I was recently talking with a potential client and they brought up the point that they had a Facebook page and that seemed like enough, they didn't really need a website. With the popularity of Facebook this is a valid point, however there are many downfalls to just using Facebook if you want to be successful with your online marketing. I will cover my response and some recent studies on Facebook and business.
Your Business Image
Facebook is definitely an important part of your online image but if you want to be taken more seriously you need a website. It tells your clients or potential clients that you are serious. Facebook is full of distractions and people see tons of different ads, posts, and media. It is really hard to say if they really see your post...and with studies organic post reach (how much people see your ad without paying for promotion from facebook) is on the decline. I will cover some of this later in the article. Furthermore, sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor prefer website links easily link to content such as menus, pricing, and/or available services.
Control your content
A website allows for you to control all your content. Many people post pictures on facebook of Menus or their services but it is hard to direct clients to that photo. With a website you a URL that you can easily share if a client calls and wants to see what you offer. Facebook is very restrictive on what you can post and how it looks like. With a website you have all the creative control to make pages and post and customize them exactly how you want to portray your business. All facebook pages look the same, it's kinda like back in the 90s having a old Yahoo page or geocities page. They just look stale and cookie cutter. Furthermore, when you post on Facebook, they now own your content to certain point... here's a quote from the user agreement you agreed to when you signed up.
“…you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License)…
So protect your content and use links to your website in order post to your Facebook and other social media outlets.
Facebook is only one part of your online marketing
If you're just using Facebook you are missing out on a large deal of the online community and decreasing your search-ability. You need to maximize your online presence with multiple social media sites which all lead back to your website. A website is a hub for all your social media pages to link back to, where you have the ultimate control over how people see your business.
Tools to increase your clientele
Facebook may be a great way to interact with people but website allow you to engage clients in a whole new way. Websites allow for you to make email mailing lists where you can collect essential data for sending targeted marketing right to your client's inbox. Want to send a coupon a week before their birthday, with a mailing list sign up with the correct data this can be automated, Facebook just doesn't come close. Think of Facebook and other social media as a party. Everyone who is someone is there but it's hard for everyone to interact in a targeted way. You want to find everyone that are military veterans so you can send them special offers honoring their service around 4th of July, that's pretty difficult on Facebook, you just have to post and hope they see it. With a website with a mailing list you can collect this data, and since they proved this data, they are already interested and maybe just one email is what it take to get them to visit your business or contract for you for services.
But back to my statement, "post and hope they see it"...well this is the big problem with only using Facebook. Organic post reach is on the decline... So many businesses are using Facebook that everyone feeds are filled with Ads, Offers, Cat Pictures, and all kinds of other things that push your business's posts off of their new feeds.
Recent stats and studies show the following:
Too Many posts out there for people to be engaged with your post (FACEBOOK)
From 2012 to 2014, it went from 16.00% to 6.51%, a 60% decline in post reach (EdgeRank)
Your going have to pay if you want people to see your ad... Here is the stats of organic reaches vs Facebook stock prices.(Convince and Convert)
However, there are some subjectivity to these but I will let you do some of your own research to get the real picture of what people are calling the "Reachpocalypse".
With this said, I believe there valids points for only having a Facebook page but if you are serious with your business...you must not only have Facebook but a website as well as many other of the social media outlets.