When deciding whether to start promoting and selling your goods and services over social media, it’s enough to consider the crucial fact that 3.6 billion people use social media daily.
That’s half of the planet. Today you can reach everyone with your content, which seemed unimaginable just 3 decades ago.
In almost every way possible, social media have shaped our buying habits (and our habits in general) and it’s only natural that businesses are harnessing this new potential.
Here are some eye-opening stats from OptinMonster:
▪ 78% of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who aren’t.
▪ 76% of buyers are ready to have a social media conversation with potential providers.
▪ 33% of users prefer to contact brands using social media instead of making a phone call.
Facebook and Instagram keep implementing shopping features. Linkedin is all about B2B selling. TikTok attracts Gen Z shoppers and Gen-Z-oriented brands.
One might think that having a website isn’t a necessity anymore. It’s enough to have a company page on a big social platform and that will do, right?
Well, what about privacy issues and data ownership? Despite the benefits, you have to consider what happens to your data, because data is the oil of the 21st century.
And what about your brand? Putting all the eggs into one basket (that’s not even yours) might not be a strategy you want for your company.
Or what if Twitter goes down for a while, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp did in March 2021? How will you recover the lost revenue?
Those are a few issues to think about.
Now, to make things clear:
This article is not trying to persuade you to shut down your social media channels, but rather to show you that you should probably add a website to your mix of communication channels because, in the end, your website is your digital property.
You own it, you control it.
And as you’ll see in the next 10 paragraphs, your website yields so many benefits that almost outweigh those of social media.
Scary as it sounds, there’s nothing you can do about it. All the money you’ve invested in Facebook advertising, building your fan base, posting content on your feed… Gone. In one day, in one click.
The same applies to TikTok, Instagram, Whatsapp, Viber, Telegram…
With your own website, you’re the one who has control over your assets.
▪ No one can delete the content from your blog
▪ You get to decide who you communicate with
▪ You decide what data to show to the world (and what data to collect)
Yes, it can happen that a data center that keeps your data secure one day burns down to ashes, as had happened in France recently, but in such cases, we recommend something you can’t easily do with social media content, and that’s making a 3-2-1 backup system.
Neither does social media. However, 72% of online shopping experiences start with a Google search. That means that people expect to find your website. Over 60% of people visit your Facebook page but decide to check out your website as well.
That’s a signal that people still put a lot of weight on your online presence in form of a website.
With the website being “open” all the time, you’ll promote yourself and sell 24/7/365. During the COVID-19 and with so many businesses being locked down, it’s important to find a way to communicate with buyers.
Do a basic web search. How many of your competitors have websites?
If many of them, you’re missing a lot. If just a few, you’re still missing a lot. At least an opportunity to gather all that traffic from web searches.
▪ Position yourself in the online world before anyone else does
▪ Inspect your competition and just do it better
▪ Constantly keep an open eye on your competitors’ actions
93% of all website traffic comes from Google. And if that isn’t enough to persuade you to appear on Google, just consider that optimizing a website for search engines (SEO) drives 1000% more traffic than social media.
Without a website, you won’t be able to rank effectively on the biggest search engine in the world. People won’t be able to find you and you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table.
If every single person interested in your products and services called you or emailed you today, you’d spend all your resources just on replying. A good website saves you time and money by:
▪ Informing people about your offers and your company
▪ Providing ways to communicate in a streamlined way
▪ Preparing customers for purchasing so by the time they contact you, they know what they were searching for
This is especially important because your social media channel can’t contain all the info people need. Most of your posts get buried down by other content in the feed.
Remember those good ol’ times of business cards? Everyone had one and we were throwing them like confetti at every conference. People were competing over business card design.
Although that time has passed, we now have digital business cards. 75% of shoppers judge your credibility by your website design.
▪ Invest in your online presence as you would in any other printed asset
▪ Find a good designer and pay them well. Don’t cut corners on this one, because people spot visuals first.
▪ Hire good writers and pay them as well as designers. Marketing is all about what you say to people and when you do it.
There’s an old adage in marketing – Show, don’t tell. The same applies to your website. It’s ok to tell people that you’re great. But why not show them?
▪ And why not put that proof online so everyone can see it?
▪ A gallery of previous work boosts credibility
▪ People rely so much on social proof (you choose a Netflix series based on reviews, right?)
▪ You can share your work on social media channels and get more traffic (and online approval)
For more credibility boosters, see this awesome guide from Neil Patel.
We’ve heard so many times from many business owners that they hesitate to start a website building project because it takes too much time and probably costs a lot.
Luckily, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Unless you need something flashy and too complex.
Today, to get a basic website running, you need $0 if you use free website builders.
To make a slightly better one, hiring a freelance WordPress developer will do.
Your website could be up and running in a week.
Cheaper as well. Renting a billboard might cost you from $500 to five figures per month, depending on the location.
But your business is just starting out, so do you even need a billboard? And how do you measure its influence?
Printing 5000 flyers and brochures doesn’t cost a lot, but 99% of people throw it away.
And yet, 40% percent of small businesses don’t have one. If you have invested in building an online presence outside of social media, this is the signal that:
▪ You invest in your business in general
▪ You strive to build a sustainable business
▪ You care about the habits of your audience
These three factors alone influence how people think of you and your online reputation.
Aside from that, you can paint your website in brand colors just the way you want it and express your uniqueness. That’s not easy to do on the social media company page.
In the end, there’s one key point we’d like to drive home.
Strive to be everywhere your customers are and never put all of your eggs in one basket.
Engage with people on social media, but be there for them on Google. Share on your website, but make sure to notify customers on social media and give them a reason to follow you.
We hope that this article has helped you decide whether to build your online presence further and invest in a website.
If you liked the article, feel free to share it with your network, and as always, we’re looking forward to your feedback on social media and in the comments section below.
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