Website vs social media, the pros and cons at a glance
Nowadays, it is easy for a company to have an online presence. Over the years, the range of social media channels has only grown, and more are still being added. Just think of TikTok and the exclusive Clubhouse.
Because of that wide range and the ease of setting up a social media account, many companies are questioning whether they still need a website.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media and having your own website? Which channel provides the most return on investment? Which channel is best for your business?
Website vs social media
One thing is clear when determining your online presence: whether you are the boss of a large company or a freelancer, both website and social media should be well researched and the advantages and disadvantages of both should be looked at.
First and foremost, let's look at the pros and cons.
- Easy set up - You don't have to be a technical expert to set up a social media account.
- Building relationships - Both networking with partners and interacting with your customers is very accessible on social media.
- Access to international markets - The audience is already there, you just have to engage with it in the right way.
- It’s free - Setting up a social media account is free. However, to further promote your accounts you might need a paid plan to grow your audience in the most optimal way.
- Low commitment - You are not tied to a social media account. Are you not getting any results? You can just delete your account and switch to another platform.
- Word of mouth - Social media is ideal for word of mouth because of the many ways something can be shared and the wide reach.
- Time-consuming - In order not to bore your audience, you need to post regularly, your content needs to be visually appealing, you are expected to reply to messages quickly, etc. Maintaining one or more accounts is very time-consuming.
- Depending on the algorithm - It is very difficult to stand out among the millions of accounts. This is mainly due to the complicated algorithms behind social media platforms and the fact that they are becoming increasingly difficult to crack.
- Open forum - You never have complete control. Do you get negative feedback? Then that's displayed for everyone to see. Also, fake accounts are a real plague on social media.
- No ownership - On social media, you must always follow the terms and conditions of the platform. In addition, the platform can decide to delete your account at any time, for any reason. And what if the platform suddenly shuts down or loses popularity? It has happened in the past, just think of Vine, MySpace and Friendster.
- You have to follow the lay-out of the platform - You are not free to choose the design of your page, the platform changes its global layout from time to time and the ideal post dimensions change every year.
- Low variety of reporting tools - On social websites, you only get to see the analytics they are willing to share and let's just say, there's not much to learn from that.
- Helps you to get found online - As much as 93% of Internet traffic origins from search engines. If you don't have a website, you're missing out on critical opportunities.
- A lot of information in an organized way - Customers expect to be able to learn more about your company and your products or services online. And let a website be the ideal platform for sharing an abundance of information in a structured way.
- Credibility - How did you used to feel about companies with just a PO Box and no physical address? It's just the same with social media and websites. More than 80% of the consumer group finds a company with a website much more trustworthy.
- Full control and ownership - Choose everything yourself! The content, the design, the features, etc. In addition, you are no longer dependent on the general conditions, the algorithm or the popularity of a platform.
- Helpful for better marketing - You can add different features on one platform to promote your business: videos, blog posts, reviews, shop, etc.
- Cost-effective - When you consider what you get in return; to build a website you often pay a one-time fee and then you have a home for your brand, forever.
- Fully trackable - You can track everything on your website: where do visitors come from? How long did they stay? How many people visited my website? How did visitors navigate through my website?
- Link building - If your content is strong enough and you have many sites linking to you, search engines will view your site as a relevant and valuable source of information, boosting your search engine rankings.
- Higher sales - Your website guides people from the moment they learn about your business to the moment they turn into customers and make a purchase. For this you need a certain strategy in which the following aspects are examined: user friendliness, accessibility, reservation possibilities, free resources, etc.
- The set-up is a little more complicated - Your website has to work on any kind of device, you need a hosting package, and someone has to design and develop your website. For this, you will most likely need to enlist the help of an outside party
- A lot of content requires lots of maintenance - The more information you provide on your website, the more work it takes to keep that information up to date.
- Harder to connect with your audience - Visitors come to your website and then leave again. The threshold for contacting you is higher.
- High commitment - Did you then have your entire website figured out and it doesn't work the way you envisioned? Ouch.
Conclusion: which one is better for your company?
The ideal scenario is to first make sure you have your own website. It should be user-friendly, structured and fast. Do not hesitate to ask for help from experts such as a copywriter, photographer, designer and/or developer.
Next, you create a number of social media accounts, depending on your niche and the target group you want to reach. That way, your social media pages can link to the content on your own website.
Don't start hesitating about which one is best. Figure out how to strategically combine the two and raise awareness, strengthen your branding and provide your audience with value-added services that support engagement while building trust.
What approach have you had to date and are you going to change that approach? Let us know in the comments.
Need help designing and developing your website? Let us know!