Social media can be used as a powerful tool to target your desired audiences. If you are a small or medium sized business with limited resources you may be wondering where you should concentrate your resources and which is more important, a website or social media? Our team at WDK believes the answer isn’t simply one OR the other, but rather a primary and secondary digital destination. The primary tool, a website can be 100% customized (and therefore controlled) to convey exactly how a company chooses to brand and market itself. Whereas social media you must fit within their parameters, terms of usage, and you don’t own or control any content you post.
The Downside of Social MediaSocial media has conquered the globe. There are users around the world, and it is possible to create personalized experiences, including through advertising. But there are downsides to sticking solely to social media that might not be immediately apparent.
You Don’t Control Your BrandingSocial media platforms have their own set interfaces. There are limits to how you can brand yourself visually, and even the kinds of marketing techniques and promotions you are allowed to offer. You are not constrained this way in your own website, where you have complete control over how things look and what kind of marketing promotions you run.
No OwnershipFrom data to content, at the end of the day, social media owns what you post there. This means that if they want to close down, you will lose your ‘page’ and any followers there. This is one of the biggest downsides to relying on social media, you are completely constrained by their policies and you risk losing whatever following you build up there. This lack of control extends deeper, and is both behind the scenes in the data that the platform collects, but does not share with you transparently about who has been visiting your page and engaging with your posts. And too it extends to more apparent issues. Negative reviews and content can prove difficult or even impossible to remove.
High Time and Resource RequirementA proper social media presence requires daily monitoring, and people have come to expect near instantaneous results. Failing to engage with your account regularly might not just annoy customers, it can hurt the standings in the social media platform’s algorithms, making it harder for customers to find you.
The Difference Between Social Media and Website MattersWhile it can sometimes seem like social media has become a 21st century replacement for a website this is not the case. It’s so important to have a central hub where you can have complete control over all of your branding, client lists and visitor data. Let’s take a closer look at how websites differ from social media.
Ownership and ControlHaving your own website means you are subject to neither the terms and conditions of the social media platform, or limited visual choices. With your own website you have complete control over design. You also have the security that control provides, which you are able to pass on to your customers while also being able to have full control over mailing lists and visitor data. You can fully track every visitor to your site, seeing how long they stay and what are the most popular items. This means you have more marketing opportunities all around, from the front end to the back end.
SEO AdvantagesHaving a website under a specific domain gives you a wider presence on the web than just being on social media can offer. If you host a blog on your website at a dedicated domain, you’ll be able to drive up SEO, increasing the visibility of your brand and creating additional opportunities for conversions.
Creates a Central Hub for Everything from eCommerce to ReferralsHaving your own site is the perfect way to help people find you. It lends your brand credibility, you can even use it to create emails with your business’ domain name. It is an incredible opportunity for direct to consumer sales through e-commerce. And it is the perfect place to send customers who want to refer your business.
The Right Way to Use Social Media for BusinessJust because a website needs to be viewed as a basic necessity when it comes to your business having an online presence, doesn’t mean that social media is not also important. It is an incredible resource that can be taken advantage of for an edge when it comes to advertising. Because social media allows you to target users based on their likes and hobbies, not just their searches, there is a great deal of potential in finding new customers. Additionally, by capitalizing on social media engagement, that is a great place to build a sense of community around your brand. While this can take a great deal of time, by hiring the right firm, you can have the benefits, without having to devote resources you don’t have. Social media has distinct advantages in driving conversions for small and medium sized businesses. But it is critical that those businesses do not come to rely solely on social media. When used in conjunction with a website, it can be a powerful tool. The key is to build a strong website that can serve as your main internet presence and then grow from there.
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