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Do I need a website if I have social media accounts?

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Do I need a website if I have social media accounts?

Social media plays a great role when it comes to marketing your business online, and we are sure many of you are already aware of this. 

However, one topic does come up every now and then, and that is... is social media enough? Do you need a website to support your business? Or do you think social media can work as support, marketing and letting people know what’s the latest news from your company? 

“Bespoke websites can cost thousands of pounds, so should small businesses abandon them to save time and money? Or does this strategy only work for certain niche industries?” - guardian 

Is budget the main reason behind companies choosing not to have a website? Social media is free in most cases to sign up, interact and get your messages out there, but you can of course use paid advertisement as part of your advertising techniques. 

“As the power of social media increases, you could be forgiven for wondering whether it’s still relevant to have a website at all. Well, the simple answer is yes, definitely!” - wildheart 

There are great points on both sides of the argument, many still think a website is needed for businesses and social media should be used as part of the process for engagement. 

As this topic is quite suitable in todays changing online environment, and something worth finding out about, let’s see how each of these two play their role in the online world and how effective they can be. 

Let’s begin… Social media platforms 

Many of us probably use social media on a daily basis, from checking what's the latest news story, to whose birthday it is, as well seeing if stores are running sales and of course keeping in touch with family/friends. 

From a business perspective, as many of you may be aware of it, is quite different. There is targets, planning, strategy and constant updates that need to be processed in order to build an effective platform for your audience to get hold of you or be able to notice you in competitive markets. 

Free signing up process 

To start off the process, let’s begin with the sign-up stage. Unlike having to create a website, social media is free. Anyone from the age of 13 and above can signup and start using the features within the platform.  

Of course being under 18 will require parental guidance/control! 

Once that stage is out of the way, the engagement process starts instantly which has the possibility of opening up many doors or opportunities. 

Competitor analysis to improve your strategy

If you are new to social media or using a platform for the very first time, having a look at what other businesses are doing can be a great step forward to get an idea on what you could also be doing. 

As the majority of businesses go through this process, it helps them to identify what they can do differently that can be more effective than their competitors. 

It's also the best opportunity to check out how large organisations are. Since many of the larger organisations focus a lot on social media engagement these days, they can help you come up with an idea of a strategy that could potentially work for you.

Increasing brand awareness 

There are many ways to increase your brand awareness when it comes to online marketing, from websites, emails, and exposure in articles.  

However, within social media the brand exposure is already there, from your profile image to banners. Whenever a user enters your profile, it's the very first thing they see.  

When going into other business pages and interacting with other businesses, from the moment you send a message within their page/posts your business would start to get extra exposure. 

Helps to generate leads 

From attending networking events to any other events that allow you to talk about your business, you can use social media to follow up on the outcome of the event.  

This allows more people who are interested get familiar with your business and it becomes a pathway to generating new leads. 

Customer experience 

When it comes to customer experience, this comes from 2 sides, one of which can greatly benefit your online presence and the other, not as much. 

Let’s start with the good. With great product and services being provided, you will surely attract many happy customers who can end up leaving good reviews on your social media pages, that will no doubt lead to greatly increased exposure. However, as there is a good side, similarly there is a bad side, which we fall into the category of "must avoid" and that is bad reviews. 

Being part of social media, aside from basic available options to the user, they're setup to normally not allow companies to be able to delete other users posts or any bad reviews unless they feel they have violated terms and conditions of the website. 

It can be daunting to see a bad response being made, not having the power to remove those response leaves other users seeing it and taking into consideration questioning your services/products. 

Sharing content 

One of the many great features social media have is sharing articles/news through a simple process that mostly requires just a simple click of a button.  

Once a post is sent out, it gives your audience the ability to share your post, allowing their friends who may not have known about your business to be aware of it.  

Quick benefits breakdown of social media 

  • Quick & Free 
  • Low-commitment 
  • Global audience 
  • Easier to engage with your audience 
  • Branding exposure 

Quick disadvantage breakdown of social media 

  • You cannot design the layout of the website apart from certain specific sections 
  • You won’t be in complete control of what other users can post on your profile 
  • Lack of ownership when it comes to setting up an event, you must follow the rules and regulations of the platform 
  • Your reputation is on the line, as well as open to receiving messages from “internet trolls” 
     

Website 

 

When it comes to websites, these act as you online store for your target audience. They allow new users to come in and find out more about your business.  

Social media combined with your website can work wonders and both can help increase exposure for each other.  

Creative freedom 

When it comes to deciding to choose only one, the huge difference between the two (social media vs websites) is the fact that on websites you have all the creative freedom. This opens the doors to many opportunities. 

The main reason behind this is, unlike social media, you are in control of what goes onto the pages and what needs to be changed, this can be in terms of design, content etc. 

Quick benefits breakdown of having a website 

  • Cost effective: When it comes to websites, depending on your business needs and budget, a website can work around it. 
  • Full control 
  • Easy to access information 
  • More opportunities for better marketing options 

Quick disadvantage breakdown of having a website 

  • Maintenance: Having a website does not mean it’s something you can just leave alone, whether it be a change in vision or product, updating your website is crucial 
  • Unlike social media, building a website requires a longer process than just being able to sign up. 
  • Design: At times it can be quite complicated to establish appropriate information for your business. If it is displayed in a complex design, the messages can be quite difficult for the user to make out. 
  • Budget: This also goes into benefit, but it can have it's drawbacks. The more complex a website design tends to be, the more hours it takes to create a complete product which could also result in a higher quote for your website than you may have expected. 

Here's what we think… 

This question can be said in both ways. One is as the title suggests and the other "Do I need social media if I have a website?" It's basically the same question but with a higher possibility of having a different answer. The second question would most likely turn heads with people saying "yes" whereas on the initial question it would have a balanced answer mostly consisting of "no". 

When it comes down to those two questions, the obvious answer depends on what you need. Having one of each rather than both together can still be more useful than having neither. 

After having managed both social media accounts and websites for both our clients and ourselves, what do we think of this about this topic? From our perspective, it is a simple answer which leads to having both. 

One can be enough, however, as a business, having both is crucial. The main aim of a business is to increase their awareness in the online world and what better way would there be than using both? 

From an individuals perspective however, unless you are promoting yourself via a portfolio to increase your freelance capability, then having both can still play a crucial role but not is not completely necessary. Using external websites to upload work examples on and having a social media just to introduce yourself can still work perfectly without requiring you to have a website of your own.

So, what are your thoughts on this?  

So, after having a look at both sides of the topic, what do you think is crucial when it comes to choosing them? Both? Or is having one enough? 

Let us know what you think, we love hearing different opinions from our readers. 

What can we do to help… 

When it comes to social media, you need to be updated with what’s going on to get your viewer ratings up. It can be tricky and finding new ways of advertising are being discovered on a daily basis. To help you get started, we can help you manage your social media and help you with creating a website. For more info give us a call on 0191 259 1272 or drop us an email. 

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