So You Have Facebook, Do You Still Need a Website?

Ernie Black, WebmasterNo doubt Facebook is powerful, and your company, however large or small, should be on Facebook. And you should have a Twitter feed. And don’t forget Pinterest, Tumblr, and all the other great social media out there today. So with all this, do you still need your own destination website?

In a word, yes. Or rather, in a word, Branding. Image. Your website is your online presence, your best opportunity to develop your Brand online, with the look and feel and features that reflect what you do. On Facebook, every page pretty much looks the same: different photos and text, sure, and you can build specific tabs for your Twitter profile, YouTube channel, and even open an F-Commerce store to sell your products, but all with the same generic Facebook look and feel. But on your own website, you control the layout, the choice and positioning of graphics, the features you want to display, and more. Compare any company’s Facebook page to their unique website, and the difference is immediate and striking. Yes, you need a Facebook presence, but to build your brand, you also need your own website.

The second big reason for your own website: it’s yours. You own the content and the data. If–or rather, when–Facebook decides to make a major change in how things are done on Facebook (like they’ve never done this before), you have no recourse but to go along with the changes. And if they decide for whatever reason to close your page, you’re lost. Most important, if you’re gathering data and building a database of your users, customers, products, events, etc., on your site that database is yours, not Facebook’s. (Yes, you should backup your data on a regular basis and keep it safely in a separate location, but it’s yours.)

You want another reason? SEO: Search Engine Optimization. If your website is built with SEO in mind, then you have a better chance to be found in the top search engine results on Google, Bing, or Yahoo. This is a big topic, deserving separate discussion, but just Google SEO to learn more.

There’s lots more you can do with your own database: create forms for user input and interactivity; promote your products; promote other websites; connect to your YouTube channel, Twitter, Tumblr, and, yes, Facebook; blog to build more interest and traffic; create a forum for discussion groups; and so much more.

So the short answer is, yes, you still need your own website. And yes, you still need to take advantage of Facebook and other Social Media. It’s not either/or, it’s both.