A great website is an online expression of your image or personality. So it should reflect you – as an individual or as a company – in a way that helps your audience understand where you’re coming from and what you do. I don’t think anyone would argue that the web would be better if every website looked and acted the same. Yet that’s exactly what people and companies do when they only engage with their audience on Facebook. They homogenize themselves, and lose control of the conversation.
When you’re running a small business, there’s never enough time in the day. I certainly understand why time-strapped people choose to prioritize their Facebook presence over their own website. That’s where the eyeballs are and where people are most likely to see what you’re saying – and give you that warm fuzzy “like” or comment. And while Facebook is definitely an essential aspect of having an online presence, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your own website.
The first time you post on Facebook and skip adding the same update to your website, it might feel like a weight was lifted. Maintaining your own website can feel like work,while Facebook makes it feel like fun. It’s right alongside pictures of your friends’ new babies, pets and trips to faraway places…so how could it not be fun? But as times passes and your website content languishes, you’re harming your online persona and reputation. If someone comes to your website and sees that you haven’t updated it in months, they wonder whether you’re still alive. Even worse, if you give them outdated or incorrect information, they’ll form doubts about the quality of your work. If you can’t handle small details, how can you be trusted to handle larger details or projects?
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. There are gobs of tools available to help!. For a lightweight approach, there are plugins for WordPress and other CMS engines to pull in your updates and posts from Facebook, Twitter and friends and bring them back into your own website. That keeps your site feeling fresher so people know you’re alive and find where to interact with you online..
If you can put in a bit more work, there are tools to help you push your website content out to your Facebook page, with a bonus of being able to send your content to Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ simultaneously. With a quick google search, I found more than one consultant or agency to help you build this functionality into your WordPress site. If you’re a band or musician, then tools like Reverbnation let you post upcoming shows, audio and video clips in one place – and have them show up everywhere at once. And similar tools exist for other types of content as well. So, never fear! You’ll find one that works for you and your business.
Ultimately, this boils down to prioritization. There’s only so much you can do in a day, so you’ve got to make hard choices about what you won’t do. The allure of saving time by only updating Facebook is definitely real, but it’s a mistake. Sure, there are lots of people on Facebook, but that’s exactly why it’s a loud and often chaotic mix of information. As a result, your unique personality can get lost in the noise. Facebook is the “grand bazaar” of the web, and bazaars aren’t a great place to form a lasting relationship. Instead, turn your attention to your website and create a place for lasting conversation and sustainable relationships.