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Why Social Media Won’t Replace a Business Website

According to recent data, nearly 30% of small businesses don’t have a website, relying on social media for lead generation, advertising, customer interaction, and sales. Social media may be a cheap and convenient way of running a business, but can it replace a website? Practice shows that websites aren’t yet a thing of the past, and businesses can significantly benefit from acquiring a personal page. This guide takes a closer look at the advantages of having a business website over social media pages.

Why Businesses Run Social Media?

To understand why so many businesses refrain from getting a website, we must first outline the benefits of social media as a business channel. Social media pages are easy to set up and don’t cost you anything unless you purchase ads. Everyone knows how to register a Facebook account, so businesses don’t have to hire third parties to help. Therefore, a company gets an online presence with little effort.

Furthermore, social media doesn’t impose any commitments. You can delete your profile at any time if you think it isn’t doing well. Businesses can easily switch to a different platform or run multiple social accounts at once.

Most importantly, social media enables brands and customers to interact in real-time. Users can leave open feedback, send businesses direct messages, get updates, and learn more about the company’s values. This helps to build customer loyalty in the long term.

Can a Business Survive on Social Media Alone?

Despite all social media’s benefits, most businesses can’t survive on social media alone, and here’s why.

Lack of Design Control

Branding is essential for your business recognition and customer loyalty, and design is a pivotal point of branding. Unfortunately, social media significantly limits design freedom. Each social media platform has its unique look and interface, affecting your business posts and advertisement. There’s no way to edit the post layout, fonts, colors, shapes, and other elements comprising branded design.

Simply put, if your only business channel is your Facebook page, the platform decides how your page will look. This doesn’t mean that you can’t stand out and make people remember your brand on social media. However, you have to be intentional with every design liberty you have.

Lack of Design Control

SEO

The more business channels you have, the more users you attract. If you only run your business on Instagram or LinkedIn, you’re missing out on a significant traffic source – search engines. A website helps people find your company via Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing – you name it.

Although search engines can include your social media page in the search results if it’s popular enough, your search engine optimization (SEO) tools are limited. You can insert keywords in your social posts, but that’s about it.

On the other hand, your website offers an array of SEO tools to rank higher in search results, including Alt texts, meta descriptions, and back-end optimization. If you utilize these tools correctly, you can reach a much broader audience than any social media.

Open Forum

Gathering customer feedback is vital for improving your customer service and product quality. However, it’s best to gather feedback intentionally.

One of the main drawbacks of social media as a business channel is that everyone can express their opinions openly. Unfortunately, no business receives only admiration from social media followers. You are likely to get negative comments and even complaints everyone could read. Therefore, companies must constantly monitor their social media comments and tags.

One may say that feedback filtering equals hiding negative opinions from the audience. However, no business would like to receive a complaint about poor product quality under their Facebook post instead of email. The problem is that without a business website, you don’t leave people a better option to contact you with queries. Customers will inevitably head to the comment section if a business doesn’t reply to direct messages quickly enough. But if you have a contact form on your website with clearly defined reply times, you won’t have to deal with unpleasant comments on social media.

Less Credibility

According to recent data, nearly 39% of consumers judge a business by its website design. A complete lack of a website certainly doesn’t help build trust and recognition. A website signals potential customers that your business is legit, and good design indicates that quality matters for you. Furthermore, it helps them quickly find the necessary information and contact you.

Brands that run a business solely on social media can come across as sketchy or simply not worth attention.

Limited Functionality

Social media functionality is limited – for instance, Twitter only lets you write short posts, while Instagram is dedicated to pictures and videos. Some social media platforms strive to incorporate more features, such as marketplaces. However, Instagram’s or Facebook’s commerce features aren’t nearly as advanced as those of proper e-commerce platforms.

With a business website, you can choose the preferred checkout methods, apply personalized discounts, send abandoned cart emails, and much more. E-commerce functionality is only one example. There are many other things you can’t do on social media but can on a website, from slideshow galleries to pricing calculators.

Lack of Control

The most apparent drawback of running a business solely on social media is the lack of ownership. Companies don’t really own their social media profiles; they only manage them.

The platform can delete a publication or ban an account at any moment, canceling years of hard work. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen for a valid reason. Sometimes, businesses get banned mistakenly and cannot get their accounts back because bots run customer support on large platforms. In other cases, entire platforms get canceled by governments or the other way around.

Benefits of Having a Business Website

Now, let’s look at the advantages of having a business website. Spoiler alert – they significantly outweigh social media’s benefits.

Credibility

A website demonstrates your company’s legitimacy to users. Nowadays, people expect credible companies to have well-designed, fast, and responsive websites. These factors define consumer trust.

Full Control

Your website is only yours, and no third party has control over it. You get to tailor each design element to your liking, utilize any SEO tools, and add any features you wish. You can move the website to a different hosting or close it for maintenance at any time, but no one can limit your access to the admin page.

Full Control

Marketing Opportunities

A business website is essential for any marketing funnel, providing businesses with endless opportunities. It’s a harbor for all your channels, a place where your advertising links lead prospective customers. You have complete freedom for marketing tool use, from displaying select customer feedback to promoting products through blog posts or offering free trials.

Additional Traffic Source

Search engines are the most-used traffic source. No social media has more users than Google, so businesses that don’t have a website miss out on a large audience.

Although competition in search engines is even higher than on social media, investing in good SEO always pays off. If you only run a Facebook page, your prospective customers must also have a Facebook account to find you. Meanwhile, websites are universal and accessible to everyone.

Branding Freedom

A website gives you complete design freedom. You can tailor the layout, typography, colors, and any other design element comprising branding to your preference. However, branding is a much broader concept consisting not solely of design. It also includes your brand’s values, mission statement, and customer experience.

A business website gives you full control over your business positioning and customer interactions. You can share your story, vision, and any information you find relevant in your preferred way.

Communication

Although social media facilitates easy communication with the audience, it isn’t the best channel for customer service and important updates. Your website offers customers a straightforward way to contact you and read vital information without distraction.

Unlimited Functionality

A website’s functionality is virtually unlimited. Some websites serve as business cards containing only essential information; others, like e-commerce sites, are the pivotal point of business operations. You can integrate blogs, online games, calculators, quizzes, forms, and so much more on your website, even if it’s impossible on social media.

Customer Insights

Your website offers more analytics tools than any social media, allowing you to track customer interactions with the website. Apart from basic data like user location and age available on any social media, you can gather behavioral data and use it to your advantage. For instance, you can personalize displayed content or learn which layout makes people stay on your website longer.

How to Build a Great Website

As you can see, social media isn’t a reliable business channel. Social media pages are excellent for promotions and audience engagement, but they can’t replace a business website. The key to a great website is finding the right developer team who understands your brand’s vision and has the skills to bring your ideas to life. Don’t hesitate to contact Interactivated for a consultation to start building your business success today.

By interactivated • on March 30, 2022

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