In recent years, online presence has become vital for any business. Investing in marketing brings you quality traffic, which will allow you to expand your customer base and grow your business. However, the marketing budget is limited in many cases, so the inevitable question arises: social media or website? Given how populated social media is nowadays, how relevant is it to build a website? In order to answer this question, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of both promotion channels.
Social Media vs Website – Why be present on the most popular social networks?
Zero cost is one of the main reasons why most people register exclusively on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin or TikTok. In addition, creating such an account does not require any technical knowledge. All you have to do is fill in the registration forms with the data you are asked for and you are ready to get your followers. If you are not satisfied with the results, you can always close your account and migrate to another platform.
However, you should know that nothing is free in marketing. Access to all these social networks is free of charge, but you need to invest generous amounts of time and money to reach your target audience and distribute quality content.
Take Facebook for example. With over 2.8 billion users worldwide, it has access to an enormous database, which it uses to develop the best algorithms for paid advertising. As a result, organic reach has dropped considerably recently, which means one thing: if you want your audience to see what you post, you have to invest in ads.
However, what is important to mention is that social media presence brings you brand awareness. This means that your brand is visible and recognizable, which will also help you if you want to increase your visibility in Google. This is one of the main reasons why the Social Media vs. Website debate boils down to one answer: both!
Plus, many people are reluctant to buy products or access the services of a brand that is only present on Facebook or Instagram. And many prefer to buy from brands they also follow on social media. The posts you make convey to your followers what your brand values are and help them identify more easily with what you want to communicate.
Social Media vs Website – Why is it essential to have a website?
If you want to be in absolute control, then your online presence can’t just be about social media. Yes, social media allows you to be creative with your content, but let’s be honest: it’s still a marketing tool, whereas the website is the headquarters of your entire activity. In other words, social media helps you drive traffic to your website. But if one of the platforms you’re on were to close down overnight, you’d have no say – your entire business would simply be wiped out.
A website helps you build brand credibility, legitimise your business. Every business, regardless of market, notoriety or size, should have a website. Users tend to think that brands without a website are too new or too small to be trusted. People prefer to buy through Facebook, not from Facebook. It’s a nuanced difference that every online entrepreneur should consider. It is much more reliable to benefit from a secure and systematic payment, than to buy products from the Facebook shop.
Last but not least, we must remember that owning a website allows you to bring in huge traffic through PPC and SEO. You can be present in Google search results pages and with your social media profile, but on brand. With a website you can target relevant keywords with impressive average search volumes that will bring you traffic. Indeed, both require financial investment, but you can get very good results if the work is done well. In PPC you’ll get immediate results, whereas in SEO things move slower, but surely. Once you’ve managed to increase your visibility, you’ll notice that this marketing strategy brings you the best ROI. In general, new and/or small brands are afraid to invest in SEO, but quality work can bring you results after just the first 6 months and you can reach breakeven or zero point of business after just one year.
But even so, the two options are not mutually exclusive. Any business that wants to reach a wider audience has an “obligation” to its customers to invest in a website, but also to use social media. However, a recent survey shows that 35% of small businesses believe they are not yet at the stage where they have a website, and 31% say they prefer to use social media.
In general, many avoid the website option because of the cost. If you make a clear investment plan from the start, a website should not be a huge investment. In this regard, we have an article explaining how much a presentation website costs. However, you should look at the problem from a different perspective. A physical shop generates costs related to rent, maintenance, staff, decoration, etc. Why wouldn’t you do the same to improve your online presence?