March 15, 2018: With so many options for social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) some business owners think that they can just rely on those platforms for their online presence and neglect the investment of building a company website. Below are some thoughts about why you shouldn’t think so short-sightedly.
Control Your Business: It’s Important to be in 100% Control of Your Presence Online
As a business owner, would you rather:
A) Have your business running out of someone else’s space (without a lease) OR
B) Have your own dedicated space for your business?
With the option A, you’re at the mercy of someone else. If they don’t want your business in their space anymore, then you’re now out of business until you find a new spot to operate out of. If they decide not to open up one morning, your business can’t open up either, which equals trouble.
However, if you own your own spot or space, you have much more control over your situation. The changes in someone else’s business won’t affect whether you stay in business or how much it will cost to stay in business. The same can be said for having a website that you own and control, rather than building your online presence solely on a social media platform and relying on someone else.
Don’t Be at the Mercy of Someone Else
If you set up shop only on social media, your business is ultimately at the mercy of the platform(s) you’ve signed up on. They can make changes whenever they want and you don’t have a voice, even if it impacts your business. If that platform gets acquired and changed or shut down, you may no longer be able to reach your customers.
A great example of this is when many business pages were recently hurt when Facebook updated its algorithm, decreasing the reach of business pages. There was nothing business’s could do except complain. At the end of the day, they had to accept the new rules and move forward or move on.
The same thing could happen on another social platform at any time. YouTube could start charging you to store videos on their servers. Twitter could decide to become a premium platform where businesses have to “pay to play”. In either of these circumstances if you don’t pay then you no longer get to communicate with your customers.
You have NO control on these social platforms.
Your Website is the HEART of Your Online Presence – Social Media is a Marketing Tool
If you have your own website, and it’s the HEART of your business, then you have 100% control of your situation.
Like the store analogy above, you can have your own store and still setup a rack of your items in someone else’s store. Why wouldn’t you? Especially if they offer the space for free. Not only do you control your store, you also get to use someone else’s space to market your items and make some sales. If they close down then you might lose a great marketing space, but you aren’t out of business.
This is how you should treat social media.
Use social media as a marketing platform to drive traffic back to your website. Use that traffic to grow your email and customer list so you can communicate with them anytime, anywhere. On your own terms.
At the end of the day, it’s much smarter to invest in something you own than to build on land that doesn’t belong to you. Someday the rules are going to change and it could have a major impact on your business if you aren’t in control. This is why we highly recommend that they invest in a website that you own and then use social media – and it’s many benefits – to reach new audiences and grow your business.