Do I need a website? Isn’t Facebook / Instagram / Twitter enough ?
Social media platforms like Facebook are easy to join, easy to post and easy to get interaction. That’s not the primary mission of a business website. A website is your own property, your address, a universally accessible permanent landing place, your home.
Where are they now?
Do you remember Six Degrees? Blogger? Frendster? Del.icio.us? How about Eons, Diaspora, or Orkut? All big social media platforms that died. Remember how big corporates were spending umpteen thousands on virtual space in Second Life? And even all the power of Google couldn’t save their G+ platform. MySpace was once a rival to Facebook but today has almost no presence and certainly no credible profile.
What about Facebook?
Ask anyone under 30 about Facebook and they’ll likely tell you it’s only for “old people”. Despite that Facebook remains the only social media platform that is a reasonable alternative to a website. Setting up on Facebook is easy and chances are you’ll be able to quickly push up the ‘friend’ count. On the other hand it is just a slice of the web. Some people simply will never visit Facebook pages, it’s not really yours, can be easily hit with bad PR, suspended pages, or algorithm changes that can slash your traffic. It’s a very easy yet also very weak alternative to having your own site.
Should I have a site and do social media?
This depends on two things: How much resources can you commit to online promotion; and how important social interaction is to your business. If you haven’t got the time or personnel to commit to online promotion then don’t bother with social media. There’s no point setting up accounts unless they’re going to be active and relevant. If you do have the resources, and social interaction is relevant to your business, then go ahead. But don;t make the mistake of simply running two different online properties, your site and your social media. They need to work together. Social media should point back to your website, refer to articles, posts or videos that you’ve put on your site. Your site should also incorporate a feed of your social streams so visitors who don’t use those platforms can still see what’s happening.
Don’t forget email
It’s been shown in many studies that directly emailing someone is far more valuable to a business than hits or likes on any social media site. An email newsletter list is still the king of online marketing. Such a list usually takes time to grow, often over years. The benefits are worth the investment and the wait.