Small business. Startups.
We know that being a new player in a market can be really hard especially if the niche is highly competitive. Venturing into the business world is not something that should be taken lightly. As a small business, you need to prove to everyone that you can deliver – that your business is the next big thing.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You need to maintain the quality of your service/product, keep up a stable marketing campaign, balance off expenditures and revenues, and sustain a good brand image.
In today’s business landscape, it has become a necessity for businesses, big or small, to be social online. That’s why it’s a no-brainer that various social media platforms have gained an unprecedented success over the years. These platforms have become an integral channel for marketing and business development.
Because of their efficiency, however, some small business owners have relied on them heavily to the point that they ignored having their own website to establish and maintain their online presence.
Yes, a business can exist with just social media presence, but it’s a major mistake. Even though social media is a powerful channel to reach more people online, it doesn’t completely fill the shoes of a well-designed corporate website. Business owners, especially small enterprise owners, should do social media only as a part of their overall inbound marketing strategy.
If you still prioritize focusing on social media pages than having a business website, think about these seven reasons why you should modify your strategy:
Credibility and Trust
Business owners know that trust and credibility are everything. Yes, creating a Facebook business page can be easy, but this low-entry barrier also made the platform susceptible to the creation of dummy and scam pages. Having a website is definitely a step forward to establishing credibility.
In having a website, you will choose your own domain name, invest in content ideation and development, and do a lot of online marketing to introduce your business online. These efforts can’t be equated with just a social media existence.
Who really owns your social network? You log into your page, publish posts, read posts, comment on something, and reply to your audience. Plus, you probably consider the people you’re connected with to be “relationships.” The problem is, these relationships that you’ve cultivated, established, and maintained on social media platforms may be connected to your brand, but they’re actually owned by the platform itself.
In fact, some social media networks make it really hard for you to leverage the relationships you’ve built on their platform. They are deeply aware that once you’ve take it off their platform, they subsequently lose the leverage, the data, as well as the relationship.
So if you want to sustain that quality audience relationship, it’s better to lure them home to your corporate website.
Of course, if you’ve just started your own business, selling it would not cross your mind. But who knows what happens in 10 or 20 years’ time?
Keep in mind that part of what business buyers look for is a brand with formidable assets.
If your business doesn’t have any corporate website with a continuous flow of traffic, leads, and inbound links, your business will definitely get a lesser value.
Online Consumers are a Moving Target
With the online environment becoming more mobile for consumers, marketers and business owners are necessitated to meet their customers wherever they are. Although 90 percent of media interactions every day are screen-based, consumers could have been searching for info (search engines), browsing social media feeds (social media), watching videos (video apps), shopping online (ecommerce sites), or just browsing the internet.
This clearly indicates that the consumers are a moving target. Hence, the marketer must meet these consumers wherever they are, then bring them home – to your website.
The website must be the brand’s main digital footprint.
Imagine you have your own car. You can easily change its color, upholstery, and do other improvements, right? But what if you only rented the car? The modifications will be prohibited or really difficult. The exact principle applies online. When you have pages in Facebook, Twitter, Google +, or LinkedIn, you’re basically “renting” space from these platforms, which gives them most of the control.
Then there’s the “Terms & Conditions.” If you want to host a contest in social media, you need to abide by their terms and conditions. In fact, for every move you make in social media, you need to consult with their terms and conditions to ensure that you’re not violating any of them. Again, most of the control is on their side. If you have a website, however, you have full control of every aspect of your online marketing.
Online Marketing Hub
Think of your online marketing as a wheel.
Your strategy must consist of several spokes that are connected to a hub. In this sense, your website will be the hub of your online marketing.
It functions as the central place to which you drive traffic, prospects, and leads for business transactions. Relying on the outer spokes (social media for instance) too much will eventually make the whole wheel collapse.
Data and Analytics
All business owners need to continuously monitor and enhance their inbound marketing.
However, they can’t fully do these important tasks on social media platforms because the available data is limited. On the other hand, all data that can be used for inbound marketing development can be obtained when you have a website.
Tools such as Google Analytics can give the business owner extensive data and insights. Improving the inbound marketing strategies can help them to grow their businesses.
Without a doubt, social media provides business owners with a golden chance to cultivate relationships with their potential and existing customers. However, they should be aware that these platforms are businesses, too. They are on a mission to develop their features to improve the user experience, aggregate specific data, and maintain a steady flow of revenues.
Business owners must capitalize social media for audience communication, brand establishment, and lead generation only. All further relationships should be done and sustained in their own websites.
Whose side are you on?