Since it’s 2013 and you’re not living under a rock, you’ve likely discovered by now that social media is a powerful tool for marketing your business. Facebook and Google+ are great for sharing a variety of information with numerous customers, Twitter can send quick, short updates to people who need them, and multimedia platforms like YouTube and Instagram can help you create and share content that’s more creative, engaging and interactive.
Social media is everywhere. If you want to connect with consumers, especially younger ones, it’s imperative that you get out there and use the various social platforms to market your business.
However, going online and networking with potential customers will only take you so far. As Forbes notes, it’s a myth to say that social media can replace your website. You still need both for your marketing efforts to be effective.
Think “hub and spoke.”
“Social media is the new shiny red apple,” the Forbes news source says. “It’s not going anywhere, but then again, neither are web sites.”
Not convinced? Here are a few reasons why your website is still a crucial part of your online presence.
HubSpot notes that having a website lends credibility to your enterprise, which is especially important in the early days of a small business. If you run a company of any size, people are expecting to see a “.com” at the end of it. If you lack a basic online presence, consumers will find it difficult to take your venture seriously. Having a website is proof that a company is official. Without that, you’re just a mom-and-pop shop.
Your website is your hub for communication. Whenever anyone – an employee, a business-to-business client or an outside customer – wants to get in touch, your website is likely the first place they’ll look to find contact information. Social media sites work for this purpose, too, but not everyone is on social media. Some people won’t ever find your contact info if it’s on your Twitter or Facebook profile. A website, however, is a place where everyone knows to look.
The beauty of a website compared to a social media profile page is that it’s totally controllable. Anything you want to modify – the colors, the fonts, the layouts, the subject or amount of information you share – can be changed with just the click of a mouse. Social media pages are more rigid, and they’re branded with the site’s logo, not with your own. Having your own website gives you complete control, helping you customize everything to meet your specific needs.
Your website is an ideal place for you to conduct e-commerce transactions. If you generate a lot of your revenue by making deals online, it’s a no-brainer to ramp up your online presence and make more sales on your site. Facebook is great for marketing, but when it comes to getting results and making actual money, that’s where it comes up short. Your website is the hub of your online marketplace, helping you boost your cash flow considerably.
The beauty of having a website – or at least part of it, anyway – is that you can use it as a tool to collect data about how your business is performing in key areas. You can use analytical tools to analyze how your site is used – which pages people are visiting, how long they’re spending there, whether their visits ultimately lead to completed sales. Analytics help you make smarter decisions about the future of your business.
Having a website has myriad benefits. How has it helped your business?