Facebook vs. Website
Is the age of the website dead? No.
I believe the usefulness of Facebook for organizations is summed up rather nicely by Kelli Brown in a February 22, 2011 article entitled Can a Facebook page replace a website? "If your goal is to make a splash and dash, without the goal of building ongoing community or search engine ranking, a Facebook page is a less messy way of creating a web-based home to direct traffic to for a finite period. If ongoing maintenance is a concern, a [Facebook] page might be your best tool for the job."
For a small organization low on cash and slim on web savvy, Facebook is tantalizing as it offers many perks that can get you up and running in no time. However, as is often the case, the options have tradeoffs, and these are things you do not typically want to trade away. I will not list them all right here, but allow me to briefly explain the issue that sits at the top of my Facebook cons list.
One thing Facebook will never give you: full control.
Facebook is in business to make money through advertising, with far less concern for supporting your page and keeping you cozy. They will make changes to how their system functions and displays even when it's inconvenient for you. Yes, they'll change things even if it means a major overhaul for all Facebook pages. How do I know? They've done it before (click here for examples). This could someday wreck your page, but do you think your preferences will really sway their decision? Odds are against.
Facebook pages are usually a low-tech solution from the account holder's point of view (that's you), which means you will not have the full availability of popular custom (i.e. high-tech) options at your fingertips. This second reason especially could be argued as true for traditional websites since it's technically the developer who has full control, not you. But consider that a good web developer has your organization's success as a priority, and you can see how that arguably puts ultimate full control back into your hands because you and your developer actually work together as a team.
If you aren't prepared to make the real plunge into a website, that's Ok because social media does provide a convenient tool to jump online. But there's no replacement for your own website. If it's a great website, it will become your anchor point on the world wide web. It is your central hub, your home base, your command center from which you present yourself to the world. Websites will forever be the building blocks of the internet. Without websites, there is no internet; without the internet, there is no Facebook. Ultimately, you cannot for the long haul out-perform a website with social media; you can only suppliment it.
When your goal is to build sustainable community and keep up your search engine ranking, you must turn to a real website. Facebook is just a spoke on the wheel with your website as the central hub of your organization online.
Website: 1 - Facebook: 0
Good game, everyone.