Today I saw yet another mention of how social media is replacing the need for businesses to have a website. This notion has been thrown around by marketers like Ryan Deiss and bloggers for awhile now. Even Forbes had an article titled “Breaking News: Social Media Will Replace Business Websites”. I disagree with this idea completely. Here are just a few reasons why having a website is still crucial:
More Control: A completely personalized web space is only achievable through a custom website. Sure, you can control certain elements of your Facebook page for example, but you’re still restricted to their ever changing terms and conditions, layout modifications, image size limits, the ads being displayed, etc. And lets not forget the copyright and ownership issues that have arisen with certain social media sites in the past (Instagram’s selling of user’s images and data).
Central Hub: A company website is the place to offer your articles, services, testimonials, faq, images and more; all from one location. Marketer Kipp Bodnar says it perfectly: “Think of your online marketing like a wheel. Your strategy should have several spokes that connect back to one hub in the center. A website is the hub of your online marketing. It serves as the one place to which you drive prospects and leads for information and business transactions. Using only social media removes the hub, and the wheel crumbles”.
Appear More Professional: Anyone can quickly create a few social media accounts and call themselves an established business. Having a quality website shows dedication and helps a business appear more professional and less “fly by night”. Not to mention the benefit of having a personalized email address that comes with website ownership.
Reaching Customers: There’s no question businesses are having great success using sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for reaching new clients. There’s also no question that many site owners are still attracting large amounts of traffic through blogging and article writing. The majority of my clients come from people finding me via my website. The more effort I put into my blog, the higher my site ranks, and the more prospective customers I reach.
The purpose of this writing is not to diminish the usefulness of social media, but to contradict the viewpoint that business websites are somehow no longer important. I’m sure most would agree that the optimal approach for creating an online presence is to dedicate time toward both social media and website marketing. Am I off base? Please share your thoughts below.