Website vs. Social Media: the winner is...?

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do I need a website when I can just use social media to promote my business?”

Great question.

Why invest time and money into a website when you can use social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram for FREE?

Let me ask you this:

Were you chewing your fingernails and breaking out in a cold sweat on January 11th when Facebook updated its algorithm, decreasing the reach of business pages?

Were you ranting and raving when you found out that this meant that content from friends and family - not businesses and brands - would populate users’ News Feeds and that posts from your business page were going to be pushed aside?

Here’s the deal. When you set up shop on a social media platform you are at their mercy. They can make changes whenever they want and you don’t get a say, even if it impacts your business.

There's nothing you can do as a business owner, except complain and move on.

Sure, you can build an entire business on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or any other social platform.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it's a good idea, and here’s why.

If you don’t own it, you can’t control it.

If a social platform changes the rules, becomes unpopular, gets acquired, or worst case scenario disappears entirely, you’re outta luck. There go your Likes, Tweets, Followers and customers with it.

Instead, here's what you should be doing.

Use your website as the hub of your online presence, and social media as a marketing tool.

Use social media to reach new audiences and help drive traffic TO your website.

Then use that traffic to capture your audiences’s email addresses.

Then use your email list to communicate with your audience any time, any where. On your own terms.

Let's, just for a moment, compare your online presence to an ice cream sundae.

In this scenario, your website would be the ice cream and social media would be the toppings...the sprinkles and the hot fudge on top.

Now I believe that great ice cream stands on its own, but toppings can take your dessert to the next level.

Similarly your website can stand on its own, but social media can help take it to the next level.

Social media should be IN ADDITION to your website, not instead of it. Otherwise it's kinda like having toppings without the ice cream. Just not the same. Am I right?

You want the focus of your online presence to be your website.

When people ask me, “Why do I need a website when I can just use social media to promote my business?” I tell them that it's because you have 100% control of your website and email list. You own them.

And when you own them, nobody can take them away from you, not even Facebook or Instagram.

That said, I'm all for a sprinkling of social media on top.