Faceoff: Website vs. Social Media Page
Website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Tumblr, Snapchat, Periscope, Spotify……
Today, there are so many choices for building your online presence but the real question is:
Which one is most effective for your business goals?
Have a look at the pros and cons of websites and social media and make the decision for yourself.
Social media pages are quick and easy to set up. You can create a full page in about 15 minutes. With over a billion people using social media platforms, your business can make the most of the existing user base of each site. All platforms have potential customers that are using those sites to find companies that suit their interests and needs.
Pros of Social Media
Quick and free – Social pages are simple to set up and they are mostly free (unless you pay for advertising).
Low-commitment – You don’t lose anything if you let your social media page sit for a while. If it isn’t doing its job or you change focus, you can delete or ignore your page and move on to something else.
Engagement – The ‘social’ in social media comes from the interaction that it allows. Customers have never had as much access to businesses as they do now. It humanises a business and allows you to communicate easily and build relationships with customers.
Brand values – With social media, you have the opportunity to inform customers about your business’s values, mission and purpose. The content and interaction with them communicates this and builds loyalty to your brand.
Cons of Social Media
Design limitations – Social media isn’t your platform, it belongs to another company. They are the ones that get to choose how you present information to your customers, how your business looks and how often you’re seen. While you can change your cover image and profile picture, the layout won’t change.
Open to the public – The flip side of being able to interact with your audience is that they are free to publish complaints, harassment and links back to their pages. You don’t have full control of your profile and have to constantly monitor mentions of your name.
Limited reporting tools – Social media platforms only show you what they want you to see. The depth of metrics that a website can provide are far greater than what you would get from a social media site.
Lack of ownership – Social media platforms are a business, just like yours. You have to follow their rules. They have their own terms and conditions, their own agenda and their own bottom line. Also keep in mind that many social media sites have come and gone. Consider what happens if a social media site shuts down and it is your only online presence.
If you like having total control of your brand, a website is the best option for you. Not only is it 100% yours, but you decide what it looks like, what information is shown and whether anything aside from your business is represented.
Also, when it comes to credibility, there is no substitute.
The simplicity or complexity of a site is also up to you. It can be a single page flyer or fully functional multi-store online shopping site.
Pros of a Website
Cost effective – There are a wide range of websites available to business owners, from free pre-packaged sites (which usually have compulsory ads) to expensive custom sites built from the ground up. The flexibility allows you to find a level that suits your needs and can be improved upon.
Credibility – Customers expect businesses to have a website. A business is inherently more trustworthy if they have a website.
Full control – When you own a website, you have endless choices about its design and features. Even with a template site, you can add features and personalise a site for your needs.
Better marketing – With your own website, you can choose how to market your business to your customers. You have control over the experience that visitors have when they come to your website. If you have special events, you can literally put it in a visitor’s face as the first thing they see.
Reduced overhead – You can make your website work for you. If you make your website a source of self service information, you can spend less time responding to calls and emails about your working hours and more time making appointments (or you could just let your website do that for you too).
24-hour availability – A website works for you even when you’re asleep, letting customers know everything about your business, 24 hours a day.
Cons of a Website
Maintenance – Keeping your website content up to date can be a big task that will take some time and effort (or you can hire some professionals).
Increased complexity – A website will take time and money to get set up depending on the complexity.
More marketing effort – There are billions of websites, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be seen if you market your business right.
When it comes down to it, social media should only work to boost your website and give your business a presence throughout the web. Many small businesses don’t have the funds to build a custom website from the outset and choose to focus on social media while growing, but a website tailored to your business, owned by you should be the goal when you’re able.
If your business needs help with a website, social media,or both, give Englander Davis a call to find out how we can help you today!