Published 2020-06-28 by Michael S. White
Since the early days of the World Wide Web, many marketing sages advised businesses to have a website. Those businesses were brick & mortar entities. Part of the purpose of having a website was to inform customers about your business to have them come to your location.
Having a website became part of your marketing program. Your marketing efforts — brochures, business cards, advertisements in the phone book, newspapers, radio, etc. — had these website addresses in them. Including your web address helped to drive traffic to your website.
When people were on your website, you could provide them with information in detail that you would not do in your other marketing. Before the rise of ecommerce sites websites tried to be informative instead of trying to drive sales. You ran ads and held promotions to drive sales. Your website was often thought of as being supplementary to your marketing efforts.
Businesses who were early adopters of websites often felt their website investment was not necessary and limited expanding their sites. Fortunately, those businesses that saw the potential expanded their website investments. This helped to lay the foundation that we use today for site design.
Then came social media.
The early days of social media sites were, shall we say, the stepping stones to what we have today. Early sites such as MySpace helped to get users accustomed to having parts of their lives online.
From 2005 to 2008, [MySpace] was the largest social networking site in the world reaching more than 100 million users per month.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MySpace
Other intrepid entrepreneurs saw opportunity here starting their own social networks. They were able to draw users away from MySpace and some of them saw exponential growth. According to Facebook, their monthly active users were 2.6 billion as of March 31, 2020. – Facebook Reports First Quarter 2020 Results
For a period of time, some marketing advisers suggested that businesses who had limited marketing budgets should put their efforts into having a Facebook page foregoing their website. Some of the thought behind this was that it was the cost (free) and the breadth of audience. You could make posts that customers would like and share with their friends.
That was bad advice.
Facebook, as well as other social media platforms, want to monetize their service. Perfectly understandable. To that end, they have made changes to their newsfeed algorithms. Part of their intent is to get their users the best social experience they can provide and have a growing revenue source. They prioritized posts from people over business posts in organic news feeds. To that end, businesses were less likely to show up in front of their intended audience. That is, unless your business wanted to pay for it.
When you are only using the social media platforms and foregoing development in your website, you are playing in somebody else’s sandbox. There are also lots of other toys (other posts and advertisements) in the sandbox that are trying to draw the attention away from you. The sandbox owners get to make the rules changing them at any time. Some of those changes do not help your business unless you want to pay for it. You want to have your own sandbox where you are in control. You need to continue the investment in your website.
When you invest in your website, you use social media platforms to drive traffic to your website. Having a website with good content will drive visitors to your calls to action. Compelling calls to action allows you to develop leads and increase sales.
To be clear, our advice is not to forgo using social media. Quite the contrary. Our advice is to have a strong website using social media to drive your customers to your website.
If you are wondering what makes a strong website, we will have multiple blog posts about that in the future. In the mean time, if this is something you are interested in starting please contact us.