Recently, many news websites have been debating whether websites could be completely wiped out by social media platforms – here, here and here are just a few examples. Many small businesses don’t have the capacity to host a website so resort to popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Why did this idea come to light?
Smaller businesses tend to benefit more from social media these days, as they can target a smaller group of customers or a specific area directly. They can build a better brand awareness on the same level as bigger businesses, and can target people on a more personal level. We all know that social media allows us to break down that wall between salesman and consumer.
Is this a good thing? Let’s find out…
How would customers know where to go for information?
If businesses spread themselves across many different social media platforms, where would a customer go to find information? Would everything be on Facebook, and then Twitter/Tumblr/Instagram/Pinterest to supplement?
All platforms offer something different.
Twitter has a 140 character limit, Facebook users are different to Twitter, Pinterest is for crafters and fitness buffs, Tumblr is for the lifestyle lovers, Instagram is for the foodies. These may be a sweeping generalisations but they illustrate that not all social media sites are the same. Sometimes businesses are very limited when deciding which platform is right for them and their audience.
Here are the stripped back pros and cons of a social-only web presence:
|Builds more brand awareness – in a friendly and human way.||A lot of time and effort goes into running social, it’s not just like a website that holds info – needs to be constantly updated.|
|Gains a business loyal customers and lots of interaction.||Social can often use up quite a bit of budget, as customers always want the next new thing.|
There are still many benefits of having a website for your company, big or small. The obvious one being it’s a go-to for all the information that a prospective customer would need. Then there’s the fact that social platforms are very limited, whereas having your own website gives you much more lee-way in creating a space that works how you want. Finally, a website is much better for SEO purposes. ROI is generally harder to measure on social platforms, and at the moment the Google algorithm doesn’t tend to rank them highly. A website would give you more of a presence on search engines as a whole.
Social media complements websites, it doesn’t replace them in any way. Not yet at least. We think there’s still a long way to go before a website could be replaced, as the functionality is just too different. Yet, we still think that you can’t have one without at least some of the other. Building a social media standing is definitely beneficial to your business as a whole.
We want to know what you think! Let us know on Twitter @BritWebLtd.