I’m teaching two classes for Albemarle County adult education. The first one is called “Getting Started with Facebook” and it deals with Facebook basics. It will cover how to create, use and manage a personal Facebook page. I will also cover privacy settings, the Facebook timeline, social media etiquette and security. Thursday February 27, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Room 113, Albemarle High School. The course # is 4052 and the fee is $19. This is a “hands on” course, so students must bring their own fully charged laptop. Please call (434) 975-9450 with questions.
Why do you have a website? For self-expression? To make money? To share information about your organization, business, or some other subject that’s important?
I run into people all the time who tell me that they don’t need to invest in a website, because after all, Facebook is free, and it serves the same purpose. That’s true, but there are some points to consider before making it the only means of representing your company on the internet:
You don’t own your Facebook page — You are at the mercy of Facebook’s whims when it comes to what you can and can’t do with your site. Facebook currently governs what you can say, and what pictures and apps you can have on your site, and to some extent, where you’re allowed to put them. Facebook policies and technical specifications change frequently and staying ahead of the learning curve can cost time and money.
Facebook reaches a limited audience — You customers will only know about your page if they’re on Facebook.
It can be challenging to keep information current — If someone wants to refer to information you made a post you made last year, they may have a hard time finding it. There are many times when I’ve gotten frustrated with FB pages that make me hunt around for information that I need (when and where a musical act will be appearing, for example). More often than not, I’ve gotten tired of looking and just found something else (on a website with a calendar of events and/or searchable posts) to do with my time (and money).
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) issues — You want people to be able to find your site when they look on Google, bing, or some other search engine. Studies show that most people will stop looking at listings before the 3rd page, so where your site comes up can be important.
You can make money on your own site — While you may make money on sales from people who see your page on Facebook and decide to do business with you, the big difference is that you can set up an e-commerce section on your website and make money from products that you sell or from ads that you run for other companies’ services. You don’t have any control over the sponsored ads that show up as visitors are viewing your Facebook page.
While the two aren’t mutually exclusive, customers still prefer websites.