Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter started as places to connect with friends. But now more and more businesses are using social media to connect with their customers. That’s leading small-business owners to ask which is best – websites or social media in 2019?
In this article, we’ll explain all! We’ll start by looking at the benefits of a website for small businesses. Then we’ll explain how businesses can use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Finally, we’ll look at the relationship between social media and a company website – and explain why you should really use both!
The Benefits of a Website for Small Businesses
Building a website should be the first step in growing your business online. Your website should become the bedrock of your business’ presence on the internet. That’s because it’s the only part of the internet you have total control over.
Let’s look at the key benefits of a small-business website…
A Stronger Online Brand
When you build a website, you choose the way it looks – from the colours you use to the position of your logo. You can define every part of your website to perfectly suit the image you want to project.
Increased Visibility Online
You can control your website’s content, as well as its style. You can use search engine optimisation techniques or paid advertising to increase your website traffic and get extra visibility online.
Having your own domain name, complete with a professional email address, is a great way to build credibility. A domain name that’s linked to your niche or company name can become a key part of your company’s image. Even the fact that you have to pay to buy a domain name can be a good thing. It shows customers that you’re willing to invest in your online success.
A Long-Term Presence
Social media platforms come and go. Newer sites are always emerging to challenge the top social media websites. Past giants like MySpace have virtually disappeared, and this could happen to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. If you rely too much on your social media accounts, your business is vulnerable to this threat.
Next, we’ll take a look at some examples of websites vs social media platforms – starting with Instagram.
Websites vs Instagram
Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms for businesses. 1-billion people now use Instagram every month!
Pros and Cons of Instagram
Instagram is all about photo and video sharing. That makes it a good platform for businesses that sell physical products – especially if those products are attractive to look at. Instagram is very popular with young people – especially 18-25s. The platform works best for ecommerce businesses selling products to people in this age range.
Instagram frequently change their rules and interface, which is something that people have been critical of in the past.. This can make it difficult for businesses to use Instagram consistently in the long-term. It’s also difficult to connect with middle-aged (or older) customers through Instagram.
Websites vs Instagram – Conclusion: Instagram is a powerful marketing tool for businesses. It’s great for grabbing people’s attention, but you shouldn’t rely on Instagram for your business’ online presence.
Websites vs Twitter
Twitter is the world’s most popular micro-blogging site. Ordinary people, celebrities and businesses all use Twitter to stay connected with their followers.
The Benefits of Twitter for Businesses
It’s estimated that Twitter has 275-million active monthly users. That makes it a great platform to connect with a big worldwide audience. Each Tweet can be up to 280 characters – perfect for short and attention-grabbing announcements about deals or sales. It’s also the ideal place to announce new products, services or business innovations.
Of course, Twitter isn’t perfect. That low character limit on Tweets makes it hard to publish detailed content. This isn’t the best platform to promote complicated, difficult-to-understand products or services.
Websites vs Twitter – Conclusion: The main problem with using social media for your business is the restrictions you face. Twitter is one of the more restrictive platforms, but it’s still a good way to make short announcements. As with Instagram, Twitter is a great platform to attract attention to your business – but it isn’t a replacement for your website.
Websites vs Facebook
Facebook is the biggest and most famous social media platform. Since 2003, it has grown to reach an incredible 2.38-billion active monthly users worldwide.
Is Facebook Good for Small Businesses?
Facebook is a brilliant way for businesses to build engagement with their customers. A Facebook page normally looks and feels a little bit more like a website than an Instagram or Twitter profile. There are also less restrictions on the type of content you can post (and the length of posts).
The main negative of Facebook is the fact that you still can’t control your presence completely. Want to change your cover image? That’s no problem. Want to change the whole layout of your page? You can’t do that! It’s also hard to build credibility if your main online platform is your Facebook page.
Websites vs Facebook – Conclusion: A Facebook page isn’t as good as a website, but it can help customers stay connected with your brand. Building a Facebook page along with your website is one of the best ways to boost your online presence.
Relationship of Social Media & a Company Website
As you can see, the question of websites vs social media in 2019 is more complicated than first thought. There are many advantages to building your business’ social media presence. There are also many reasons why every small business should have a website.
Luckily, there’s no need to choose between a website vs social media – you can have both!
Using Social Media for Business
Your social media accounts are perfect for building engagement with customers – both new and old. People are often more willing to comment on social media posts than they are on corporate blog posts. The way most social media platforms deliver content via feeds can also ensure that your followers never forget you!
But social media accounts can never match the credibility that a business website provides. you should be using them together. You can attract new customers via your social media accounts, then drive these customers to your website. At the same time, you can include links to your social media accounts on your website.
Let’s Get Started!
Instead of choosing between a website vs social media presence, it’s best to concentrate on developing both. Building a successful website begins with choosing the best domain name. It makes sense to do this first, as you may base your social media handles (names) on your domain name. (Hint: If you’re stuck for ideas, our domain search tool could help.)
Build a great website then start engaging your customers on social media, and there’s no limit to where your business could go!