The Importance of Websites in the Social Media age for SMEs
Which would you prefer if you were given the choice of renting a room against owning your own home? That is the significant difference which we will be discussing today between using social media for business vs owning your own business or corporate website. Today we will be looking at the importance of websites for businesses.
It is undeniable that having a web presence is paramount to the competitive edge and success of your business today. However, in this age of social media, often times business owners are finding themselves neglecting the need of maintaining or even having a corporate website for their company. Instead they focus fully on their social media channels such as Facebook pages, Linkedin pages or Twitter and Instagram accounts. Who could blame them really? It is way easier to get started on social media, and the upfront cost and resource requirement is significantly lower.
Understanding the mediums
Before delving into the pros and cons, let us understand the mediums first. What are websites and what is social media? Aren’t they both online? Isn’t Facebook a website as well? People can still find me on Facebook and that’s where I get my business from.
What is Social Media?
Social media are undoubtedly websites in their own right, however it is a public platform website, where everyone can sign-up as a member and interact with members of the community. Popular social media platforms today are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Snapchat. These are but the tip of the iceberg as there are many more smaller platforms which may serve a smaller more targeted niche. Let’s not forget the social media of China such as Weibo, which could rival Facebook if Mandarin was an international language.
What is a Website?
Everyone knows what a website is right? Yes and no, any site you view in a web browser is in essence a website, but there are different types of websites for different purposes. There are search engine sites like Google, portal sites like Yahoo, MSN, and who can forget the ever popular social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest. Some websites provide SAAS (Software as a Service) where you pay a subscription fee to access it’s functions, examples are Mail Chimp, SiteGiant, SeRanking to name a few.
Businesses would usually utilize either a brochure website or an eCommerce website, depending on the nature of the business. Photographers would do well to have their own portfolio site to showcase their masterpieces, corporate businesses utilize websites as their online business profile to disseminate information about the organization and the products or services they offer.
Now that we have a clear understanding of the difference between social media and websites, let us dive into the pros and cons and why SMEs should have a proper website for their web presence instead of fully relying on social media platforms as their primary online presence.
Pros of Social Media for SMEs
Easy to Setup
Social Engagement with your Audience
Cons of Social Media for SMEs
Statistics are Public and Lacking
Information lacks structure and difficult to navigate
Lack of design and identity
Lack of Ownership and Control
Unable to Leverage Digital Intelligence
Now that we have laid out the pros and cons for using social media as your business’ primary online presence let’s talk about the importance of websites for your business.
Let’s go through the cons first
Cons of having a Website as the primary web presence for SMEs
Can be Costly to Setup
Requires Technical Expertise to Maintain
Pros of having a Website as the primary web presence for SMEs
Have Full Control and Ownership
Having a dedicated business website instills confidence
Leverage on Digital Intelligence for strategic business decisions
Important business decisions can then be derived based on the collected data and processed information, giving businesses who make use of digital intelligence have that edge over the competition. This is something that can only be achieved using a proper business website.
Better Brand Representation
Keep your statistics private
More structured way of delivering information
Still not convinced on the importance of websites for your business? The truth of the matter is that Social Media complements your company website. Headquarters should always be your website, while you make use of the various social media channels as vehicles to reach out to a wider audience and lead them back to HQ. If anything, social media has made it a lot easier to drive traffic to websites, compared to the non social media years of yonder, we have it easy these days with the many tools and platforms available that can help us drive traffic to our website.
As discussed above, social media pages are not actual websites, they’re not even owned by you or your business, think of it as an extension of your website. Instead of solely relying on your HQ, you now have numerous branches reaching out to a global audience, all with one goal, and that’s to drive traffic back to your website. In today’s globalized and competitive landscape, you can’t afford to ignore either web presence, and those who are able to embrace both social media and websites in a coordinated effort will only reap more benefits.
If after reading all of this and you are feeling even more confused, don’t hesitate to contact us at /contact-us/ for FREE consultation whereby we can discuss further your business needs and help to clarify your doubts. However, if after understanding the importance of still having a website in today’s social media age and you’ve decided to finally set up a website for your business, look no further, we will be happy to help set up your online HQ.
Alternately you could fill use the contact form below to instantly schedule a FREE consultation with us!