You’re hungry but you only have 20 minutes for lunch - you Google “food near me” - a Facebook fan page pops up with a local burger joint about 2 miles - You also see another restaurant that offers online ordering on their website that’s five miles away. Which do you pick?
It seems like an easy question in some cases. Some people may ask if the burger joint has call-ahead ordering or even has a menu on their Facebook fan page. Some people may just choose the restaurant with the website for convenience. But as a business owner, how do you know which to choose for your potential customers?
We could give you a simple answer and just say, “You need both,” but when the price can sometimes be out of the budget, you need to know which to prioritize. We’re going to take a quick walk through some things to consider when you’re choosing which platform to prioritize and focus your investments.
Person, online business, or storefront?
Don’t think too hard about this one. If you’re a real estate agent, you most likely already have a company you work with who has a website. If you’re an online business, chances are high that you need a website. If you’re a restaurant or brick and mortar storefront, that’s when things get muddy. Focus on your immediate needs to serve your audience. Facebook is very limited in how they serve certain businesses so make sure to know what you’re getting into.
You will most likely not need a large scale website upon opening unless you are focused on online sales. You may need a website if you know you’ll have even just 50+ visitors a day. If you’re a local store or restaurant with just one location, you may be able to start with a Facebook page and do just fine.
Consider how often you will be posting content, specials, or updates. This doesn’t just go for how frequently these things occur, but how much you’re planning on “giving” to the chosen platform. Websites aren’t “consistent content” focused and can still benefit you by just making weekly or even monthly updates.
Who’s your audience? This sounds like an obscure question, but if your audience is predominantly 18-24-year-olds, maybe social media is the place to stay. If your audience is predominantly 50-65-year-olds, websites establish credibility and build reliability since they’ll always know where to find you.
If you only have a budget of $50, chances are a Facebook page would be the best starting point. Most well-done website designs will range from $1,000 to over $5,000 depending on who you’re working with. Though fan pages are great economically, if you can stretch for a well-designed site, it will be well worth the money.
Level of Control
This is often people’s deciding factor in where they start. There is only so much you can do with Facebook since it’s still someone else’s website. Unlike MySpace (RIP) you can’t customize your layout colors, fonts, or even some of the action flow for what you want your audience to do. Though Facebook is doing its best to catch up, websites win this category. Websites give you total control, allowing you to integrate third-party apps and incorporate your branding at a whole other level.
The decision is yours! We’ve worked with businesses of all sizes to build online presences that work best for them. Whether that’s a fan page, website, or something else, know there are people like us who are happy to help. You can book a free, no-obligation consultation call with our digital marketing team to get started and help navigate which direction to go.