Most financial advisors have a website, and many are now creating a Facebook page as well. As I meet with home offices and introduce the idea of social media marketing, the question naturally arises: “Does an effective Facebook page replace the need for an advisor website?” That is a great question, and here is the short answer: You need both. Here are three things that websites do that Facebook cannot do, and three things that a Facebook page will do for you that a website may not be able to do.

Website Advantages

Companies control the content

Though interactions on Facebook are truly impactful for any business, there is something important to remember: your company does not own the customer experience, conversation or content – Facebook does.  For that reason alone home offices will want their advisors to maintain a website presence. Therefore in addition to creating a content-compliant Facebook page advisors are also going to want to host a domain that is controlled by them and no one else.

You have the functionality to make it your own

The limited ability to customize a page makes Facebook a less-than-ideal place to host a company website. Links, photos, and content can be uploaded to your page, but are only customizable to a limited extent. Websites offer advisors much more versatility in website design, and the ability to create a unique business “store-front” that truly reflects the advisor’s personality and business emphasis.

Extensive customer metrics and analytics

The limited analytics offered through a company Facebook page do not allow you to see where traffic has originated when coming to the page. Knowing how your clients arrived at your page allows you to determine how your referrals have been received and what form of marketing has been successful with your clients. Website metrics and analytics will provide this crucial information.

Facebook Advantages

Your target demographic is there

28 million people over the age of 45 are active on Facebook. Forbes recently reported that “nearly 50% of ultra-high-net-worth investors (net worth of $5 million to $25 million) queried say they’ve also jumped onto the Facebook social network bandwagon this year, while 55% of the mass affluent ($100,000 to $1 million in net worth) say they’re surfing Facebook.”

People communicate on Facebook in a way they would never do on a website

People who use social networking sites are familiar with giving feedback to a company, asking questions and posting success stories. Isn’t that the exact type of interaction an advisor wants from their clients?

Your clients share content with others, generating referrals for you

More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) are shared on Facebook each month. The average user has 130 friends, so the possibilities to connect with potential clients are endless.

In Summary

Your website is the core of your company marketing, and Facebook and other social networking sites are crucial extensions. Once you’ve built up content on your website it can be used as a home base to direct people to numerous social networking sites. Advisors who use their websites to direct clients to Facebook and other social networking sites, and then use those sites to link back to the website, will have great success in connecting with clients.

Source: Facebook Statistics