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Can Social Media Completely Replace Your Website?

“Social media is the new shiny red apple,” says Forbes. It’s changed the game. It’s an entirely new ballpark, overtaking the key forms of marketing and communication the general public commonly views.

Yet websites are an established format, traditional, and a path often followed. They are the ultimate in sophistication, one might say.

You may be led to wonder: is my online presence enough through my personal website, or should I give in to social media’s momentum? Can social media completely replace my website?

It’s a huge debate. Now, let me offer you some insight.

Pros of Social Media

Got Commitment Issues?

Either you have them or you don’t, but whatever the case, it doesn’t matter in terms of social media. With little to no obligation, if you decide your social media platform just isn’t working out for you, delete it. One button. If you decide you’re just not happy on one platform, switch to another. Or better yet, use multiple platforms. You’re not stuck.

A Community of Customers

Now more than ever, customers can build relationships with their favorite brands. Social media allows that reciprocal interaction between your brand and your customers. It gives a humanistic quality, making your brand seem more approachable and inviting to customers. And that, most certainly, is how you keep them.

Loyalty

When customers are drawn to your social media platform, it not only gives you a greater online presence but also establishes a sense of loyalty to your brand.

The Price You Pay

Money—a lovely but scary topic. However, I can assure you you’ll have plenty of it using social media to bolster your brand. Typically, accounts are free to set up and maintain. Because of this, social media platforms are a very effective and efficient way of affirming your brand’s presence. Plus, they take little to no effort (score!)

Cons of Social Media

No Control

Unfortunately, you don’t own your platform when it comes to social media. Your page isn’t entirely controlled by you. The social media platform itself is the big dog, and you’re just part of the litter.

Whichever platform(s) you choose, you’ve got to keep in mind their strict guidelines. What’s more, said platform runs a risk of going extinct. Don’t believe that will ever happen? Let’s not bring up Myspace… 

Limitations

Most if not all social media platforms limit your creativity. Sure, you can customize a few aspects, like your profile picture, or by adding a cute little bio. But that’s not the point: you’re still massively limited, and it’s nearly impossible to expand beyond the platform’s basic layout.

Open for Discussion

Sometimes you gotta take the heat. On social media, there are no exceptions. However, having a community of customers has its drawbacks. Customers have complete control (not you, sorry buddy) by voicing their opinions, complaints, and critiques. With the power of social media, customers can and will dictate the success of your online presence: is it worthy, or should it plummet into extinction? 

How’s that for taking the heat?

Pros of Personal Sites for Brands

Better Marketing

Your own personal website is your sanctuary. Within it, you’re given more leeway communicating with your customers and promoting your business. You’re able to market through a multitude of features like blogs, videos, and special promotional offers, as well as pay-per-click campaigns that direct traffic to your website. Not only that, having a website garners better visibility in search engines.

It’s Legit!

In an article titled “Domain Names are the new Social Media Handles,” 101domain went on record to claim that if anything, domains are replacing social media handles/usernames because of the authority they establish, not the other way around. In addition to having the right domain, customers more strongly believe your brand’s credibility when the site itself runs like a clean, fully-functional machine. When everything runs well, customers develop trust in your brand. That’s exactly what you want.

You’ve Got the Power

With great power comes great responsibility. Unlike social media, you have complete control of how your website looks and functions. If money is an issue, there are a plethora of free and low-cost options to build your website.

It Works!

Your personal website is a powerful tool, and that’s why it’s got to be functional. With a website’s natural flexibility, you’re able to embed a wide range of web technology like contact forms, e-commerce systems, or even a simple FAQ page available to your customers 24/7 (so now you can get some much-needed rest!)

Cons of Personal Sites for Brands

Bells and Whistles

To keep your website running like a well-oiled machine comes maintenance. Because of this, you’re required to keep everything up-to-date. Of course, this takes time and money on your part (not fun.)

Money (... Hate to Break it to Ya)

The more refined, sophisticated, and professional you’d like your website to be, the more money you need. Unfortunately, customers can smell a free website from a mile away, and this can create some implications in establishing your credibility.

Something’s Gotta Give

Maintaining a website is no small task. It requires time and effort—a bit more than social media does. In order to bolster your online presence, you have to have an effective marketing strategy. Getting on the top of any search engine helps, but this, again, requires an effective marketing strategy along with time and patience.

And the Winner is … 

… well, it’s up to you to decide (how’s that for a conclusion?)

After all, you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. Choosing to rely on one is setting yourself up for failure. Both tools are incredibly powerful in their own respective rights, but both can amplify your online presence, giving your brand what it needs to thrive.

And if, after all this, you don’t want to listen to me, I’ve got my good old buddy Forbes to back me up. Social media “is not going anywhere, but neither are websites.”

With that being said, both platforms go hand-in-hand, and it would be to your advantage to implement both.


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