commerce allows consumers to buy the product on the spot.
Although social is continually being integrated into search algorithms, Facebook cannot compare to having a comprehensive website with multiple pages when it comes to search. Each page of your website is indexed by Google, looking for keywords and content that relates to your business. When someone searches using keywords that relate to your business, multiple pages of your website can show up, which gives your brand more exposure. When it comes to Facebook, only your brand's page is shown. Even with the improvement of Facebook Insights, websites are also much easier to analyze than Facebook pages.