There are many small local businesses that choose to forego a website, and they do their business marketing on Facebook instead; but is it a smart move? It can be fine for the local home services business or specialty retailer relying mostly or completely on local walk-in business. The family owned landscaping business can do well with a Facebook business page, as can the bakery or shoe repair shop.
The decision to use Facebook as a primary web business presence is often due to the free nature of the platform, the business owner’s personal familiarity with it, and a hesitation to commit to building and maintaining an independent business website. For some businesses Facebook can be a comfortable, economical, and successful way to attract and service customers.
If your business is trying to make this decision, or if you have a Facebook business page and think you may attract more business with your own website, don’t let technology turn you off. You don’t need a staff of web designers, programmers, etc. You can do this on your own or with the help of any techie-oriented family member or friend. The ideal situation is to let Facebook act as leverage for a business website. Combining the two is an ideal solution.
WordPress for Business
There are two ways in which to use WordPress for a business website:
- Free site and hosting through WordPress.com.
- Paid hosting using free WordPress software.
WordPress is open source and free software, so either way, you don’t spend anything for the use of WordPress as your site platform. The difference is in how much you can do with it.
Free hosting through WordPress.com gets you a working website with lots of functionality, and that may be enough for your business. An example would be a freelance writer, programmer, or a professional who wants to showcase their services and use the site as a form of resume. Where WordPress.com sites fall short is in the many features not available for free. While you can pay for upgrades, it’s going to cost at least as much as taking the self-hosted route.
The open source nature of WordPress means that other developers can create plugins and themes for WordPress. Tens of thousands of these independent developers have created themes that set up the look and feel of WordPress sites, and plugins that add functionality and features. If you can think of something you want to do on your business site, there is almost certainly a plugin that can make it happen.
There are more than 55,000 plugins in the official WordPress plugin repository. That’s the tip of the iceberg, as there are more not listed there but offered by developers. From making the site faster and better SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, to complete ecommerce solutions, there is almost always a plugin to get your desired job done.
The way to access these themes and plugins for a much more powerful site is to pay for your own hosting provider. There are many that specialise in one-click WordPress software installation once you’ve set up your hosting account. Some of the most popular include:
Hosting for most startup business WordPress sites can be found for under £100/year from many hosting services. With the free WordPress software installed, you’re off to the races. It surprises many to learn that some of the largest business websites they visit or patronise are using WordPress.
Leverage with Facebook
Once you have your website up and filled with great content about what you do or sell, as well as lead capture or sales functions, you can leverage your reach with Facebook. Every existing and new content item you publish on your website can be “headline posted” on Facebook. What’s a headline posting? It’s a teaser post on Facebook with a title and text that introduces your page, article, or website post and links to it from Facebook.
At the same time you’re working SEO and PPC, Pay Per Click, marketing for your website, you’re also reaching your sphere of influence through Facebook. Over time you’ll be pleased with this approach and the business it will deliver.
Need a Hand?
Promoting your business via Facebook and your own website will be the best way to maximise reach, but we do know that it can be a lot to handle if you’re a growing business. If you need any help, or advice, give Talks a shout. Psst… we don’t bite.