Online Presence for Small Business: Facebook Page vs Website

Small businesses in Africa are mainly services or retail operations such as convenience stores, small grocery stores, bakeries or delicatessens, restaurants, guest houses, or tradespeople (e.g., carpenters, electricians, hairdressers, photographers), very small-scale manufacturing, and Internet-related businesses such as web design and computer programming.

Some professionals operate as small businesses, such as lawyers, accountants, dentists and medical doctors (although they can also work for large organizations or companies).

Typically, small businesses like these have less than 15 employees. While many have less than 5 employees some are actually one-man businesses. The internet offers different measures of business opportunities for core online business and also for offline businesses which can use online tools to boost revenue and profit.

Since the advent of the internet, it has become traditional for businesses to have a website. However, in Africa, most small businesses don’t have online presence, despite the fact that most Nigerian internet users are on Facebook. Small business owners either lack skill to manage a website, capital to pay for a website or a webmaster for site maintenance. Maintaining a website requires time and money that small business owners don’t always have in good supply.

This makes Facebook page the best option for small businesses that cannot afford to own a website because creating a Facebook page is a relatively a simple process. Unlike websites, Facebook is easy and affordable and since so many people use Facebook for personal social media, it’s often easier and more familiar than using a website builder or blog.

Also Facebook is free, whereas there’s a cost involved if you hire a firm, a freelancer, or an employee to build and maintain a business website. So using a Facebook page as both social media tool and business website can make the work of building an online presence simpler, easier, and cheaper.

With 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook brings what small businesses need the most: access to a growing customer base. This may seem like a no-brainer as far as making your decision: go where the people are.

When you are using Facebook as compared to a website, you do not have to worry about mobile optimization issues. Having a big company take care of mobile optimization for your digital marketing is a huge relief, for example; you know you shouldn’t ignore mobile consumers, but keeping up with mobile requirements can be a real headache. Using Facebook guarantees that your efforts, on the Facebook platform, anyway, will be mobile optimized and kept up-to-date.

Facebook page has been optimizing for small businesses, to connect to the platform’s more than two billion monthly active users. This means a typical small business can establish a strong online presence without worrying about building or managing a website.

Facebook business page have themes with features and tools optimised to be use by professionals like, lawyers, accountants, dentists and medical doctors to interact with clients. There is a theme for local businesses such as hairdressers, barbers shop, guest house; retail and e-commerce operations such as convenience stores, small grocery stores, bakeries or delicatessens etc.

This means small businesses can display their goods and services on their Facebook pages, with description and additional information like Price/Fee; and call-to-action like “Make Enquiry” and “Buy”. With the advent of payments platforms like Paystack, a small business in Nigeria can now deliver their goods or services, sell their products online and received payments directly through their Facebook page seamlessly.

Nigerian Small business, especially those who own Facebook account are not exploiting Facebook business Page tools to grow their business, improve revenue or profit, this includes. This is mainly due to lack of social media skills. Many do not understand how a Facebook page work or hoe to use it for their businesses. This calls for massive training of small business owners on how to use Facebook Page in place of a website, for professional business, e-commerce and marketing.

Since the beginning of 2018, I have been teaching small business owners how to use social media to grow their businesses through my consultancy company, U & D inc., I am focused on helping small business owners integrate digital technology into their business to boost revenue, profit and growth at a very minimal cost.

My aim is to increase digital literacy among small business owners in Nigeria. Most of the businesses in Nigeria are small businesses as such the country will be better off if a good number of these businesses can be digitalised to achieve accelerated growth and development.

For enquiry about Social Media for Business training click here or send a WhatsApp message to +234 701 090 2972.

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