Last Thursday, Facebook suffered its largest outage in history. According to BBC News, Facebook was unavailable around the world for almost 14 hours. With it, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp went down as well. While many of us suffered through the outage by making jokes about how we’ll have to actually talk to people, many businesses suffered by not being able to do business at all. Many of these businesses only had a Facebook presence…and not a dedicated personal website.
Facebook is a critical part of the internet. If Google is the internet’s eyes and ears, then Facebook is the circulatory and nervous system. According to data from SEMRush, Facebook has over 42 billion inbound links coming from over 25 million domains worldwide. Your parents, grandparents, and college roommates are using Facebook. Many businesses rely on Facebook integrations and Facebook marketing as well.
Is Facebook necessary for your business?
That depends on your business. We have dozens of clients who don’t have a social media presence of any kind. Most often, the reason for this is because they don’t have the time to deal with it. For many small businesses, the already-too-busy owner is the marketing department. Their business processes just don’t allow time for writing posts. How many times have you seen a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in a few months? Did you start to wonder if the company went out of business?
If you don’t have the time to actively manage a social media feed, you probably shouldn’t start one. If you do start one, be consistent. One post per month for three months is better than sharing three things over three days and then falling silent.
On the other hand, if your business only has a Facebook page and no website then you’re going to run into problems. As we just learned, Facebook does go down. Even when it’s up and running, people who don’t have Facebook accounts can’t interact with you. This means you don’t exist for the 30% of Americans who don’t use Facebook.
Improving your website or adding website integrations may be a solution.
If your Facebook business page has more traffic than your website does, you may want to consider a simple website refresh that includes adding some website integrations. Many businesses integrate Facebook into their website, but there are features similar to what Facebook has that can be added to your site without having to rely on a Facebook integration.
- Do you use Facebook Messenger to communicate with customers and clients? Maybe you can explore integrating a chat feature right into your site.
- Do you have (or want) a thriving online community of fans or visitors? A forum on your website can bring that level of interactivity directly to your site.
Probably the most effective thing you can do to increase your web presence is start blogging. This not only encourages conversations when linked to social media, it’s also a great way to help with SEO. If your site is built on a CMS like WordPress, you can easily share your blog to any social media platform–not just Facebook.
Social media is an important tool, but don’t let it control your business. Making sure you’re not tied to it is the safest approach.