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The real reason to not rely on Facebook for your business

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It has nothing to do with occasional downtime.

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I’ve seen lots of stories, tweets, and hot takes about yesterday’s Facebook outage. They point to the outage as proof that your business should have a website rather than relying on Facebook.

I think this misses the point. Anyone who operates a website has experienced the challenges of running a site. Facebook has better uptime than most webhosts. Anyone who uses WordPress can share an experience of being hacked. And creating a website on Wix or Squarespace is a lot more work than creating a Facebook page. For small businesses, the allure of Facebook pages in place of a website is that it’s easy, free, and requires no technical maintenance.

The real reason you shouldn’t rely on Facebook (or any other social network) for your sole web presence is that Facebook acts as a middleman between your customers and you. Your business is the product when you create a Facebook page. Facebook will only show your posts to a subset of your customers, and it wants you to pay to reach the rest.

Having a website gives you a direct connection to customers. Having a domain name gives your business credibility.

Businesses should consider making Facebook part of their marketing plan. But relying solely on a Facebook presence is a mistake, and it’s not because of downtime.

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