Early in 2011, the commercial director of Facebook in the U.K. predicted that, soon, we will no longer need our own websites. His rationale? Facebook will be so integrated into the web that businesses, even major companies with a huge web presence, will abandon their own website in favor of the social.
Social media is more ingrained in our lives than ever, and I’ll be the first to admit I often look to the content on a brand’s social media profiles before I do their website, mainly because social media is easier to update. Enhanced functions like shop are now fully integrated with Facebook and Instagram, allowing for a good amount of interaction and conversions without leaving the platform. Include the in-app browser that keeps you on the platform even when clicking a link and it’s true, Facebook can function much like a website.
You can see with these features their hope, and their plan, is to eventually create a platform that will keep users contained within its walls, complete with branded stores where users can purchase goods and where content is organized around our social connections.
We’re getting there, but we’re not there yet and I’m not convinced we will get there any time soon. Here’s why I recommend keeping your website, or investing in one if you don’t have one yet.
We Have Control Issues
I don’t know about you, but I’m uncomfortable putting my entire online presence business in the hands of a third party like Facebook or Twitter, one over which I have no control. Think about how often these platforms have changed their features, terms of service, and user experience. Every time that happens, users have the “where’s my stuff” reaction when logging in to find the page rearranged and functions changed. I’ve had people contact me in genuine distress, not able to find the photos, status updates, or pages they depend on for keeping in touch with friends and brands. Do you want your website subject to the whims of Facebook’s developers?
Thieves and Scammers
Also, your page can be deleted or stolen if a page admin is tricked by a phishing scheme (read about that here) or if a disgruntled employee decides to do damage on the way out of the door. I’ve spent hours helping clients get their pages back in this situation, and I would hate to think of the consequences for them if their entire online presence was confined to these platforms.
Your page can also be wrongly flagged by Facebook’s bots, mistaking your fully compliant posts or ads with posts that violate their policies. I’ve had this happen multiple times as they roll out code to force compliance with anti-discrimination lawsuits and disinformation campaigns. It can sure throw a scare into you when you see that your page may be deleted due to “violations” you haven’t committed.
We Have Trust Issues
Due to the many trust issues around these platforms in the news lately, there are lots of users out there who may be uncomfortable entering payment or lead capture information directly into a social media platform. Many will, don’t get me wrong, but it is good to have a website where they can complete these actions as well.
Are you ready to give up your business website? If not, I can help build you an easy to maintain website and connect your social profiles, or create them for you!
Let’s get started. Contact me today.