Social Media: Do I need a Facebook Page, a Google Page or a LinkedIn profile instead of a website?
Facebook’s advantage is that it is fast and easy to set up. In less than 60 minutes, you can be on the web with a unique FB address. There is no cost to set up the page. They have built-in tracking features and promotion (should you choose to set up an account and pay for the advertising). There is a reason they are so popular: people know how to use the site, what to expect, and how to connect to other users. This is a big advantage and Finestkind Web Design recommends a Facebook presence for most of our customers. Whether it should be your only website is a whole different issue however.
Social Media Advantages:
- Easy to delete if you find it has outlived its purpose or causes more frustration than good.
- Messages are less formal and customers are more likely to engage by sending a Facebook message without having to fill out a form.
- You have control over your look and feel; your branding will improve if you tend it and put a face on the business.
Social Media Disadvantages:
- Cookie cutter templates: your social media page has only so many options and variations on the ways it can look.
- You cannot add features they do not yet offer such as a shopping cart or embedded fixed media.
- Lack of control over customer feedback may lead to surprises on your page if you leave the posting of comments unrestricted. Customers may choose to use social media as a soapbox from which to air their grievances.
- Dumbed down website analytics: the social media mavens only share part of the picture.
- Your content must conform to the social media rules for the site in question.
For most businesses, you should have a website AS WELL AS a social media page.
Why get a website?
There really is no substitute for having your own website when it comes to having full control over your content, your brand, ownership, and ultimately, your company’s credibility.
A website is a promotional tool that works the way you want it to—from being a simple brochure to a full-featured catalog.
- Control. Complete control over design, function, look and feel.
- Migration. Do you ever want to move your website to a different host? This problem gets overlooked by far too many people. Site migration is a complicated process in many cases and many of the templates that the so-called “free” or low-cost wizard instant website creators use are intentionally not portable so that you must continue to use their service in order to keep your website the same.
- Marketing. Finestkind Web Design can create create blogs, forums, full-motion video content, opt-in mailing lists and much more for you on a website than if you simply have a Facebook Page.
- You are responsible for the upgrades, updates, content management, and maintenance of the site. Finestkind Web Design does offer excellent monthly hosting with set maintenance. Please ask for more details.
- Special features can be expensive. Depending on the details, customizing your site can be as expensive as customizing your car. You should know when to stop.
- Marketing is not built-in. This is where a social media page working in tandem with a website really shows off the professional look and feel of a privately designed website.
Intelligent use of Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter or any other social media platform will increase your website traffic. However, be warned: there is no magic to social media marketing. Simply linking to your web page is not enough. Think of it like a garden: it needs to be fertilized, weeded, and watered regularly with new content, promotions and fresh ideas.