We all know that social media is now an important part of our personal lives. We also continue to learn how social media interaction can help in communicating with current and prospective customers. One area that is being forgotten is your website. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great social media sites to tackle aspects of your business. The problem with these sites is you have no creative control over the look and feel beyond a few strategic graphics that they allow. Your website is the embodiment of your brand. You have control over your website from the pictures and content to the design and layout. This is 100% your area of the internet that you have complete control over. Your destiny of your brand online begins with your website. Your social media presence is still very important and should work hand-in-hand with your website.
By having your website you gain another avenue for people to learn about your brand in a way you want. With a website of your own you can make your content king, become the expert in your field as well as build credibility of who your brand is. A website should be design to match your print marketing, tie in with any radio and television marketing while also incorporating the resources of social media into a single brand image.
With social media being found organically is no longer the same as it used to be. You are having to pay more to just be seen not only by new clients but your existing customer base as well. With social media you are not only competing for your customer's attention but competing against your customer's family and friends posts. Your one post may not even be seen without being paid for.
Where is your customer base?
If you aren't sure whether your demographic frequents your social media platform of choice any more, you might want to poll your current customers to find where they are. Ask them where they spend their time online, or ask them directly if they still use social media outlet X.
Customers Expect a Website
Another reason that your social media page won't be enough is because most customers expect a business to have a website. According to Business Insider, it's a sign of professionalism. Websites offer more customized content and a closer look at the company's brand and personality. It's not that social media is worthless or that customers don't appreciate a well-developed social media page, but websites are seen as more credible. Just as your email should be ____@yourDomain.com and not email@example.com, ____@Gmail.com or ___@someOtherDomain.com. When running your business you want to be seen as professional.
The time and financial investment in a website varies based on your business's needs. Even if you can't do everything you want right away, you should at least get a simple professional site set up as a place holder. Prime domain names, particularly those with a .com, are becoming increasingly hard to find as competition heats up. Starting at the end of 2013 domain names of .restaurant, .lawyer, .property, etc. have started to become available to help you establish your brand.
Websites Permit More Effective Branding and Control
Having a brand for your company is a very important thing to do for your business. A website allows you to do just that.
Get Total Control Over Your Brand's Presentation
What's important to your business is standing out from your competition. With social media no matter how spectacular your social media page looks it will still be very similar to your competition. This is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to being online. The blessing is everyone knows how to find and navigate your social media page. The curse comes where you cannot stand out from your competition no matter how much better your product or service is. With a website you can demonstrate your brand and your quality.
You can control the information presented, quality of the images customers see, quality of the content that the customer sees as well as having true “calls of action” to entice people to purchase your products and services. Updating your site with blog posts will help you rank higher in organic (not paid) online searches, and you can even address common problems or issues that your customers might face through a customer support page and help desk system built into your website while providing a consistent brand image.
Social media outlets can control what content your customers see and can show your competitors rather than your information (e.g. paid advertising). Having your own website you can categorize content as you desire and change it with ease. Plus you maintain full control over all of your content and do not have to allow any social media outlet or a third party to use it as they see fit. Social media sites, on the other hand, does retain the right to use whatever content is posted on your wall or page.
Social media outlets have grown significantly over the last several years. What was once solely for college students and teenagers has become an important part in every aspect of all of our lives. Having an effective presence on social media used to be a great way to connect directly to your customers, and for some businesses it was enough. This is no longer the case in presenting your brand to your customers.
For help in getting your business on a website, upgrading your website so that it can compete with your competitors, can meet your demanding business needs and presents a consistent brand image contact us or call us at 219-229-1633 and learn how cost effective a great web experience can be.
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