In the age of social media trends, it seems like everyone and their mother has a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter presence. Many even have all three (or more). This trend extends to the business world, as well. Most businesses, big or small, have a social media presence, and this is the first time in history that businesses have such immediate access to their customers, so, of course, they are taking advantage of it. If businesses have such a widely accepted online presence, why do they need a website as well?
To answer this question, here are the things that social media can do and what a website does better:
What Social Media Does for Your Business
Social media is the ultimate marketing tool. These platforms allow businesses to interact with their customers daily. Businesses can brand themselves on Facebook, giving a personality to their business. They can reaffirm that brand identity via Instagram and show the lifestyle that goes along with it. All these tools familiarize customers with businesses because they see brand updates in the same place they see updates from friends and families.
Social media allows customers to interact directly with a small business, knowing that they will get a human being responding through the internet, often immediately. Businesses take advantage of this tool to build relationships with their current customers and offer contests to entice new customers. This tool not only interfaces with current customers but also has potential to reach a vast audience of potential customers. There are more than one billion people active on Facebook – which means one billion potential audience members.
Social media is so popular and effective because it is free and requires no technical or coding know-how. Anyone, anywhere can use it to create an online presence. It’s mobile-friendly, and customers are often on their own social media pages multiple times a day. Social media dependence means that customers willingly expose themselves to subtle advertisements every day.
Tools like Facebook also make it easy for businesses to utilize them. Facebook launched the Facebook Business Manager to help businesses optimize their Facebook presence. The tool allows a business to manage their entire marketing plan. With the Facebook Business Manager, businesses can coordinate, schedule, plan, and boost their marketing campaign, all from one place. They can assign tasks and roles to their marketing team. They can even coordinate with third parties and receive regular marketing reports.
With such fantastic, free tools like these, a small business owner might not even want to read the rest of this post. However, the real power of the online presence is in the website.
What a Website Does for Your Business
Reviewing all the reasons why social media is good for small businesses, a keen observer will notice one thing that stands out. Social media is for marketing. A good business manager knows that having an online presence is about more than just online marketing. In the age of globalization, having an online presence means having a space on the internet that anyone interested in this business can reach. Social media is merely a tool. To put it simply, social media may be the mouth of a business, but the website is the brain.
A website offers complete control over Social Media
On a social media platform, a business is at the mercy of that format, with limited tools to customize the customer experience on their page. Every aspect of a website is built to reflect the businesses, their brand, their products, their logo, and the lifestyle that is at the heart of their identity. With social media, a brand must represent itself under the giant umbrella of whatever social media platform they are using. A website offers pure representation and an added atmosphere of professionalism that comes with a domain name.
A website also has more opportunities to bring in revenue
A business cannot get sponsors or sell ad space on their Facebook page. On a website, a business can set up a personalized shop, selling their product directly to their customers. On a social media page, the customer must take the extra step of leaving the page and follow a link to another site. Everything is in one place on a business’s personal webpage.
Due to the amount of sharing and activity on social media pages, they are good for web searches. However, websites have the upper hand in internet searches as well. A website will be higher in the search results than a social media page due to relevance. A website also has the opportunity to appear in related searches and climb up the search lists if the business owner invests in local SEO.
Even though Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter seem like they will be around forever, the world has seen social media platforms fall out of popularity over the years. If a business has a website, they are not at the mercy of the trends. They do not need to worry about the chance of Facebook losing popularity and then them having to rebuild their online presence from scratch. A website has a permanence that social media cannot guarantee.
Invest in a Website for Your Business
A website is worth the time, money, and effort of building and maintaining it. A website is still a necessity for any business that wants to have an online presence in this social media world. Which is why hiring professional website designers to build your website is a smart investment.