In the business world today, a strong digital presence is deemed necessary for the successful takeoff of a business. Small business owners need to be conscious of where they spend their marketing budget. In order to determine the right channel of marketing and advertising, it is important for business owners or prospective business owners to go back to the drawing board and determine their product(s) and service(s), their target audience i.e. their age, marital status, income, religion/values, the location, the budget and other factors pertaining the business. Once all these questions are answered, it becomes easier to pick the most effective advertising strategy. With all this in mind, I am of the opinion that a website is better for advertising and marketing your brand compared to Facebook and here’s why:

1. Ownership

Facebook allows its users to open business pages giving small businesses a chance to market themselves. However, Facebook in itself is a company looking to make money and the users it has, the more money it makes. A website however is more yours than a Facebook page is. You can pick a good and reliable host and use that at a specific fee per year or per month depending on your plan and have that as your own platform, unrestrained and unlimited by apps like Facebook. Therefore, you have more autonomy over a website than you do a Facebook page.

2. Main platform

You ought to view your website as the main platform on which people interact with your business as opposed to a social media page like a Facebook page. Don’t get me wrong, having a Facebook page may enable you to interact with potential customers but it shouldn’t be the main avenue on which you advertise. Social media pages are very instrumental tools that bring traffic to your website which is the main hub of your business. So if you are a prospective business owner looking to set up your business up online, have your website set and well done then open social media pages like a Facebook page, Pinterest and perhaps Instagram depending on your business model. The key is to have these pages bring major traffic to your main office, your website.

3. Websites are informative

You will find that web analytics are more detailed and may offer a wealth of information about your customers compared to Facebook analytics. Site analytics, depending on your host, will tell you how long customers spend on your site, the link or pages they click on, their location and more. Facebook analytics on the other hand will only tell you how many people liked your post and the number of comments. Information offered by website analytics can further help you in developing more in-depth advertising strategies and they help you understand your target audience better. In gaining this understanding, you are able to connect with them and better your sales.

4. Credibility

Having your own website gives you more credibility as opposed to having only a Facebook page. The impression that people have of your business online is of great importance the same way first impressions matter in real life. You want to be able to make a lasting impression on customers visiting your site so that even if they are not buying at that particular moment, the impression they carry of your business lingers longer in their memory. The best thing to achieve this is a well set up website that speaks to its visitors with clarity and focus. A good first impression will make your business memorable and guess what your customers will do when they see your product or service being advertised? They will be more inclined to buy from you thanks to your credibility owing to a good first impression.

5. Conflicting interests and purpose

Facebook was created to connect people and help people interact with people they know or don’t know. More people want to see posts from people they follow, not countless ads. It doesn’t go without saying then that this may not be the best avenue of basing your entire digital presence. Why is this? People are more likely to scroll past annoying ads on Facebook since that is not the major purpose of their usage of the app. Websites however are particularly for this purpose; building your brand and establishing a strong digital presence. Therefore, potential customers are more likely to last a while on your website since their interests and purpose of being on your platform aligns with yours.

Social media pages like Facebook are great but cannot be used in isolation to build a reputable web presence. It is important for a business to have a well setup website. If you are looking to start your business, do your research on a good and reputable webhost, set up your site. After setting it up, your next focus should be to bring traffic to your website. This is where social media comes in. Use Facebook and other social media to have as many people as possible come to the main hub, your website.

By Wanjiru Muhoro | Writer

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