Websites versus Social Media (Facebook)?

Do I Need a Website?

If Facebook was a country it would be the third biggest in the world. Because of Facebook's large membership, our clients often ask if it still makes sense to build a website.

“Wouldn't it be better to focus on Facebook instead: they've got such a massive audience?”

But why do we still make websites?

Well, stating that Facebook has such a large audience and therefore should be the main focus of a business is a bit of reverse logic.

While it is true that there are many people on Facebook, there are still a far larger amount of people on the web in general. And just because you have a Facebook presence doesn't mean that you'll suddenly amass a lot of friends ‘likes’ or fans - or even that your Facebook pages will get that many visitors.

You can build it, but they won't come by some sort of bizarre magic!”

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Marketing the Business!

Driving visitors to a Facebook page will differ greatly from driving traffic to a regular website, and it is true that social networks have traffic building mechanisms built in to them (e.g. the ‘like’ button). But it is also true that all these tools can be integrated into a website.

But, both marketing a website and promoting a Facebook page costs time, energy and money (they are sometimes interchangeable). Social networks like Facebook, however, have an ‘instability’ built-in that a website simply has not wasted.

You might think that this is extremely unlikely, but it happens all the time. A few years ago, ‘MySpace’ was the biggest, hippest club in town, today, it is a declining property.

Right now, Facebook is the hottest club in town. Everyone wants to get in, even though some/many are talking about leaving Facebook all together. And that shows you how the web works, soon something else will come along and a new club becomes

“The place to be?”

When that happens, all the time and effort spent on building a Facebook presence will have been

It therefore remains a strategic risk to ‘put all your eggs in one basket’ and to put your entire online business presence on just a social network - a social network who's existence, popularity or even its functionality - is not under your control. That does not mean that the power and attraction of social networks (Facebook) should be ignored.

Attracting Visitors

We propose and recommend that businesses have their own Website as a central hub and use other online resources like social networks as drivers of sustainable traffic.

The power of social networks like Facebook is that it enables a business’s clients and readers to share information over their network. It is therefore important to do three things:

Have a presence on the most popular social networks

Integrate these networks into your website

Remain flexible enough to switch integration of networks with your website when the social networking landscape changes

Promoting a business on social networks and building a website aren't mutually exclusive propositions

Businesses should in our view build a website, then raise awareness of their website through profiles on social networks. Making sure that everything in the profiles is linking to the business website, because that is the place people can keep coming back to long after the social network has been reduced to an ancient city of ruins.

Engaging People

Businesses should also make sure that they actively engage the public on the most important networks (which currently, are likely to be Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn). Because social networks are more often visited than websites, it is also important to integrate them in a business’s website and to make it easy for visitors to connect with social networking accounts. This creates a feedback loop between the business website and the rest of the Internet.

The Future?

The era where websites were an isolated island in the wilderness of the Internet is gone forever. Thanks to the advancements in SEO, social networking and other developments the membrane between a website and the Internet is as transparent as ever.

But you shouldn't count on the Internet remaining as it is. The landscape is ever changing, and the roads that lead to websites are here today but could be gone tomorrow.

“Not to worry though, as old roads disappear, new roads will emerge, and central to them is a business’s website; and no-one can take that away from that business”

Produced with thanks from the reliable information source at Clear Goal Media

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