There are only so many hours in the day. Managing website content, Twitter feeds, blog posts, Facebook status, and LinkedIn profiles to name just a few, is becoming time consuming. With social media getting so much attention, many of my clients are beginning to ask if they still need a website. I believe your website is still an important part of your marketing plan and an essential tool for your brand.
You should see your website as the foundation of your virtual presence. While it should be regularly updated it is accepted that it will not necessarily change on a minute by minute basis. There is solidity to a website that gives your customers a feeling of confidence and stability. People read social media in real time and then move on. If they are not logged on when you post content they miss it altogether. Your website holds information about you that can be explored and read at any time.
You have total control and ownership of your website. This is the place you can show your full brand and really impress your customers and community. While you can now do a lot to brand your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages, they still retain the brand of the platform itself. Each of the different social media platforms have their own rules about what you can and cannot do. Ultimately you have to stay within these rules or lose your account. If there are technical problems, or one of these platforms loses any of your content, your website acts as a stable back-up.
I know it is hard to believe for some. But not everyone will follow you on social media. Your message on Facebook and Twitter is restricted to those who ‘follow’, ‘friend’ or ‘like’ you. Some customers favor one social network over another. There are still large numbers who do not use social media at all. When people search for solutions to problems Google is still the first call for many.
The terms and conditions of social media platforms are designed to allow them to share your status and messages. Unfortunately these same terms, that give them permission to share your status, also leave you wide open. Putting information and ideas onto these platforms is tantamount to putting your precious creations into the public domain. Your website is in your control and under your own terms and conditions. You can choose what to share and where to share it with much greater confidence.
A website will reinforce that you exist outside your social media identity. There are still many who are suspicious of doing business with someone who has only a social media profile.
For each situation there is a right tool for a job. Your website should be one of the tools in your marketing and branding arsenal. Don’t be afraid to use social media but be sensible and look at each situation on its own merits. A tweet, blog or website page will gain you different responses from your customer. Use a mixture of formats, to optimize the chances of your message being read. A mixed media approach can get much higher results, along with a greater long term success.