Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a Facebook user for over a decade, and I am not unhappy with it. Nor am I on the team of “social media is evil, and we should all switch off all accounts and move to the mountains.” Personally, I find it’s a good way to stay in touch with acquaintances, and I think that the groups are highly useful because you get to meet people with the same interests and find out a lot about topics relevant to you.
However, I think running your e-learning business solely off a Facebook page is a bad idea, and it’s quite counterproductive for business success. Here are my arguments.
They change it a lot
Facebook is constantly evolving and improving, but it results in makeovers that are often difficult to understand and work with. For a business, predictability is very important, so if you have returning customers who can’t find what they are looking for anymore, you’ll lose them, and the feedback they will give others will not be positive either.
It’s a bad idea to put all your eggs in one basket you have no control over. If, on the other hand, you have your own website on your own domain, you can make sure that it looks the way you want, and only make changes when you are 100% they are what your customers want, and they will drive more business.
Not everyone is on Facebook
Remember when I mentioned the “switch off all social media and move to the mountains” crowd? Well, they are not so few. And even a lot of people who are not necessarily against social media choose not to have an account, whether because it’s not something they are interested in or because they feel it would take up too much of their time.
Whichever the reasons, you’ll want your business to be easily accessible to anybody, so an SEO-friendly site is a much better option, as Google search is almost universal. Furthermore, social platforms have a limited time span, and there comes a time when they start to lose chunks of the audience.
There’s a limited functionality
One of the reasons Facebook is so wildly popular is that it is very easy to set up. This is mostly due to its user-friendly templates. These, however, are also the reason why it’s difficult to run a business through it. Especially in the case of start-ups and small enterprises, branding is everything.
You’ll want people to remember your graphic identity, and that’s going to be close to impossible when you look just like all the other similar businesses. Yes, there is room for some customization, but not enough to have a real impact. So, while it’s advisable to have a good Facebook presence, your most relevant internet calling card ought to be somewhere else.
It doesn’t look all that professional
Personally, I follow some businesses on Facebook. But I also follow three cats and one alpaca, so that says a lot about the platform. It’s wonderful that it is so inclusive and able to cater to all sorts of interests and tastes, but, cute as that can be for a moment, you want to do more than cute pets.
In all honesty, the alpaca also has an Instagram account and a website. To quote a very popular meme, “be like the alpaca,” and set up multiple points of presence as well as a professional site. Operating solely out of Facebook looks amateurish and denotes that you don’t want to put in the effort. Not a good brand image at all.
Navigation is made difficult
That’s because there are no navigation functions. Facebook is mainly built on the concept of scrolling, so when somebody gets to your page, they can’t jump to what’s most relevant to them. Needless to say, most of them will lose patience and give up.
Even if you have pinned posts, it won’t ensure that they contain everything that is of interest, and you’ll have to make them rather long to give all the information you want them to. Again, the chances of people getting bored and giving up are very high.
You can’t rely on notifications either; even if visitors chose to follow the page, you have no control over what will be presented to them by the platform.
Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms of our time. It’s important to note and make use of what it offers. When it comes to business, however, it’s best not to make it your primary point of presence, as it suffers little customization, it’s unpredictable, uncontrollable, and does not look that professional in the first place.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.