Do you employ a Website or Social Media to market your business online, or perhaps you use both?
It has been 14 years since Facebook was founded, and no one can doubt that Facebook and other social media platforms have changed the way we market ourselves, and our businesses. Websites are around a little longer and still truly remains the “go-to” place to preview your business as a professional entity. Nowadays, however, given the increasing number of platforms available for us to use, we have to ask ourselves, which are best for us? Having too many online resources can really take up our valuable time as it is limited remember. You have other aspects of the business to run remember. If you are wondering which would be best to concentrate on, maybe focus on what either can do for you, and make your choice on what your needs are.
What are the benefits of each?
We have many options from a traditional Website, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest etc. To use them all for promotion would probably mean employing a person full time to do it effectively. What small business owner has the time to do all of these tasks themselves? The answer, very few. Enough time is spent on the day to day operations without having to worry about anything else.
Of course, we can not ignore having an online presence. That would be business suicide for most. So if a business were to decide, which form of online presence suits a business best?
So, Website or Social Media?
The answer, it depends on what is right for your business goals;
We all use Social Media these days, don’t we? Just under one-quarter of the world’s population use Facebook, 1.71 billion alone in fact.
What most people do not realise is that even if you do not have a website, you can have a domain name that redirects a customer to a social media page. For example, iBrutes.ie could appear in search listings and instead be directed to a webpage, it could redirect to our www.facebook/ibrutes page or twitter/ibrutes page.
There are billions of users on these platforms already there to exploit. You can capitalize on their popularity.
Fast and Free: They are easy to create and most of them are free. No website developer cost.
Low commitment: If it does not work, you can just get rid of it. You could then just as easily start up on a new platform if that is going to be better for you.
Worldwide: Most businesses these days are going social. More and more are committing to them because they are great marketing tools.
Engagement: You can interact on a not so formal level on Social Media. It is easy to get a loyal following through likes or followers and it is a more personable relationship.
Loyalty: Customers will get to know you better via posts and tweets. This is more personable and brings a unique level of interaction with customers. This is not really available through websites.
Cheap Promotion: We can promote our adverts, posts etc at a fraction of the cost of Google Adwords, newspaper adverts, radio ads etc.
Products and Services: All your information about your products and services are available on Facebook, with the added benefit of e-commerce capabilities.
Styling: Apart from cover images, there is limited scope in relation to how the design of a page reflects your business.
Comments: People and customers have free reign over comments and can lambast you over social media. Not a good thing so there needs to be close monitoring all the time.
Analytics: This is fairly poor so you do not get a proper reporting feature on your page.
Control: Social Media platforms have restrictions on what goes on and who owns what. T’s & C’s beware.
Nothing shows credibility like having your own site. It’s like in the film “The Field” when the Bull McCabe owned his own plot of land. It brought respect and “the Bull” DEMANDED respect. You basically get to do what you like with it. A website is a window to YOUR business. So keep it clean, transparent and professional.
Websites come in all shapes and sizes and do not need to be huge. It can be a single one-pager that tells people exactly what it says from “your tin”.
Price Sensitive: You can get a shiny all guns blazing site for thousands of euro, or a simple DIY (Free – but beware, BEWARE – time is not free, and if it does not work, it means a lot of time wasted) site which all can be successful IF in the proper hands (Did we mention – BEWARE).
Credibility: Customers expect that a credible business should have a website. It is about trust.
Control: How it looks, what it does, all comes down to you. You have free reign over it and can make it look and feel like yours and you.
SEO and Marketing: You have more room to maneuver and can create various marketing campaigns to use over the site such as blogs, video, newsletters etc.
Google: People look for business info online. Reviews, testimonials, information etc are generally what brings people to you.
24/7: Did you ever try to sell anything in your sleep. Well if you did, fair play to you. E-commerce sites work all day long, seven days a week. Bet you could not get an employee to do that, legally at least.
Updating: Whether it is security updates or content, websites need monitoring and maintenance and to be kept fresh.
Size complexity: The larger the site, the more “TLC” it needs.
Marketing again: As much as with everything else including social media, it requires work. Marketing material needs to be generated regularly and this is time-consuming either way.
As stated above, both websites and social media require time and effort. The best strategy is to employ both but this causes extra strain on the business effort.
In truth, when starting out, it is the best time to focus your effort on them and there are ways to streamline by perhaps connecting the website and social media so that they work together. You are looking for business after all so focus your effort on tools that do that for you.
Inexperienced business owners spend far too much time trying to be the salesmen, trying to convince customers to buy from them. While, more time should really be devoted to opening the do or to the online world so that you reach a much greater audience and have customers even “googling” and searching for YOU.
“There are more people trying to find you online than you can possibly find yourself alone.” – Brutus(2018)
So whether that is a website or social media, or both, having the time, will tell…..