In recent years, the popularity of social networks has grown significantly, and many small business owners today prefer promoting a brand on social networks (Instagram or Facebook), without creating a website, because it’s faster, easier and cheaper.
However, practice shows that even a well-promoted page on social networks cannot be as effective, as your own website for business. But it is quite difficult to create a website from scratch, having no special knowledge and experience, and ordering a site from a web-studio often costs a lot.
However, you should know that today you can easily and quickly build a website for free: modern website builders can really save the day and help small business owners to quickly expand their online presence and start attracting customers.
The most important thing is to choose an easy-to-use solution with advanced features; for example, Weblium online website builder is the easiest and fastest way to create an attractive website for free, offering hosting, domain, 250+ professional ready to use templates, built-in analytics tools, and reliable 24/7 online support.
Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of a website and a social media page and try to figure out what is the best choice to start effectively promoting your business.
Website VS social media: advantages and disadvantages
* Pros of a website
- Reaching a wide audience: the ability to attract even those potential customers who are not signed in/do not want to register with certain social networks;
- Advanced analytics features: the data provided by social media accounts will never compare to advanced features of Google Analytics and other professional services);
- Freedom of action: your website is your own property, you are free to create a unique design and advanced functionality and modify/improve it, there are no restrictions on the duration and quality of videos, length of texts, style of design elements, and you can keep the domain name as long as you want;
- The ability to improve your website’s positions in search results, optimizing the site for search engines and working with content;
- A good way to make an extra income: a personal website is a perfect place for advertising, as well as affiliate links or paid advertising of other sites;
- The site shows the company’s status, it’s a virtual business card, which builds customer trust and loyalty;
* Cons of a website
- Challenges in creating a website and its maintenance (however, there are some exceptions): if you choose a progressive website builder, you’ll get a convenient and intuitive editor with a block-based web design system, suitable for beginners, advanced options for customizing the design of your personal website template, the ability to quickly and easily make changes to the website and many more);
- Challenges in promoting your website (but note that all sites created with Weblium have SEO settings and are completely accessible to search engines, which means they begin to attract leads immediately, right after you’ve published your site).
Pros & cons of a social media page
* Pros of a social media page
- Creating a social page is easy and quick: just write a few words about your company, upload some photos, add contacts — and it’s done;
- No expenses: you can create an account on social networks for absolutely free;
- Justified expenses: social networks are still one of the cheapest ways to reach your target audience;
- Target audience accessibility: setting up a social media account is like being inside a huge crowd of your potential customers. Of course, all of them won’t become your buyers, but using targeting options, you can quickly and easily distinguish your target audience;
- Quick feedback: you will get a comment or testimonial much faster than with a website SEO-promotion;
* Cons of a social media page
- lack of functionality for selling goods/services: when your business grows, you have more products, applications, employees, and, having a website it is quite easy to miss an order in social networks. Moreover, your potential customer does not have the opportunity to see if the certain product model or color is available, he can’t compare two products with each other, etc.;
- it’s time-consuming: SMM is a difficult thing, and it requires constant work, otherwise, there will be no results;
- It is impossible to accurately calculate the budget for promotion since it is influenced by a lot of internal and external factors;
- A promotion should be consistent: you will need to create a schedule of regular publications and get into the habit of preparing content on time (writing posts, choosing pictures, making videos, finding useful materials, etc.);
- You need experience: promotion on social networks is a really difficult and painstaking job, and sometimes it’s better to hire someone who has experience in this field;
- Not all business projects need a presence in social networks: social networks are poorly suited for promoting expensive services and goods. Emotions can make users buy something cheap ($20-50), but this won’t work for luxury goods that cost up to $500 and more;
- The need to regularly update the content: it is quite necessary to do that if you want to have some results of the promotion and to keep them;
- Promotion in social networks is not really an alternative to classic promotion in search engines, since, most often, people search Google to find goods and services;
- There’s a risk of losing reputation due to a controversial post topic or a couple of negative comments.
Now let’s sum it up:
You need a website if:
- You plan to turn your small business into a large-scale organization in the nearest future;
- You work in the B2B field, that is, you cooperate with other companies;
- You have a diverse target audience, a significant part of which does not spend much time on social networks;
- You need wide functionality when selling goods and services.
You can opt for social media promotion if:
- You have a small organization;
- You want to demonstrate a creative approach and you are ready to communicate with different people a lot;
- Your audience is not that large, and these people use social networks every day;
- You do not need special functionality for selling goods or services.
The above shows that social networks have several undeniable advantages, but at the same time, when it comes to an online business promotion they also have some serious drawbacks. Social networks are perfect for promoting business projects at the very start or for very small companies that do not plan to scale yet.
If you have really long-term intentions for your online business, then it is better to get your own high-quality website and back it up with a social media account. This is a perfect choice, and this is exactly what the world’s leading companies and forward-thinking businessmen do.