Engaging with family, friends, and brands has never been easier than today’s highly connected world via desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Even services like Netflix, Pandora, Spotify, and such allow you to share your favorite shows, photos, or songs from their services. In a way, all of this serves as a peek behind the proverbial curtain of who we are, whether person or brand.
Brands especially have made a mad dash to establish profiles on various social networks to build a community that will hopefully engage with their posts, while also gaining a better understanding of the brand as a whole and the products/services themselves.
In an article on AdWeek, it was noted that Facebook reached a milestone of 40 million business pages. That’s a significant number, and a sign that brands large and small are looking to create a connection with their audience. Success will vary, depending on their strategic approach, but they are trying.
For smaller companies, the question becomes, do social networks substitute for a website?
In short, NO!
Social Networks vs. Websites
Budgets and time are always constraints that smaller businesses will struggle with. It’s not surprising that the siren call of social networks is appealing. It allows a brand to post photos, blog posts, videos, share information, advertise, and talk to people daily (if you have the engagement). But just below the surface danger lurks, and that’s what we will focus on.
Websites should always be considered the “home base” for your brand. It’s where you own your hosting, your domain, and your content. You can decide how your content is laid out, what is shown, what you post, etc. It’s where everything about your products/services is housed. Think of it as a place you own.
Social networks can offer you a lot of the same things listed above, but the problem is that the content is not “owned” by you. At least not in the way you think. What if Facebook decides to shut down? You lose your content. You lose your community.
Websites also benefit from being listed and searchable. While search is available for social networks, it’s just not the same. Google Search can benefit a website in ways social networks don’t. When you search for a brand on social networks you get profiles. When you search for a brand on Google you get videos, blog posts, the website, and anything related to that brand. It’s a great way for discovery of content. Taking this a step further, if you’re an established expert in your industry, then people can search for something related to what you do and your content has a higher chance of being displayed.
Your site won’t go away unless one of four things happens:
- Your hosting company shuts down
- Your hosting company is having service disruptions (may happen from time to time)
- You go out of business and take down the site
- You forget to pay the bill
Do It Right The First Time
Our recommendation is to build your brand right the first time. Create a website that has great SEO, is attractive and easy to use on desktop AND mobile, create valuable content, and be a resource for your customers and people that don’t even know they need you. Your website is your home. Your social networks support your site and provide those communities a way to track you back to your site.
If you have a marketing strategy in place, then you likely will have an email capturing tool in place to be able to communicate with your community. Remember, Facebook doesn’t allow you to export your community and market to them, so building your marketing list on your website is vital. This is just another added benefit to having your own website.
Need to create or update a website for your business? Send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call at 210-617-7260.