Facebook is so widely used now, and integrated into so many large websites, that it is possible for small businesses to market themselves exclusively on Facebook without their own website. You would be crazy to do this but it is possible.
“No, hang on, what’s crazy about it?” you might think. “Facebook lets me create a page with lots of free applications, including an online shop if I want to sell direct to my Facebook fans.”
I’ll tell you a few reasons for not putting all your eggs in one basket, no matter how limited your resources. Most importantly, you don’t own Facebook, you don’t have access to your content other than through the Facebook administration system. You can’t call them to ask for a copy of your content, like you could with, say, a hosting company when you want to move your website.
Facebook is, most likely, here to stay, but it will evolve, it may one day be taken over, or changed and it could potentially close, taking all your hard work with it. Overnight, you could lose your business.
Let’s assume though that Facebook isn’t going to disappear ever, you still don’t want to only do business on Facebook because not all your customers are using Facebook. Many Facebook users (although a small proportion) have deactivated their accounts. They have “done” the Facebook fad and decided it is no longer for them.
Also, some of the people you connect with on Facebook may be your target customers but they may never do business with you through Facebook. Perhaps they only use it for social fun and ignore anything commercial, but they would happily transact with you on your website, on Ebay or through an established shop.
In order to get the best out of the potential market, you should concentrate on Facebook and make it an important part of your communication strategy, but also use the other large networks, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Bebo, Ebay, Google Plus, YouTube etc. A combination of content across multiple sites allows you to reach people in different ways, increase your capacity for interaction and spread the risk of any of your market disappearing for any reason.