Can I Run a Business with Just a Facebook Page?
Everyone is on Facebook. For many people, their Facebook profile may be the main way people can find them online. So it doesn’t take much of a stretch to apply the same mentality when it comes to a business. After all, having a Facebook page is a relatively straightforward and inexpensive way of being able to be found online, to make sure someone searching for you has the information they need to contact you and use your services. So, can you run a business with just a Facebook page?
Understanding Online Presence
The first part to understand is the idea of your business’s online presence and how vital it is. People go online to find businesses: either to locate the ideal service to use, or to check out reviews of a location before entering. When they type in the name of your business into a search engine such as Google, what that search engine returns is a representation of your online presence. These web pages are usually created one of three ways:
- Deliberate Online Presence: These are examples of online presences you create yourself. Examples include a Facebook Page, a website, or any other page that you purposefully create for your business.
- Incidental Online Presence: These are pages that are created for your business without your input or direct approval. The most common of these are entries on listing or review sites. For example, if someone wanted to review you on Yelp, if you didn’t already have a Yelp page, one would be created for you.
- Paid Online Presence: Search engines also come with sponsored results – search results that are paid for by an advertiser. You can learn more about Google’s version, Google AdWords, right here: Search Engine Advertising (Google AdWords).
Interestingly, a Facebook page can start either as a page you create or if someone reviews or “checks-in” to your location. Like with most incidental online presences, you’re able to claim these business pages, though sometimes you have to provide proof that you own the business.
The Problems with Just a Facebook Page
You can put a lot of love, time, and energy into a Facebook page. Custom banners, galleries of images, daily content distribution, and interactions with your page’s fans can all go a long way to bring in customers to your business. However, it’s important to keep the downsides to the “just a Facebook page” model in mind.
You Don’t Own Your Facebook Page
This is probably the most important thing to remember: at the end of the day, Facebook is the one that actually owns your page. As such, it’s subject to their whims. A good example is the decline of organic reach (non-sponsored) on Facebook when it comes to fans not seeing posts made on business pages. Likewise, if Facebook decides to suspend or remove your page, there’s virtually nothing you can do about it.
A Facebook Page Has Limitations
Depending on your business, you might find some severe limitations when it comes to using your own Facebook page. Unlike with a website, you can’t configure everything you need, and instead need to work within the framework of Facebook. You may also find yourself limited to basic technology when your business may require advanced functionality.
All of Your Data is Facebook’s Data
Every form filled, every Facebook Message, all the information that you see, Facebook sees as well. Many customers and businesses that want to work with you would be wary of doing so over a third party’s website. It’s a question of security as much as it is propriety.
Maybe It’s Time to Get a Website
Having a website takes time and money, just like running a brick and mortar business. It allows you to have a place to call your own, your own piece of online real estate, where you aren’t bound by a third party’s limitations. It helps legitimize your business and your online interactions with your client, from having domain emails to a secure way of getting information and payment from your customers.
Interested in learning more? Contact Vision Advertising. We understand both website design and development and social media marketing and can help you balance both and create something greater than the two parts.