It’s been a week since Facebook and its related apps (Instagram and WhatsApp) went down for more than 12 hours. Have you recovered yet? It was frustrating for most users, especially those who rely on Facebook to communicate with their business customer base.
The hashtag #FacebookDown was comical and incredibly ironic, considering Facebook itself had to resort to Twitter to give updates on its progress towards restoring services.
I couldn’t help myself and tweeted this:
For those in #smallbusiness who think Facebook is a suitable replacement for having an actual website, how’s that working for you today? Your website must be your anchor for all marketing. I can help. #FacebookDown
— Jamie’s Notebook (@JamiesNotebook) March 14, 2019
Newsjacking a bit? Sure. But pretty darn timely and it got retweeted several times.
Here’s the thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on a website button from Google or an actual URL and it redirected to the company’s Facebook page. That drives me crazy and if I’m being honest, is sometimes a factor in if I choose to patronize that business.
Last week’s Facebook outage is only one reason businesses should not rely on the social media platform as a substitute for a real website. Let’s take a look!
5 reasons Facebook should not replace your website
Plain and simple, you own your website. You don’t own Facebook. You can control the content of your website without an outside force deciding what it looks like and who sees it. Facebook changes its algorithms on a whim and most of the time, it’s to make sure that Facebook-approved content gets seen.
Similar to what I said in platform ownership, with Facebook you are allowed to have a Facebook page that looks pretty much just like every other page. Sure, you can add your own words, pictures, logos, etc. But it still looks like a Facebook page you are “renting” and doesn’t let your branding shine like a website does. A website gives you better control over how your brand is represented.
Ahem. #FacebookDown. ‘Nuff said. No, seriously. I know bad stuff happens to websites and they can go down, too. But most small business owners hopefully have a relationship with their host agency and problems can be solved (or prevented) easily. With Facebook, you’re entirely at their mercy. Also, have you noticed how easily some of your friends get hacked? With a reputable website hosting agency, you’re going to have much better security on a website than you will with Facebook.
Control over features
Here I go talking about control again! But this is important. Facebook’s business pages change how they work, and their functions often break. All you can do is wait it out. I’ve also noticed that features and details that are available on the desktop version are not available in the Facebook app and vice versa. For example, I usually can’t view a restaurant’s menu on the Facebook app. If you’re a restaurant and relying on Facebook as your website, I have to ask how this is not a problem for you?
Remember when I said that a Facebook page subbing for a real website can be a deal-breaker for me? I’m not alone. If all you have is a Facebook page you spent 20 minutes creating, it can damage your credibility. Are you experienced? Are you professional? Will you be reliable? Don’t let these questions come up simply because you decided you couldn’t afford to have a real website. If anything, I would say that you can’t afford to not have a real website.
It’s not one or the other
You might be thinking at this point, “geesh! This woman really hates Facebook.” Quite the opposite. I love Facebook and it’s a key tool for me. But that’s it. It’s a tool that I use in conjunction with my real website.
A website and your other forms of content marketing (including social media) must work together to help you reach your goals. Each platform has a purpose and it’s not fair to expect Facebook to be a website. It’s just not built for that purpose.
Ready to get that website?
You’re in luck. And in the right place. I can connect you with a variety of website professionals and, in some cases, can manage the project for you so you only have a single point of contact. Already have a website company? Let me know if you need help expressing your vision with words.