With all the diverse social media platforms available today, many small businesses wonder if they even need a website. After all, social media is free, right? Besides that, there are millions of people already on social media sites just waiting to interact. Most of these platforms have dedicated business pages or profiles up for grabs. Social media sites are already optimized about as well as any page can be, so why not save the money and use them? They require little to no technical expertise, unlike building a website. It seems pretty cut and dry, doesn’t it? Not so fast! Many small businesses have made this mistake and it is a huge mistake.
Marketing And Funneling
A social media site is best used for marketing and funneling leads to a website. Social media sites are great for building brand awareness, but the technical abilities can be limited when it comes to sales. Besides that, if your entire online presence is social media platforms you lose credibility with your customers. You are also at the mercy of said platforms. If they have a change ownership or decide they just don’t like your company, they can get rid of you. Recent algorithm updates on Facebook made this painfully clear. The businesses that were negatively impacted had to stomach the changes and move forward. On a social media website, you have no control over any changes, even the ones that affect your business.
Use social media platforms to build up your company’s community following and brand awareness. These sites are great lead generators. These leads can then be funneled to a company website for conversion. Massive marketing happens on social media platforms, but they are meant to replace a business website.
A Website Is A Great Investment
Building a website you can be proud of will cost a little green even if you have some technical expertise. The thing is that the return on investment will be phenomenal. Your website will be scalable, so the capabilities will grow with your business. It will also give you a place for all of that convertible traffic from social media sites to come and make a purchase.
When you give people a business card or talk about the company you work for, they usually go to the internet and look up the company’s site. A website gives a company credibility. On social media, unhappy people can post any derogatory comment they want on your business profile for everyone to see and there is nothing you can do about it. With a business website, you can filter which testimonials you want to publish. Negativity can be done away with.
Set Up Your Own Shop
Look at it this way. As a business owner, you wouldn’t run your company out of a building you hadn’t purchased or leased. Just because someone said it was okay doesn’t mean you’d go ahead and set up shop without some type of written contract, right? Using a social media site as a business website is basically the same thing and holds the same instability. If you want to run a legitimate business that has credibility with its target market, then it is necessary to set up a website.
Sure, if your business is just starting out, social media may offer a temporary place to park. However, it shouldn’t be long-term. If you are serious about growing your business, the first thing you are going to have to do it purchase a space for it to use.
Social media a great way to get short-term exposure, but it should never be the only method you use to draw attention to your small business. While it may seem like it works, it is temporary at best and you are fully at the mercy of the social media provider. Using the information provided here, you should be able to understand that social media is a tool, a gateway, and that it should only be used as such.