Do I really need a website, or can I get by on social media alone? via @scalablesocial

Five Reasons Social Media Won’t Replace Your Website

Do I really need a website, or can I get by on social media alone? via @scalablesocialHere’s a question I see over and over in one form or another – “Do I really need a website? Can’t I reach just as many people – if not more, with social media?” After all, websites can be expensive and difficult to maintain for the average business owner.

I blame social media professionals for this misunderstanding (yes, I see the irony). In our enthusiasm to encourage people to embrace social media, we may have given the impression that social media is ALL you need. Truth is, it’s not. Here are five reasons why you can’t rely on social media to do the job of a website.

It Can All Go Away

If you look at my blog post, “How to Recover Your Facebook Business Page from Rogue or Clueless Employees,” and scroll down to the comments, you’ll see some sad stories. People who spend years and thousands of dollars to prop up their Facebook page, only to lose it when an employee or agency went bad, or when they broke Facebook’s rules and got shut down. That expression, “Don’t put your eggs all in one basket” applies here.

The Rules Can Change

A few years ago, Facebook was basically a free advertising platform for business. Competition was scarce and updates were seen by a good percentage of fans. Not so anymore! Facebook itself admits the situation is more of a “pay to play” now. That’s fine if you have the budget – but your website, once paid for, is only going to cost about $100 a year in hosting. You could spend that promoting one post on Facebook!

There is nothing to stop Facebook or other social media platforms from charging business owners a fee just to appear on their site. What then? If you are so heavily invested in one platform, you are in a sense being blackmailed to pay in order to survive (see “eggs and basket” above :)).

Where’s the Depth?

If all your business is interested in is creating  “engagement” or brand awareness, you could make the case for a social-only presence. However, what about the people who want a centralized location where they can learn all about you? You could create a series of tabs in Facebook, a fabulous profile in Google+, but for people looking for something specific (your portfolio, staff information, job listings), that’s going to get frustrating fast. Also, since timeline came along, apps are largely ignored. Most people see your updates right in their timeline as opposed to going to your page itself.

Audiences Are Fickle

Remember MySpace? Yeah. Even when it’s not an entire platform, changes in demographics can be disastrous to those who have built a business on one site. For example, Facebook. Older people are joining in droves, while teens jump ship for places not frequented by parents and grandparents. Great news for some businesses. Obviously not for others.

Lead Generation – Better Onsite

So far, all my arguments could be ignored by a business investing in many different social media platforms. But, not this one!

Social media is a great support for traffic and lead generation, but that means you must have something to link back to. Sure, you can install a contact form app on your Facebook Page (in my experience these get very little action), but not on Twitter or Google+. How much better it is to share links from your content back to your site.

One statistic I find myself quoting over and over is this: B2B companies that blog report 70% more lead generation than those that do not. To blog, you must have a website. Simple enough.

If you’ve invested heavily in social, you could think of your website as the hub that holds your social media spokes together. Without the hub, you aren’t going anywhere. Lest you think I’m trying to sell you a website, I assure you it’s not our favorite thing to do – we do it when people want to embrace online marketing and have no website (or a poorly optimized and designed site). We’d just as soon get right to the lead generation :).


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Article Name
Five Reasons Social Media Won’t Replace Your Website
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Do I really need to have a website? Can’t I just use Facebook and Twitter to reach people?
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About the Author Alisa Meredith (311 Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.

Comments

  1. Robin Strohmaier

    Excellent article, Alisa! You have nailed this! We have a client that has invested time and money into their Facebook page, and then one year ago, a competitor reported them to Facebook for infringing on their name. Long story short, they took this competitor to court as they have the legal registered trademark. After many months and a great deal of money, they had their Facebook page restored and their company name restored with it.

    Then, Facebook changed the rules. Sad story. They still spend time on their Facebook page, but are not putting their eggs in one basket. Again, great post!

    • Alisa Meredith

      So happy to see you here, Robin! Oh, that is so frustrating! I’m glad they had you for advice.

  2. Hello there, You have done an incredible job. I will definitely digg itt annd
    personally recommend tto my friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this webb site.

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