Should I have a social media page instead of a website — or both?
As social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have become increasingly popular the relationship between brand and audience have become easier to navigate. This has led some businesses to use social media exclusively to promote their business instead of a website. There are a few important factors that need to be considered before making this decision.
While a social media page is yours, it is owned by a third-party site, and so must follow their terms of service. If you violate their terms of service your page could be blocked or even shut down. In comparison, a website and its content is owned by you and is yours to control. A website also won’t be affected by the same social media algorithms that affect engagement. Also, to use social media as your main digital communication tool, your potential customer will also need to have a social media page of their own. A website is ready and available to anyone.
Social media restricts how you can set out content and information. While your page will be unique to your brand, it will have the exact same layout and design as every other brand. A website allows you creative freedom to show off your brand through a multitude of avenues.
A website allows you to not only sell your product or service but also sell ad space to generate revenue. This is not always an option through social media platforms.
On many social media platforms, your page statistics are visible for anyone to see. This can be great, but also detrimental if you haven’t yet built up a large following. The more followers you have, the more likes you will receive. Your website’s statistics are your own. You’re free to do with them what you will, and your audience doesn’t know how many visitors your site has each month.
Social media pages need you to read through the content to find out what the brand is and what they do. A website gives you control of what you want your audience to see and can provide them with all the information they need quickly. Your website may also increase perceived credibility to your brand.
Social media allows you to easily interact with your audience. Yet, if people stop engaging with your posts as much and visit your page less, social media algorithms may remove your content from the feed. A website makes it a lot harder to build and engage audiences, but you’re not going to lose engagement due to algorithms.
On social media your competitors are everywhere. There’s more content on social media than anyone has time to read or view. If your content isn’t the most engaging thing in someone’s NewsFeed they’re going to scroll right past it. A website is your own territory. If someone is on your site, they’re there to see you. Keeping them on your website and engaging with them is your next challenge.
We aren’t saying you shouldn’t have a social media page for your brand at all, but it’s not going to be enough on its own. A website is a necessity. Both – working together – are great! Your website should be the ‘hub’ of your online presence, whereas social media platforms should be used as a marketing tool for your brand. This way, you’re in control of your brand and what you want your audience to see. Use social media as a tool to drive traffic back to your website and engage with your brand.