Social Media Weekly Podcast

Social Media Weekly S01E08

This week, SnapChat making headway as an Education Platform, Social Influencers today travel via Photoshop, JK freaks out to Horror-inspired VR, Wei Han gets a Social Media existential crisis.

Website or Social Media? Why are Websites Still Your Best Bet

 

In the age where social media sites are visited more times in a day than websites are in a month, many ask: “Why do we still need a website when Social Media can do the same thing at no cost? They are easy to manage and maintain, they have a healthy ecosystem of audience, and they are more engaging than websites”.

It is very tempting to choose Social Media because of its instant gratification, gamification, existing user base, and a muggle-friendly setup and maintenance infrastructure. But here are some reasons why you should also have a website for your company as well:

 

OWNERSHIP

Throughout the lifetime of the Internet and its evolutions, two things remained constant; email and website. They were the first to be adopted by users and will remain relevant for many decades to come.

Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram come and go. Yesterday they replaced Friendster and MySpace, and tomorrow they will be replaced by another, more relevant networking platform. But your website will always be yours because your website is the digital representation of your storefront. Although it is more expensive to set up and more time-consuming to build traffic, the return on this investment is more sustainable and secure.

More importantly, the usage of social networking sites is on their terms and conditions. Too many business owners had their corporate accounts banned by social network sites because they violated certain fine-printed ‘Terms of Service’, never to have access to the content and Followers again. Most of these damages are irreversible and can do significant damage to a brand.

 

CLUTTER-FREE

Social networking sites are a constant and incessant barrage of information overload, from news of war and deaths to pointless videos of bottle-flipping Olympians. Trying to catch the attention of your audience amidst this chaos is incredibly difficult, to a point where you find yourselves needing to stoop to the same level of disinformation when creating thumb-stopping moments. All the while, you will need to compete with millions of brands doing exactly the same thing.

Websites though are clutter-free. They are peaceful and quiet. When on your website, your products and services have the undivided attention of your visitors. You have control over what they see and what to show them after they add something to their carts. It also serves as a one-stop spot to obtain all the required information and education to ease their purchase decision.

 

ADVERTISEMENT-FREE

This is how most social networking sites learn about you: when you engage with or have many friends who are interested in certain topics, the network site’s algorithms will assume that ‘Hey, they react to these things so they must like it a lot. Let’s show them some relevant ads’. This convenience may be appealing to a user, but the same cannot be said to businesses.

The more engaged your target audience is with your posts, the higher the chances they will see competitors’ ads popping up on sidebars and between newsfeeds. This is counter-intuitive for you because it draws potential customers away from you, but it makes sense for social network providers: ‘if you want to retain the attention of your audience, buy ad slots from us’.

A smarter way would be to use your brand Page to raise interest for your products, then direct the audience out of Facebook right into your website. That way you can have more control over what they see, and ultimately have a significantly higher chance of converting them into sales.

 

CUSTOMISABLE

Apart from your Profile Picture, Cover Picture, and a few minor tweaks, your Facebook Page looks almost identical to the million others out there. To an audience’s point of view, this generic layout is boring and predictable. And while Instagram brings out the beauty of pictures on social media, they do not pay the same attention to videos with their mere 1-minute capacity.

In order to catch and retain the attention of your potential customers, your digital presence should reflect your brand message and image. The versatility of a website will allow for endless customization in function and visual appeal.

Yes, it is important to have social media presence, but not at the expense of owning your own website. A good strategy that marries both Social Media and website is required to maximize the potential of both platforms.

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