The very short answer is NO. A Facebook page is not a website.
Every once in a while I see people that write their Facebook business page as their website. Most of them don’t have a website and their Facebook page is the next best thing. Except, it’s not.
You don’t own a Facebook page. Facebook owns it, Facebook owns its followers and Facebook owns its content. They can decide tomorrow that a business needs to pay $5 for each new post they make to their business pages. They already did something similar a few years ago, when they decided that only a small percent of the people who liked a page will see the new posts of that page in their news feed, unless the page owner decided to promote the content to reach a broader audience. That broader audience was already.
A Facebook page is a very limited canvas and doesn’t offer you the freedoms that a website does. Freedoms like multiple images inside the article, where they make sense based on the content, instead of a messy gallery above the whole text. The ability to format your text in whatever way you like and to add subheadings to make it more readable. Freedoms like building custom functionality: inline contact forms, custom prices/requirements calculators, media embeds and many more.
Is a Facebook page useless?
No, not really. A Facebook page is not as powerful marketing tool as it was a few years ago, but it still holds some weight. They tend to appear pretty high in search results and they are a strong indicator of the size and quality of a company. Facebook page likes and recommendations still weight pretty much in the eyes of the customers.
Why have a website?
This question deserves an entire post, but in short, here are some good reasons to opt for a proper website for your business:
- you have full control over content and audience (trough SEO and newsletters);
- you have full control over the structure, functionality and features;
- using a Facebook page as a website is a little bit unprofessional;
- you can promote a website through multiple social media channels, while a Facebook page might be rejected.
Expanding a little on the SEO mentioned earlier, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. One major factor in SEO was and will always be the number and quality of backlinks a page receives from third parties. People will more likely to link to a content that’s written on a proper website than to content from a Facebook post.
A website is the only proven way to rank in search engines’ results for keywords other than your business name.
When and how to use Facebook to promote your business?
Facebook’s entire design revolves around the idea of new and temporary content. You rarely stumble upon old content on Facebook, unless it’s a memory shared. Most of the Facebook’s content in your news feed is new, recently posted and soon to disappear in the fog. If you write a piece of content that you want to be found months or even years after you publish it, try another medium.
When you want to post an update on a new or upcoming feature, event or change, Facebook might just be the perfect place for that. Thanks to the huge number of members and the easy of sharing, your content has the chance of reaching a large number of people in a short period of time. But keep in mind that it will fade out even faster.
You should have a proper website to promote your services and a Facebook page to promote your updates. They go hand in hand and each of them has its own benefits that complements the other one.