Last week I gave a presentation at SCORE Westchester on Leveraging Social Media To Connect With Your Audience. After the presentation, someone said to me that pretty soon we won’t need a website. Now, as a web design, development and digital marketing agency owner I needed to pause for a moment before I responded.
One of the biggest reasons why I do not believe in giving up on websites is because it would mean you must give up control; to understand this concept better, let’s look at the reasons why websites are still important to today’s social web.
Understand Your Business Goals
I think it’s important to look at your goals and your big picture. Social media is a great tool for driving traffic to a website. Social media is also a great place to start a conversation and build relationships, but where do you take the relationship? Do you want everything on a social platform, or is it better to have a place where your organization can frame things in a way that fits your style? Ask yourself these questions before you decide to say good-bye to your website as a tool for your business.
How Important is Control
For some businesses, a website might not be necessary to succeed, and your company or organization could get by with a Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ page.
What you need to consider is the control you are handing over. You are giving up control of the overall functionality, layout, and personality of your business. You are also bound by the changes that platform makes for their business needs. Using social platforms to have a presence is wonderful, but in doing so you are then obliged by the terms and conditions of that software. For example, Facebook cover photos on business pages do not allow you to put in a “call to action;” comparatively, you don’t have that restriction on your website. On your website, you are free to ask someone to call or email you for more information.
Make Your Website Relevant
Now more than ever businesses need to learn that a website is not a print piece you just hand out to clients and prospects. Your website needs to be relevant and active in today’s social word. I’m not just talking about adding 2-way communication tools like reviews or comments; begin to think of your website as a place your audience needs to be visiting daily or weekly. To reach this goal, you need to tap into what is of the greatest value to your audience and find a way to connect your business to this passion.
I know I’m not saying anything new here, but time and time again businesses come to me wanting a website and miss the reasons and purposes behind them. If all you do is talk about yourself, who’s going to keep listening? Try instead to think about how your website can become a destination for your audience, and you’re guaranteed to see more success.