Welcome to 2022, where the average person has between five to eight social media accounts. These social media accounts are used by both individuals and businesses to promote their brands, increase online presence, and engage customers and potential customers.
I have an account on LinkedIn, Quora, Medium, Reddit, and YouTube that I engage my audience with. Do I still need a website? This is a question I get asked always. Below is a list of 15 reasons you still need a business website despite the numerous social media accounts you have.
- Competitiveness: People, especially potential business partners, trust companies with websites, compared to companies with just Facebook pages, or any social media (SM) accounts. Two typical examples are stated below.
a. I built a website for a client and the reason was simple. He wanted to strike a business deal with a potential client and the first request from the client was, “send me your website link. I will assess your company and get back to you”. To meet this request, it forced me to build a standard website in less than 2 hours.
b. I built a website for another client who is into procurement. He had a request to submit a proposal but was rejected because the requesting institution would only communicate via business email address (something like email@example.com), not the generic emails provided by Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook. Once you have a website, you can have such custom emails for all your staff.
2. The tolerance level the hosting companies offer is way higher compared to any existing SM platform. I have had none of my posts/articles deleted on any of my websites or my client’s website. But Facebook has deleted a lot of my articles and posts on its platform.
3. You have no control over the terms and conditions of the SM platforms. They can decide to change it any day and it can affect your years of effort in promoting your brand on their platforms. They do these changes always.
4. For analyzing your users/viewers, your website gives more analytical reports than any SM platform can provide.
5. There are so many ways to monetize views on your website, compared to these SM Platforms.
6. Your content is more structured on your website than on SM Platform. This makes it easily accessible to later viewers.
7. On your website, there are no limits to what you can type. I have reached the comment limit of 8000 characters on Facebook many times. The new Twitter character limit of 280 characters is still a joke. The 5000 limit of characters on YouTube is still not enough for certain video descriptions.
8. You can write a well-structured post on your website, compared to these SM platforms. On these platforms, you can’t make headings, insert images where you like, underline texts, change the font color, etc. Quora, Reddit, and Medium provide good editors but they equally have “crazy” rules, especially Quora. For over a year now, I cannot make a post on Quora. I have been banned. Why? I do not know.
9. Your website also takes care of other people who are not on SM platforms. According to statista.com, the number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of the 4th quarter of 2021 was about 3 billion people. As of January 2022, about 5 billion people had Internet connectivity. That means a post on Facebook has already missed about 2 billion potential readers.
10. It is relatively easy to migrate your entire content on your website to another platform or hosting provider. If you dislike Facebook and decide to abandon it, you can download your entire data, but what do you do with it? You cannot go to TikTok and say, hey Manager Tic; here I come with my belongings.
11. It is easier and faster to get support when something goes wrong on your website. Do we even get support from these SM Platforms? The award-winning writer, Waterz Yidana, for instance, lost his recent posts about e-Levy and A Plus. They just disappeared without traces and no message from Facebook. If it was on his website, he could have engaged with his hosting company right away and they would tell him what went wrong. I remember chatting with my hosting company for three solid hours, trying to fix an issue. After fixing it, they still asked me: “Is there something more we can do for you?”. Many people have lost their accounts simply because they forgot their passwords and could not get the needed support from the SM platforms to restore them.
12. Making a post on SM platform is one thing; people seeing that post is another thing. The tricks you need to apply to your articles or images or videos so that people will see them when they search for them online is called Search Engine Optimization. There is little you can do to increase how well people will see your content on SM platforms. On your website, there is a lot you can do.
13. Lasting value: Your displayed adverts disappear on SM platforms immediately after your budget finishes. On your website, you can place your adverts at your favorite location and your visitors will forever see them if you so wish.
14. You can build your website in such a way that it can help you do almost everything about your business. I have a store, invoicing, payment, and many other functionalities integrated with my website. SM Platforms don’t have such.
15. The reality is: the Facebook account or any social media account you open is not yours. Your website is yours. I think that alone is a big difference.
Social Media platforms are great and must-have platforms. But not a replacement for a company website, at least not in the next 5 to 10 years. I have always seen SM platforms as good places to get people and direct them to visit my office (my website); I don’t see the SM platforms as the office itself.
Author: Kaunda Ibn Ahmed (Member, IIPGH)
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