Why social media can’t replace the need for a website
Don’t only rely on social media for your marketing
Happy New Year! A question I often get asked by new businesses, and even some that have been around for a while, is “why can’t I just use social media?”
Facebook is great. After all, it does have 2.23 billion active users. That means you have a really good chance of reaching your ideal client on the platform.
With so many people at your fingertips on Facebook alone, surely your business doesn’t need a website. Especially when there are so many other social media platforms with huge audiences. A Facebook or Instagram page is enough, right?
The key to driving your business forward to success is having your own website. And these are the reasons why…
You own your website
This is the biggest reason to run and get yourself a website right now if you don’t have one already. Having a business website means you own a little piece of internet property. AND… you have total control over how you use it.
Social media accounts are owned by the platform and this places a lot of different restrictions on you and your business. All social media platforms have rules about their use that restrict businesses from running certain promotional activities, such as product giveaways.
Relying solely on social media also puts you at risk of losing your internet presence altogether. If for some reason you lose access to your account or get banned from the site, you are totally cut off from your customers.
Your own website gives you reliable continuity and control. You can upgrade and improve it as you need to, and you don’t have to worry about pesky algorithms!
Having a professional business website will build trust with your potential customers. A sparsely populated Facebook or Twitter account is not enough to convince potential customers that you are a legitimate business.
Your website can contain things that allow your visitors to learn more about your business. That includes things like an ‘about us’ page, contact information, and testimonials or customer reviews – all of which help to build a trusted brand.
Your own website will capture important analytics. These help you to monitor site performance and gain insight on how your customers are engaging with it. You can also integrate Google Analytics with your own website, giving you access to impressive real-time data – including how many people are on your site at that moment, what they are looking at, and how long they are spending there.
Social media pages like Facebook have much more basic analytics, which mainly just cover page views, clicks, and new ‘likes’.
Marketing strategies should be diverse
Social media is an incredibly powerful marketing mechanism, which has revolutionised the way businesses interact with existing and prospective customers. Social media will be a key component of any great marketing strategy, but it should not be the only tool in your toolbox.
Multichannel marketing is essential for getting you connected with as many people as possible and while a lot of people will find you via social media, a lot of people won’t. You will also have to utilise your website, email and newsletter marketing, and perhaps even offline methods of advertising.
Algorithms are changing
The algorithms that determine the content on Facebook newsfeeds change constantly, and some recent changes are going to make business content even less visible. Following feedback from users saying that branded content was taking over personal and social posts, Facebook has changed the algorithm to give less priority to business posts. However, this is will not impact paid posts or Facebook ad campaigns.
Social media ads are increasingly expensive
Speaking of Facebook ads, their price tag is increasing quite rapidly. In the last year, the CPM (cost per thousand ad impressions) grew by 122%. This is thought to be the result of frequent algorithm changes and users spending less time on the platform.
So, where does this leave Facebook, Instagram, and other social media channels? Well, their importance must not be understated, but you should treat them as distinct channels that work in combination with your website, not instead of it. My top recommendation for businesses looking to get started online, but don’t have the resources to hire a website developer, is to explore the huge range of free and paid themes available for different platforms, check out podcasts and blogs, and never lose sight of how you can delight your customers.
About the author:
Managing Director of Hello Digital
Angus is an experienced and passionate digital entrepreneur who has worked with clients around the world on a wide range of E-commerce and retail projects. Angus is excited about technology, change, and transformation, and has spoken about these topics, and more, at various events, workshops, and classes in New Zealand. As Hello Digital's Managing Director he oversees the day-to-day operations of the company and is the primary point of contact for our consulting clients and international partners.