The question is often raised should I have my own webpage or is a presence on social media such as Facebook sufficient.
To develop a website with your own domain name e.g. www.mywebsite.com You enter into a contract with a webservice provider and as such you rent a space on the Internet into which you can put the things that you want to communicate to others about your business or your interests. It can be compared to renting an unfurnished house or apartment, as long as you pay the fee, it is yours to do with as you will. The company then guarantees you that they will keep your website online so that people can view it 24 hours a day. That is what you pay for. There is also a cost to buy the domain name which is renewed annually or for a number of years, there are many options available. You have full control over this content on the Internet.
People can find your site on the Internet by typing in the name of the site i.e. www.mywebsite.com in the address bar of the browser (e.g Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox) or by using a search engine such as Google. There are 11.94 billion Google searches every month. It can be joked that Google knows more about us than we know about ourselves as, Google work to learn more about their users so that they can tailor the searches that you make to your interests, and so reduce the number of irrelevant results in your search.
In the case of a social media site such as Facebook, the social media site own the space on the Internet and you join their club. Each social media site aims to get as many people as possible to join, that is what makes social media successful. The most successful social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have between them 1.5 billlion users. The total world population is 7 billion which gives an idea of the extent of their penetration.
When a user joins a social media site they set up a profile and then they are free to share thoughts and opinions that they have with the community of users. Depending on the social media site it can be with other users that you choose to share with or it can be people who choose to follow you. Taking the amount of users involved you will have people of different cultures opinions, beliefs, political persuasions all contributing their opinions. If someone says something that you disagree with for example a review on Trip Advisor that you may feel is unfair, you can ask that the opinion be removed but you are unlikely to be successful as the aim of social media sites do is give people a platform to express their opinions.
Each social media sites has rules as to what they would consider abusive, in the case of Facebook their laws are derived from the Facebook principles which are available at https://www.facebook.com/principles.php.
So a choice between a website and a social media site, I would say have both. The website is your own presence on the Internet and the social media site can be used to send people to your website, somewhat like placing a placard put out on O’Connell Street or at a county fair. Put a sign where the people are telling them where they can find you.