Website or Social Media Presence? Do You Need Both?

By on June 17, 2011

If your business can’t afford to get a website set up, can you survive on social media alone? This question has been on our minds this week. A few years ago it would have been an automatic ‘no,’ but with the rapid evolution of sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging – is it still no?

Your website is the hub of all of your business services and products, a place where you can communicate your sales message to your clients. Though, this can be applied to your Facebook page or blog now as well. In fact, social media sites have made it easier to communicate with your potential clients – with chat, wall posts, comments and a host of other interactivity available.

The End of The Business Website

It’s no secret that people enjoy being on social media sites far more than they enjoy browsing through business websites. Current trends suggest that the website as we know it, may be coming to an end. But we’re not there yet. There are still a million reasons why you need a business website – credibility for one, a crucial factor when selling to the public.

This doesn’t mean you can’t set up your business using social media in the meantime. All the functionality is there, and if you can figure out how to use something as simple as the humble Facebook app – the sky is the limit. You can transform your Facebook business page into a pseudo-website and sales page. There are even shopping cart apps available, so you can sell in mass.

Do I Still Need a Website and Social Media Pages?

Right now, you most definitely need social media pages. As we’ve just explained, it’s the traditional website that seems to be aging, not the prominence of social media. Every single business that wants to earn money online, needs social media and a sales strategy to go with that. Of course business websites are still very important to have – but you can do without one for awhile. You can’t do without social media.

Unfortunately we are all subject to customer trends, behaviors and ideas – and the average customer won’t feel very comfortable buying from a business that doesn’t have a stable web presence – meaning a business website. This is a temporary solution, until you can come up with the finances required to get a website developed for you.

All marketing pursuits online centre around a website, especially if e-commerce is your game. You can transfer this to your social media sites, but its no permanent solution. People have, and will continue to make money via their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blog pages – but any marketing expert will tell you its because they’ve built a brand identity for themselves…based on their website.

If you’re reading this right now as a new business owner, by all means begin your social media strategy without a business website. But be warned – every site has its own rules, and they don’t belong to you. You will need a website at some point, so plan for that as you work your magic on your favorite social sites!

Do you think businesses still need websites to trade online? Add your opinion and contribute to the conversation!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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