The Importance of a Website – Website vs Social Media Pages

Not a day passes when self proclaimed “experts” will claim a once acclaimed technology dead. In recent days some have doubted the value of websites over business pages in Facebook, LinkedIN, etc. Pages in these networks allow one to create a simple and feature lacking presence on the web without the potential offered in the expansive options of a professional website. Without question social media is a powerful part of any modern marketing effort, even simple pages such as these add value — but they do not replace a website effort. Here’s why:

Social Walled Garden

These sites are often described as “walled gardens” or digital labrinths that keep the user captive to their experience of the web. The goal of a walled garden is to keep you neatly captive within its confines utilizing its features and functionality. Why is this a problem, you might ask? Well, because you cannot control what content or ads that will show when the user visits this walled garden page in the garden. For example, a visitor to your Facebook page my see ads to a competitor – not exactly optimal. Additionally they will be confronted by a wide array of features and functionality that distract and detract from the message you desire to deliver.

Building Customer Mindshare

Communicating the value you deliver to your client, customer or constituent is vital to the success of your business. Your website is a unique space where you can deliver such a compelling message and persuade your prospects into customers. No other location in the world of social media (or the digital world for that matter) has as much potential persuasive power than your website to build this understanding.

Website Analytics

When you drive traffic to your website you capture rich web analytics about your prospects and existing customers. You find everything about what is working with your site and deep insights into how you can improve it. With a social media page you have weak and lackluster analytics in comparision. Rich analytics can mean understanding your customers better and delivering more value to them.

Powerfully Deliver Your Message

When you own the portal delivering the message you have direct control over the content and message. This differs from the world of social media pages where you compete with social media features (chat, friend feeds, etc.), content and even ads on the same page. These can clutter or even dwarf your message and may even leave you positioned next to the ads of competitor. No so with your website where you own the whole message, method of delivery and have complete flexibity on how you approach your customer.

Websites Still Relevant

Pages within social media sites are NOT the equivalent of an actual website. Often a social networking presence is a powerful way to engage and connect with prospects/client. Ultimately it can be used to drive traffic back to your homebase or website and out of the walled garden. These social media pages can be used in an additive way to engage customers and prospects but they are not a replacement for a digital home base or website. The benefits of a coordinated web effort involving both will only be reaped for those that embrace both.

8 thoughts on “The Importance of a Website – Website vs Social Media Pages”

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head. Social media presence (pages or otherwise) is no replacement for real engagement.

  2. Whilst there is no doubt that social media pages are useful in bringing traffic, it is essential that you have your own professional website so that you have somewhere to channel that traffic. Without a website your online presence is hindered significantly.

  3. You made a very valid point which is a huge issue with regard to only utilizing social media. You cannot control the advertisements that visitors see on your page, and therefore they could be directed to your competitors. Having your own website eliminates this issue and I have personally found that it is a lot more effective.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. =) I find it is a mix of content marketing, PPC (Pay Per Click) and SMM (Social Media Marketing) that works best for my clients but that a well developed “home base” or website is critical to gaining traction in building a business. Your website is the place where you control the message and the content and can bring them to a specific call to action (CTA). What could be better? Nada! =)

  4. The issue (for me anyway) is how do you turn a Social Media presence into traffic for your website? In my experience traffic to my website has dropped due to Social Media. People just aren’t following my Twitter or Facebook headlines/links back to my website to read the full story. They seem to be satisfied with the headline/subject line as enough information.

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