The number of active business pages on Facebook is increasing exponentially. This comes as a natural result of the way Facebook works.

Creating a Facebook account and a business page is free of charge, does not require any special skills or coding knowledge, the setup is very easy and it takes less than ten minutes. As a result, a lot of small business owners put on the side the effort of building or maintaining a website and rely on what the most popular social media network can give them at no cost.

But here’s the question:

Is a Facebook page enough to replace a business website and represent online the business?

Let’s try to find an answer to that question.

Not everyone has a Facebook account

Let's suppose that you run a restaurant in your town and your online presence is relying solely on Facebook. A potential client has heard about your services and the great quality of your food from a friend and decided to give you a phone call. He says: “I need to book a space for a party but I live to the countryside. It is a bit hard for me to visit your space. Is there any way to see some photos of your space in order to make some decisions on the decoration?”
And you answer back: “Sure, we have a lot of photos of our space on our Facebook business page.”
“Oh, but you know, I don’t use Facebook. Actually I don’t like Facebook at all!”
What are you going to do in this case? Lose a potential client? Ask him to login on Facebook using a friend’s account in order to access your page? Send him your material via email?
Whatever you think to do in this case, in the client’s mind there is already one thought: “Unprofessionalism! This business doesn't seem to be a serious one!”
With your own website though, you would have provided your website’s link to the client and either he has a Facebook account or not, would not affect your business or your level of professionalism.

Facebook’s algorithm and policy for pages are changing regularly

You are forced to agree and accept these changes in order to keep using Facebook and its features, either you like them or not. In simple words this means that your business success depends on any changes Facebook makes. This can get really frustrating since these Facebook shifts can sometimes harm a business page’s visibility in people’s news feeds. If the amount of people who see your Facebook page reduces, then there will be less interaction between visitors and your page, thus your potential clients and sales will also reduce.

A Facebook page cannot be considered as your business’s identity

Since your page is a subdomain of another network controlled by someone else, then the page that just happens to have your business’s name remains a property of that network. Of course you are able to brand your Facebook Page using your company logo and customize your page's cover photo, but the overall branding is Facebook's branding. Business identity means something unique. Various pages having the same structure, design, colors and information look similar and ordinary, not original and unique. In addition, no one can guarantee that the ownership of the page will remain in your possession forever. Legally and based on Facebook terms of service, if you have chosen a username or identifier for your account or page and a trademark owner complains about it, they reserve the right to remove or reclaim it.

Social media networks evolve quickly, but also have an expiration date

Take as an example MySpace which was popular but began to die around 2008. It is a fact that there is no platform that will hold people’s interest forever. People can shift to a new technology that offers new experiences and even Facebook can die. If you rely only on Facebook or any other social media network for your online presence and start calling your social media page ‘a website’, this is quite dangerous. Let’s suppose that you have been uploading for years all your material on Facebook. Suddenly Facebook for a reason shuts down, or the users stop using it, or the owners ask for a monthly or yearly membership fee in order to let you keep using Facebook. In this case all your material will remain locked within a platform or vanish overnight. You don't need to worry about this concept if you have a dedicated business website which enables you to build your brand and completely control your content. For as long as there is an internet, your website will be accessible to visitors.

Facebook is for free, but reaching out new people is paid

In order to increase your likes and reach new people, you need to sponsor some ads on Facebook. Various studies have shown that in order to run some successful campaigns, the ideal budget is at least $10-$15 per day. In the end of the day, if you multiply $15 with 30 days per month for 12 months per year, the ideal yearly budget you will need to maintain and grow a Facebook page will be much more than the yearly budget a website requires for hosting and maintenance services.

A dedicated website has Search Engines on its side

Despite the fact a Facebook page is discoverable via search engines; it doesn’t provide a full SEO control as a dedicated website. For this reason search engines can’t index a Facebook page efficiently.

Having a website is still considered the norm

The lack of a website can harm your business’s prestige and reduce your clients’ trust. The existence of a website reflects professionalism and a wide range of people decide to cooperate or buy if and only if the content they read on the website is persuasive and delivered effectively.

In conclusion, a website is not just a good practice but a must for a serious business. A Facebook page should be used as an alternative for a business’s online presence and not as a website. In case you don’t own a website, think of building a small website that is able to extend and grow on time. There are fresh and economic solutions and with the help of some building tools it is a bit hard to get a bad website today. You will need to invest a couple of hundreds of dollars yearly for hosting and maintenance services, but this is a worthy investment since the benefits of a website are significant. In case you have a website and you are thinking of ditching it and use only Facebook for your online presence, then rethink your decision because the truth is that a Facebook page can never replace a traditional website. Keep using Facebook in order to exposure your brand through a popular social media network, but never rely solely on it to serve your clients and business objectives.