The very fact that you have got interested by this article may suggest that you may already have your company’s page on Facebook. Such a page is a precious feature and has its advantages. However, it is not very efficient when it comes to winning new customers; it is not cabable of all the things a business owner would expect. Nowadays, 50% of the entries on Facebook come from the mobile channel, while 74% of mobile users use regular search engines to find information about your business via their mobile devices.
But you have probably started to notice these dependencies. You created the account quickly and, what is even more important, free of charge. You have, probably, 600 likes; you upload pictures, website links and try to interact with your fans to keep the page live and active. Although you get pretty involved and receive some feedback, you might probably feel that it is not exactly what you expect. Is your business growing thanks to this page? Are your actual outcome, sales and generated leads really based on this Facebook profile? Together with our friends who run their business page on Facebook, just like you, we have analyzed what they really need and why it is better to invest $6 a month for having a professional mobile website.
1.Not everyone can see you
There are 7 billion people in the world and about 2.4 billion use the Internet. 1.1 billion of these users are attracted to use Facebook monthly. The fact that Facebook is a huge, next after Google, social network is out of the question. Your friends and competitors have a Facebook profile. Some people even create an account for their favourite pets! But that does not mean everybody is logged into Facebook. After some simple mathematical operations you can see that about 60% of the Internet users do not use this website.
So what about the large number of people who perform their research via mobile search engines? Even if they find you, they need to log in or register in order to contact your business. If all the common websites demanded logging in or creating an account only to view their content, they would not be efficient at all. To be strict, users are able to get more quickly to your competitor’s web page that it would take them to log in to Facebook just to see your profile. And they are more likely to do that, especially when they are just an occasional user.
On one hand, when you rely on a Facebook page as your main means of communication with potential customers, you are like the XVIIIth century Japan for European ships – you alienate yourself from many interactions. And a mobile website, on the other hand, is a reliable tool which everybody can view and everybody may interact with while researching.
2.Not All of Your Fans See Your Posts
Another misleading aspect of Facebook’s “business prospects” is the actual number of people that really see your posts when you have already gained a considerable group of fans. As a result of changes in Facebook algorithm most of your reach is on the decline. A study by Social@Ogilvy reported that organic reach has declined to 6 percent, a decline of 49 percent from peak levels in In other words, if you don’t pay Facebook to boost your content through advertising, you can expect an average of six people to see your content for every 100 fans you have.
In order to get some people like your Facebook page, you need to promote it on by various means. You can try the inefficient way of using the Facebook social plugin on your own website. The gain will be rather small, so you may try then paying Facebook for putting ads of your company’s Facebook website. The more you pay the more fans you will get – as simple as that. But, as some people have already experienced by themselves, the successful growth of the audience and potential customers will not be that satisfying. Why? Because you will be very surprised to notice that only a small percent of all the people who liked your page actually see and read your posts.
Source: Study by Social@Ogilvy : Facebook Zero: Considering Life After the Demise of Organic Reach
Facebook provides another solution of “promoting” your posts, so that they will reach a wider audience. Everything is fine… but you must pay two times to get one action done. Instead of a customer database, Facebook provides you a stream of people in which you must, then, fish for actual customers. So if you are not boosting your content through advertising you can expect an average of six people to see your content for every 100 fans you have.
3.Limited search visibility
Here, let us analyze an example. Starbucks has a Facebook page – that is certain – but now try to enter “Starbucks” in the search engine. Ok, now try “best coffee Chicago”. What you have probably noticed is that in the case of the second search there have been no Facebook-related results. So, if someone is looking for your business by name they will easily find your Facebook page. However, you cannot expect that all the potential customers will type the exact name of your business. Some of them, so the potential customers who do not know your company but search for a certain type of products or services, type some broad definitions e.g. “best Thai restaurant London” or “plumber Chicago”. In such cases, you Facebook page will not be displayed. It is a real disadvantage, since it is quite significant for you to keep finding new customers.
Even if they do manage to find your Facebook with the search engine, it is still a small per cent of the overall number of results. Your Facebook profile is only one page, while having a mobile website gives you several pages with dedicated keywords. You have the home page that performs the role of your landing page, but also your subpages serve as the source for search engine results i.e. the subpage on your products, the subpage with the contact information. You have a wide scope of information that the mobile users can find when you have a mobile website. When you rely on Facebook page, the potential customers may not find you at all when they search for your type of business.
4.You May be Perceived Not Professional
Nowadays, a business lacking in a company website is perceived unbusinesslike. Let us be honest, people will not refer to you as a professional company if you neglect the best online advertisement tool – your website. A secure online presence is the key of being pro. Moreover, Facebook does not provide too much of a possibility when it comes to your branding branding. All you can do is setting your profile picture, avatar etc. Your website is your image, when people visit your page, they see what you want them to see, and if they notice lack of “individuality” and even lack of your own domain (since all your Facebook pages are part of the Facebook domain only) they are likely to give up and go on to other companies.
5. You Are Limited
You have no influence on the Policy of Facebook and the changes it undergoes. You cannot upload anything you want – not all types of pictures will be accepted by Facebook and not all of the image formats are available. Policies and technical requirements of Facebook are constantly being changed so you have to always be up to date and it costs you money as well.
Summing up then, having a Facebook business page is a good start, but you cannot rely on it as your main form of communication with the customers. Your goal is to attract more potential customers directly from the search engine. You need to be aware that mobile users and their local searches are becoming more and more significant. About 40% of the overall number of mobile searches are of local character and this number is constantly increasing. Thus, consumers who depend on their mobile devices when searching for local services and goods are a considerable opportunity for local businesses.
This post was originally published on ActiveMobi.