This blog was inspired by a true story we heard recently. An individual was shopping with his wife for counter tops and had received a personal recommendation from a friend for a certain company that specialized in granite counter tops. Upon attempting to research the company online, our friend was distraught to find that the company didn’t have a website explaining their business, how they work, and what products they have. That’s okay our friend thought, it looks like they have a Facebook Page. Visiting the Facebook page, he noticed that the company’s phone number was listed and seeing no additional information about the company other than their location, he decided to make the call. A woman answered the phone very nonchalantly and advised our friend, he had reached the wrong number, but that she’d be happy to supply him with the company’s new phone number. That’s right, this poor lady had received so many calls from this company’s incorrect Facebook page, she made it a point to have the actual company phone number on a sticky note by the phone.
The moral of the story is that our friend didn’t call the forgetful company despite having invested 10 minutes of trying to talk to a real person. He did end up getting a great deal on countertops with a competing company. If the first company had only taken the time to create a customer experience that effectively guides individuals on how to do business with the company, they would have had a new customer.
While you might not realize it, potential customers judge your company by its online presence. With the rise of the internet, your company’s first interaction with most customers will, in fact, be online. Whether you know it or not, the general sentiment of companies that don’t have a website is that they are: cheap, don’t understand technology, or will be difficult to work with.
Having a website but not keeping it current, can also be quite damaging to your brand perception. Some individuals claim having a bad website is even worse than having no website at all. A recent study by Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab discovered that nearly half of people consider a website’s design to be the number one criterion for discerning credibility. Simply put, companies without official websites or with old, outdated websites are missing an enormous opportunity to enhance the value of their brand and are subsequently damaging their credibility with new customers.
Why Facebook Can’t Replace a Website
So, we’ve established that having a website is important, and having social media pages is also vital to supporting your website, which is why they should both be utilized when increasing your company’s digital presence. So why not just use a Facebook page to manage your web presence? After all, it’s easier and faster than setting up a website, right? Creating a Facebook page for your businesses is easy, but you’re missing out on a number of benefits that only a dedicated business website can offer.
Missing out on Search Engine Optimization Opportunity
When you have your own website, you can utilize SEO to gain access to a wider array of customers online. When you rely solely on Facebook, you are eliminating this opportunity to gain new visitors.
Facebook is in Charge
When you rely solely on Facebook for your digital presence, you are at their mercy if they change policies or even decide to delete your page. In fact, any third-party platform that you list your business information on or interact with customers through controls all aspects and makes all the rules. Your only recourse is to take your business elsewhere. Being flagged on Facebook can be as simple as one person taking offense or an unscrupulous competitor. However, when you own your own website, you are in ultimate control.
You May Share the Spotlight
When you have a business page on Facebook, your visitors may end up seeing advertisements from your competitors on the sidebar. Alternatively, with your own site, you get the entire spotlight with no competing for customer attention.
Web Design Options – DIY
The digital world has grown up tremendously over the past few years causing digital marketing to become both simpler and more complicated at the same time. As a business owner, you now have the option to design and develop our own company website, assuming you have the extra time, with visual website builders such as Wix, Shopify, or Weebly. These sites are known in the industry as WYSIWYG (pronounced wizzy-wig) and make it easy to produce a basic, run-of-the-mill website, based on a pre-existing template. These sites look okay and are usually very basic and tend to share the same design with a hundred other websites. Even though these sites eliminate the need to learn web programming languages, there is still a learning curve associated with setting up a website. Thus, you can expect to spend extra time learning the ropes of the website builder you choose and setting everything up. Plus, you’ll need to carve out time to write well-thought-out website copy, find or create new photos and/or graphics for your site, and ensure that all your links, forms, and the like are functioning correctly. While it can be highly time-consuming, we mention DIY website design, as to point out that there’s not much between you and owning a website.
Hire a Web Development Company
If the previous paragraphs gave you anxiety, you’re probably too busy to dedicate time to creating your own business website, and that’s okay. There are plenty of business professionals specializing in making your brand look great online. Digital marketing companies and web design firms alike will take on the hard and/or monotonous work associated with getting you a great looking website up and running. Many business owners like this option as they can offer their input, but have someone else handle all the aspects of web design and development, all while remaining in control of the final output. If you’re a super busy business owner, finding a single company that can-do logo design, hosting, web design and development, copywriting, photography, and everything else involved with the coordination of a new website is your best option. Having a single company with all these digital marketing capabilities will save you both time and money. By spending a small amount of time with your digital marketing company, you’ll be able to realize your vision without doing all the legwork.
Have Updated Contact Information
And pleasemake sure that you have up-to-date contact information on your website, or Facebook page, or anywhere your company information listed. There’s no quicker way to dilute the goodwill of your brand by attempting to call and getting the wrong number. Most people will search for a different number, just not yours.
Need a New Business Website
If you’ve been relying on a Facebook page for your web presence and are ready to enhance your brand online, contact Smarketing today by phone (yes our number is current) or online to discuss your vision and learn how we can help you increase business traffic through innovative, custom branding, SEO, Logo Design, and Web Design services.