Do I Need A Website Or A Social Media Page

Another common question I get asked on a regular basis is “Why do I need a website when I already have a Facebook page?” and again there are multiple answers to this question. My first answer is that you actually need both and this also applies to Twitter and any other social medium that you or your business has a presence on.

Your website should be your central focal point where potential customers are pointed towards, while any social media presence you have should be secondary and be the tools you use to drive traffic to your website.

Here are a few reasons why.

Anything you post on social media is the property of the social media website. They can delete any of the content on your page and even the page itself if they see fit. Anything you have on your website remains your property and only you have the power to delete it.

Not everything you post on social media is seen by your target audience. You have to time you posts for maximum impact depending on the time of the day. This usually means that you will be posting most of your content outside of normal business hours as that is the time most of your potential customers are using social media. Anything you post on your website stays visible for as long as you deem it necessary.

Just because you post something on your social media page doesn’t mean people will see it. Social media sites like Facebook actually decide on whether your post is worth showing to followers of your page. Check out the insights area of your Facebook page to see exactly how many people see your individual posts. One of the reasons behind this is that they want you to pay to promote your posts and having posts displayed to everyone is counter-productive to their needs. Anything you post on your website is visible to all of the visitors to your site.

Custom graphics and product images are also the property of the social media site that you post on. This also makes it relatively easy for people to copy and redistribute you images as their own work or idea unless you clearly mark it as your work. If the images are exclusive to your website and you have a simple copyright statement on your website, you reduce the risk of them being reproduced and therefore make it easier to regulate.

Graphics and images posted on sites like Facebook have to comply with their terms and conditions. Facebook has one such condition that forbids you from posting images that contain more than 20% of their area covered in text. When you see this logic applied to an image, you will see that this rule really restricts the amount of text you can include. Considering that a good percentage of posts by businesses are images containing text about offers or products that they carry, these limitations can severely limit your options. With a website, you decide what the images contain, free of those restrictions.

Your social media account or page can be deleted at any point if they deem that you have not complied with their terms and conditions. This is more common than people realise and it doesn’t take much for it to happen. Having it restored after being deleted is next to impossible. With a website, you are the content moderator.

As mentioned already, post visibility is not assured on social media. Facebook pages have seen a dramatic decrease in post visibility since the ability to advertise was added. Less and less subscribers to their Facebook pages actually see the posts. Also, if you don’t post updates to your page on a regular basis, Facebook will push your posts further down the pecking order as they penalise pages that don’t post regular updates. Everything that’s posted on your website is visible to all visitors regardless of when and how often you post.

Finally, If you have a social media page that is not updated regularly, it looks neglected to visitors as all posts are date stamped so that people can see how long it’s been since you last posted. A neglected social media presence can make it look like you are no longer trading. You also run the risk of your page being deleted due to inactivity. With a website, you have the freedom to update it when it is needed and not have to worry about it being deleted.

Your social media presence should be used to compliment your website and should, as mentioned before, drive traffic to your website rather than the other way around. The best course of action would be to post content on your website and then share the link to it on whatever social media you are engaged in. You should also ensure that your web designer includes the ability for visitors to share your websites content on their social media pages in the form of share, tweet, google+ and whatever platforms you deem appropriate. 

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