When you have a business, it is a good idea to have an online presence, like a website, and perhaps a few social media sites.
Your website doesn’t have to be big and flashy with moving images and music, but it should have basic details that someone may be interested to know:
- Business name
- What you do/provide/etc
- How can you be contacted
- Location plus opening & closing times if you have a physical location
I was sitting in traffic recently, behind a car that was branded really nicely with the owner’s business (I think it was mobile pet grooming), but when I looked for the web address, there was a long-winded FACEBOOK address, that I forgot as soon as they moved off and some random @hotmail address.
Now there is nothing wrong with having a Facebook business page. We have one. Many people do. But that is not our main thing. It’s all about our website, http://www.thesoapcabin.co.uk. For us, Facebook is mainly for publicising the events we will be at, photographs of our products, sharing articles, news and fun stuff and pointing people to our website, shop and blog. These days it is soooooo easy to create your own website using platforms such as WordPress 🙂 or Moonfruit to name just two, and you can design it in your own unique style, or use an existing free template. It’s not like the days where I was sat down at a desk with ‘Learn HTML’ trying to figure out how to script a website on Afro Hair. (Actually, I still have those files on Floppy Disk LOL).
On quite a few occasions I have been interested in a small business I have come across, but when I search for them online, all I’ve found is a Facebook page which hasn’t been updated in 4 years, and there aren’t any apparent contact details, which leads me to wonder if the business is still in existence.
In that sense, Facebook can actually end up being bad publicity for your business if you don’t update it regularly, or respond to posts quickly enough. With a website, once the information is up, it can stay as it is until you want to update it again. (However, this is not true of blogs, which will also reveal that you haven’t written anything recently).
Facebook is also a huge pond for both big and small fish and a place to get easily distracted onto other things. I have ‘liked’ several friends’ business pages on Facebook, but it doesn’t really make me visit their page, their posts are rarely high up on my newsfeed and I’ve never purchased anything through Facebook, plus not sure I want to. If anything, it becomes another one in a long list of social noise.
Likes do not necessarily translate into sales.
Facebook also controls how many people see your business page posts, so if you want a guarantee of big views, you’re going to have to cough up the cash to ‘boost’ or promote your post. I heard it was something like only 15% of people* will see your posts otherwise. You are also at the mercy of their constant privacy changes, layout changes and other tweaks. Or they could just pull the plug one day…
If you really want to get some extra publicity and genuine interest, start a blog, chat about what you do and get people looking at your website.
I know I am a bit of a rebel, and people have been getting on at me lately about Whatsapp (Whatsthat?), but I feel really passionate about this – stop relying on Zuckerberg to do the work for you!