You need to get your business noticed, but should you invest time in social media or pay a web designer to create a website? There are pros and cons to each.
Social Media vs Website
So, which is better for you? Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram or a website are all used by businesses. Social media is free and unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’re probably already familiar with it. The number of global social media users will reach almost 3.43 billion in 2023 (Statista, 2020).
A business Facebook page can be done in one evening and viewed instantly. The same can be said for Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Let’s look at each social media platform vs having a website.
Facebook vs Website
According to Facebook, in 2018 there were over 80 million small businesses using facebook’s free business tools. At the very least, a business should have a Facebook page.
It’s free, easy to use and can communicate effectively with your customers. You can upload your products and services to your page with photos, opening hours, address and reviews.
But, many businesses have trouble expanding their reach past their Facebook friends. This can be overcome by Facebook ads or placing a post on a local site as your business page.
A website can be searched by anyone, although it costs money for hosting and a domain. Also, some techie knowledge is needed.
Depending on the business, you may have more success on Facebook than other sites.
B2B is not too successful on Facebook, you’re better off on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn vs Website
Great for B2B, LinkedIn is the place to find work. It’s good for networking and learning about the latest news in your industry.
Like anything, the more you put into it the more you get out. I have tried using the free version and the paid, and really the free version is all you need.
Your customers may not be on LinkedIn, so may not find you. But they could find your website.
Pinterest vs Website
Pinterest often gets overlooked as a way to share content, but a recent study found that sharing a blog post on Pinterest received more shares than on Facebook or Twitter.
People go to Pinterest for inspiration. Businesses that tell a story are ideal for Pinterest. Eco-conscious companies empowering an impoverished community or charities are good examples of this.
Also, visual businesses, like clothing, jewellery or even cake decorating, have their pins shared and can find a wider audience.
But, storefront, location specific, industries like hairdressing or a mechanic may not find this platform useful for conversions.
Serviced based businesses that aren’t particularly visual, such as plumbing or tutoring may not find Pinterest as successful too.
Twitter vs Website
Twitter is great for promoting your brand, particularly via hashtags. You can create your own hashtag, eg #Melissagerkecopywriter and make it go viral. If you go to a conference to do with your industry, Tweeting about it can be a great way to show your knowledge and that you’re up to date with your industry.
Tweets are really about getting up to the second news out there, which can be powerful if it’s trending and you have your business tweeting it.
Instagram vs Website
Hubspot research found that out of all the the social channels, Instagram had the second-highest ROI among marketers.
Once again, it’s a visual medium, but this time not solely for the beautiful industries. Plumbers, carpenters, accountants, really any industry can make use of Instagram.
A testimonial, an award, a working dog, professional photos, a great quote or really anything can be made pretty with Canva and uploaded to your business Instagram account. All for free. Hashtags can increase the audience and the insights you get are pretty good.
My business is obviously not a visual one, but I have got some work through my Instagram account. Accountants and lawyers I’ve spoken to see Instagram as a place to get their brand out there. They know it’s not a quick way to get clients, but it’s for the long haul.
Final thoughts on Social Media
Social media is great for brand awareness. You need to think about how each post will add to your brand. Also, try not to sell in every post, rather, add value. This means to make them think, laugh, or teach them something new. SEMrush has a great 2020 social media calendar to give you even more ideas.
Social media is free and is great for a side hustle. But, to be a professional you need to commit to a website. Also if you try to cover all social media, you run the risk of not doing any well at all.
A website is a bigger commitment than social media and shows that you’re a professional. If someone wants to buy something, chances are they will Google it, not go to social media.
These days, a website is like a business card. It needs to convince someone that they need to do business with you, not the competitor. Also, it’s found right when they need your services, rather than popping up in their feed.
Final thoughts on a website
Ideally, you should invest time and money into your website and promote it on social media. Before anyone thinks of doing business with you, chances are they will Google you first. You don’t want the only thing for them to find is a Facebook page.