One of the worst marketing things I can see a business do is put up some sort of sign that reads, “Like us on Facebook.” Sometimes people even put the URL for their page. This is a big mistake. Why?
We all know who Facebook is - at present they have over a billion and a half users and that kind of pool of people can be a huge temptation for any business owner. I even believe that a Facebook Business Page often is a solid component of a small business’ marketing arsenal.
But a Facebook Page is only one component and only a part of a solid online presence.
By telling people to go hunt you down on Facebook it’s literally the equivalent of having a big sign that reads, “We have a website.” Whoopie. There are millions of Facebook Business Pages and millions of websites.
Putting the URL of your Facebook Page isn't going to help people - they’ve still got to go hunting. And, the biggest mistake in this plan is that by marketing Facebook you’re relying on a platform that is somebody else’s.
Remember Facebook is in the business of advertising and they created their own vehicle and make all their own rules. Often they change the rules and, usually, those changes are not in your favor.
You are far better off having a website that you own and can control. While you certainly can have a Facebook Page and use that to post updates, specials, host Events and all the things that a Facebook Page does, your primary means of telling the world about what you do should be a website, even if it’s just one page.
Today you don’t necessarily have to have a complicated website that costs thousands of dollars to craft. For many businesses having just a single page is sufficient just to get your name out there. If you have a physical location that single page site could have your location, hours, telephone number, a brief description of what you do, a few pictures and links to your Facebook Page if that’s what you want to spend your time doing.
Let’s face it, if you’re a busy business owner often times a quick post on Facebook from your smart phone is what you have time for at the very most and I understand why a lot of businesses only have a Facebook Business Page. Frankly, Facebook’s greatest accomplishment is that they’ve made the Internet easy for a lot of people and brought the power of the Internet to the smart phone.
But it’s still their bus and you’re riding on their route. If it changes and takes you somewhere you don’t want to go, that’s not a good thing.
I’m an absolute believer that a simple tool like Weebly or SquareSpace are great ways to create a site for most small businesses. Furthermore, these sites offer pre-crafted templates for a lot of types of small businesses so you don’t have to spend a great deal of time to get a very effective web presence.
This site you’re looking at now was created with Weekly and some of the things that it does include updating my Facebook Business Page when I post a new blog. It also integrates with my Mailchimp account so that you can sign-up for the weekly emails I send out on Monday morning.
I’ve literally sat at a coffee shop and put together a website for someone right on the spot using these tools. Admittedly now I’m very familiar with them so it is easier for me. Further disclaimer, doing the research it takes to make sure the site’s optimized for search is going to take a while so that hour didn’t include that. But still, one coffee later they had a presence they could tell people about.
Go check these tools out and see how well they do integrate with a Facebook Page. And when you’re at your next opportunity to tell the world about your business you can brag about your awesome presence. Which should be connected to all the social channels you take advantage of. But it’s best when the bus you’re riding is your own, rather than someone else’s.