Today, with the huge popularity of social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, there are some people out there who are wondering if they even need a website. Can't they just set up an Instagram or Twitter account and a Facebook page then direct their customers to those? An article from The Hartford answers this question easily: “There aren’t many businesses that can survive without a Web presence and there’s no reason not to have a website.” Social media is a powerful tool for engaging your customers and driving business, but a website is vital to your company’s success.
Here are five reasons why social media tools are no replacement for your own website:
1. Missing Your Audience
Not all of your target audience may be active on social media. Whether due to their own privacy concerns or lack of interest, some individuals won’t want to log in to social media to learn about or contact your company. Websites, however, are almost universally used and tend to promote more credibility than sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In fact, 84% of today’s consumers think a website makes your business more credible and 30% of all consumers will not consider a business without a proper website. Why limit yourself to only users of these sites?
2. Lack of Design Control
Social media can be tricky for branding because of the design limitations. For example, Facebook will let you upload images for your profile and banner, but the ultimate layout and design is determined by their branding and design team. If your only home on the Web is a page on Facebook, Facebook decides what your "webpage" will look like. Specifics like your brand colors, fonts, and more are put to the side and can leave your users unsure of your brand. Using only social media requires you to be much more intentional with the few design liberties you have such as a profile and cover image. And let’s not forget that platforms are constantly evolving. As features change from month to month and year to year, you'll have very little control over the physical look and feel of your page.
Having a website is key for attracting new leads and clients through search engine optimization. A website can help your company be found by people who are looking for your specific products and services, both locally and globally. Your website is yours, you can focus on the necessary keywords and content to target the correct audience. For example, if your users search for “marketing agency near me,” Google will display the top websites but this would most likely not include a company’s Facebook or Twitter page. Give your company the best chance to be found with a well-designed website and solid SEO strategy.
4. More Touch Points enhance the Customer ExperiencE
Touch points are ways in which customers interact with your brand. Having multiple ways to connect with your business elevates the entire customer experience for your users. Think about your own research-- if you want to learn more about a company, and they only have a Facebook page, you may feel like there is information that you’re missing out on. 60% of Americans prefer to solve customer service issues through a self-service website, portal or app. If your Social Media account is your only touchpoint, your customers will most likely turn to a competitor who is able to provide them with the information they are looking for. Your website is your company’s chance to really shine and show users that you are professional and know what you are doing.
5. Don't Sell Yourself ShorT
Lastly, resigning yourself to a Facebook page is most likely selling yourself short. Don't assume that your customers don't have the time, interest, or willingness to navigate to your website. People use and even socialize on many websites in a given day. Why can't one of them be yours? A website should not be viewed as a burden. Instead, you should view it as an opportunity. What are your competitors doing on the Web? How can you do it better? Even in our modern age of technology, there is a lot of room for improvement online in most industries outside of the high-tech sphere. Isn't finding the things you can do better than anyone else what business is all about?
Social media has greatly improved over the years to give businesses more control and flexibility to reach their users. However, there still is no substitute for an individualized website designed with your organization and users in mind. Social media is an essential tool, but not the foundation of your online presence. We understand that websites can seem intimidating and pricey, but we guarantee that a well-designed site is an investment that your company will not regret. If you are in need of assistance planning or designing your site, we would love to connect!