Why invest in your website when social media is free?

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When it seems like everyone you meet is on at least one social media platform (or two, or three), it can be tempting to take your foot off the pedal of your website, and throw all you’ve got into your socials instead.

In March 2020 the UK had 45 million users on social media. That’s a huge proportion of the population that you can access via completely free channels.

Provided you don’t want adverts, at least to begin with, you can use your social media pages to gain followers, increase your engagement and talk to your audience… Why would you need anything more?

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help you to showcase your logo, your services, your USP, and chat directly to your customers one on one. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? It’s certainly very useful. But there’s one problem. Before anyone starts to trust you, most people in your social network will want to know more about your business.

They’ll hop off your Facebook page, Instagram channel or Twitter feed, and try to find you on Google. With so much information accessible so quickly, your clients know they’ve got the power to find out a lot more than just what your social media pages can tell them. In fact, 55% of people will search the web for reviews before making a purchase, and 47% of those will head over to your website.

But what if there’s nowhere for them to go? If you haven’t got a website? Well, they’ll just give up looking, and find someone who does.

Social media channels are fantastic, but they just aren’t enough on their own. Even though you can build an excellent potential customer base through social media, where can you send them to convert into customers? Without a website, you’ll leave potential customers hanging, and cut off those who like to do a bit more research before they part with their pennies.

Your website is the central hub for your business online.

You can fill your website with everything potential customers could ever need to know- and more! You can highlight essential information and direct visitors to important content, share blog posts to tell everyone what you care about, and add reviews to give confidence in the value you can offer. The layout and feel of your website can even have an impact, as it will help customers to understand more about your brand. 

Everything on your website is there for a reason and its primary goal is to help you build customers.

Social media is out of your control.

Social media channels are fantastic, but their worth is limited by the amount of time you can put into them.

If Facebook changes an algorithm and pushes you lower in your follower’s feeds than you were last week, there’s nothing you can do about it. In fact, you might not even realise until much later.

A quick Google search will bring up tens of different articles that will explain the different Facebook algorithms, and how you can work around them. Ultimately, the main point you’ll take away from each article is that you must stay on top of the changes. If you’ve got enough time to set aside, that’s achievable for one social channel. But when you realise that each social media channel has their own ranking system, and that you’ll need to stay on top of each and every one, it can get a bit overwhelming.

On the other hand, regardless of what happens on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tiktok or Snapchat, your website won’t change.

Once you’ve got a user friendly, easy to read, quick to navigate website that helps you to sell your services and communicate with your customers, you’ve got a one stop shop for all potential customers and clients, that is entirely in your control.

Your social media pages are the satellites in your website’s orbit. They’re useful, and can help you to drive traffic to your site, but it’s your website that has the gravitational pull.

Even though building a website from scratch seems to cost more than starting a Facebook page, it’s worth thinking about your website as a long term investment.

Upfront and Ongoing Website Costs

A website can cost anything from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. Generally, the larger and more complicated the site, the higher the cost. For example, an e-commerce site with hundreds of items, will cost a lot more than a site with one or two pages. 

After you’ve paid for your site to be built, you won’t have to pay again. Unless you decide on a major rebrand, you’ll be able to edit the content yourself, and still maintain the professional finish.

Once up and running, aside from paying for your domain, and a support plan if you need one, you won’t have to pay anything to run your website.

Upfront and Ongoing Social Media Costs

You won’t be charged anything for setting up social media pages.

But… It doesn’t take long before most businesses decide to pay for social media marketing in one form or another. Depending on how many people you want to reach, and what you want to achieve, social media adverts can cost anything from £5 a day to £500 a day.  It’s useful to remember that once you start running social media ads, you’ll need to give them time to generate leads, and to really see a return, you want to think about them as a long term cost.

Get the best of both worlds.

Websites and social media channels both have their benefits, and ideally, you want to be thinking about a combination of the two. Don’t let the shiny social media channels cloud your vision and result in you losing sight of how valuable your website can be.

Whether you’ve got a website already and you’re wondering if it’s worth putting more time into the content, or you haven’t got a site and you’re wondering if you should get one, we suggest thinking about your website as an investment in your business. Your website can really help your customers hone in on the value you can give them, and you alone are in control of your website.

If you’re thinking about a website refresh, or you want to find out exactly how well your website is performing against your competitors, get in touch to find out about our free website audits. We want to help your website deliver results.

Sources (in order of use):

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/507405/uk-active-social-media-and-mobile-social-media-users
  2. https://wpforms.com/the-ultimate-list-of-online-business-statistics/
  3. https://blog.hootsuite.com/facebook-algorithm/

Ray Dale

Brand Strategist. Web Designer. Web Consultant. UX Designer. WordPress Specialist. Creative Director. Co-founder of The SeedMill. With 20 years of commercial experience in web and design industries, Ray is fascinated with all forms of design and business strategy, whether that is web design, video or data driven design. Having worked for small design agencies and large corporate companies, Ray has seen all sides of the web design and marketing industries. With a head full of ideas & strategies and a skillset that is rare to find, Ray is extremely passionate about helping businesses to achieve growth online through strategy and design.