Roundtable Q&A: Website Design vs. Facebook Pages for Business
Firstly, I would like to thank everyone that attended our first - ever Marketing Roundatble, where we shared questions and answers and experiences about Website Design and how social media channels affect our online presence.
As promised, I will be writing over the next few days about some of the questions that were asked and sent in. I'd also like to mention that you should look out for our next marketing roundtable where we will be discussing more in-depth factors that affect your business and its growth.
So, without further ado, let's visit the topic question for today's post.
Website Design v. Facebook Pages
An interesting question that was asked during our roundtable was in regard to using Facebook as opposed to a Website for garnering leads from the Internet. Question:
It's an excellent question - after all, Website Design costs more money (whereas Facebook is 'free') and Websites cost money to upkeep - so the barriers are higher. Plus, most people in your community are on Facebook, so why not just chat with them more readily there? Let's review the options.
Facebook offers quite the relational tool for your online presence. At Switch, we like to speak of this channel as a brand awareness platform - somewhere you can speak briefly to bring attention to your marketing efforts. It is an awesome place to grab feedback from customers, interact with recent "transactions" with your clients and a place where some of your loyal fan base will be unashamedly honest.
It is also a place where people can "prompt" communication with their friends on your page. By saying this, I am referring to activity that happens when people like and share your content. So people can rally behind something they believe in.
All this being said, Facebook is great for that 'flash in the pan' communication and Market Research - where businesses can really find out about the hearts of people. It is a great way to tune in to your community. With the advent of Social Search, we should be keenly aware of what people are saying and what people are hearing about our Brand. A focal point for having Facebook Presence is to draw awareness to (and offer insight to) relational and social issues that people care about.
If your Facebook Business Page isn't achieving the results it's intended for, then maybe it is time to revisit its purpose and goals - and be sure that Facebook can answer those needs. We must always remember, Facebook isn't about Credibilty as much as it's about Popularity. More on that in a future post!
Website Design That Works
Our flagship service this year - Website Design That Works - is an earmark and a challenge for businesses to rethink their Online strategy. We believe in a world where purposeful Website Design can be an integral asset to businesses in need of a strong online presence. With that being said, let's go over some of the takeaways when considering your Website.
The true purpose of having a website is to have a physical location on the web that you can call your own. This virtual location needs to reflect a particular aspect of your business and your brand overall. Social Media outlets have tried to accommodate brands in this regard by allowing for large "cover photos" and Profile Pics to determine the message the Brand is projecting. There is one catch though; it's still a Facebook Page, so it is precisely Facebook that is given credibility. While your message be heard amongst the constituency that validate your presence, Facebook soaks up all the credit while your individual posts run with popularity.
Think about it practically - If you were trying to sell your services at someone else's party, wouldn't you just be that weird guy in the corner that doesn't stop talking about yourself? It doesn't inherently make you credible, as much as it makes you full of yourself. There is no greater place to build credibility than on your own website.
Brand Centric Website Design
True 'Brand Centric' Website Design does however satisfy the need of building credibility online - especially if your SEO is done well. By associating your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) with your branding, you begin to gain the trust of users that find your website and the trust of Search Engines for the content related to your industry.
Indeed, this is far better in the long run, especially since the content is embedded in the history of your site and adds value to your domain over the years. Facebook just doesn't add this sort of value, as it is more of a tool to direct people to where your brand focused content resides.
You Need Both
In this evolving age where content is key, you'll need a strategy for both mediums to be truly effective in your efforts. Facebook is just a piece of the Social Sphere and even further, it is a niche client persona that you will need to dedicate your efforts for. But it is of the utmost importance to lead your customers to a place where you can capture a qualified lead and then convert them into a customer. If you are an adherent to Website Design That Works, then you understand this principle and are utilising a method that allows your website to be the centralised focal point of your online marketing.
Make sure it connects to where your customers engage and make sure it brings in qualified leads that help the sales process to flow naturally.
Have a great weekend!