As a small business owner, you might be tempted to think that social media has entirely replaced the need to have a website.
The truth is—for some people, it has.
The question that might be lingering in your mind, though, is whether that has happened for you.
And the reason for your concern is definitely warranted. After all, you could spend thousands of dollars on a website, where social media is (for the most part) free to use.
If your customers can find you just fine on social, then a website could be a colossal waste of money.
On the other hand, not having a website could cost you thousands or even millions of dollars.
Having worked with dozens of business owners—both online and offline—over the years, we’ve developed some pretty clear guidelines around the difference between social media and a web presence.
So let’s talk about it.
Is a website right for you? Or you can you get by with social media alone?
Here are 3 reasons you (probably) still need a website.
1. You’re in business and want to make money.
Do you ever watch HGTV?
I don’t watch TV much now, but I’ve watched my fair share over the years. And I always got a kick out of people who had the most obscure jobs like underwater basket weaving, yet could afford homes in the millions.
In today’s world, that’s gotten even worse. It seems like everybody is a social media influencer.
This, of course, prompts many young guns to follow similar dreams of social media stardom and take to the interwebs to make their play.
While I don’t want to discourage that, the reality is that—for the vast majority of people—social media as a revenue source is a game that only a few very talented and lucky people can win.
Your chances are much higher building your business on its own website where you have control of the look, feel, layout, words, and more.
If you have a local salon or even an online course business, social media will help you. A lot! It may even help generate revenue.
But you need a platform of your own where you can book appointments or generate a researchable library of authority-driven content.
These things just can’t happen on a social media platform—at least, not now. A website remains the best way to generate revenue through those activities.
So yes, you should be on social media too.
But that doesn’t mean the need for a website has disappeared. In fact, it’s probably more necessary than ever to set you apart.
2. You want more control over your audience and how you interact with and sell to them.
This is probably the Achilles Heel of social media platforms.
At the end of the day, you have zero control over those audiences.
You cannot control who sees what, when they see it, how they see it, whether or not they take action, or respond strategically based on any of those things.
With a website of your own, that’s not the case.
You can collect email addresses, deliver timely content to them, call them to action, and respond strategically based on how they reacted.
If you leave Facebook one day, you can’t take those followers to Twitter.
But if you leave your website or email provider one day, you own that content, and can take it with you where you like.
The goal of social media should always be to drive people away into your own emails, websites, and sales funnels.
This way, you own the traffic and control it how you wish.
3. Your overall success does not rise or fall on the performance of social media.
This is by far one of the scariest things about building your platform on rented land.
In the snap of a finger, the overlords of social media could change everything about the way a platform works.
Not only can they do that, but they have done that and continue to do it all the time.
Now—every business that uses social at all is at least somewhat affected by this. But in my view, there’s a serious difference in a business that uses social media to make money and whose business itself is social media.
If your business just is the money you make on social, then having a website will do little to change that.
Side note: If you’re in that position, I would start looking for ways off-social to generate revenue, and fast.
If the overall success and performance do not depend on social media, then you need a website.
It’s from that website you will serve original content and ideas, invite people into a story, and call to action to work with you.
“Social Media as a Business” is a losing game, long term.
At NorthMac, we strongly recommend you have a website presence if you are going to do business online, though we completely get the hesitation given the size of the investment.
Of course—we don’t always think a new website will solve all of your problems. It’s not a silver bullet.
However, if you don’t have one at all, we think it’s in your best interest to control whether that is a good idea for your business.
If you ever want to talk about it, we’re here to help.
All you have to do is fill out this form to book a discovery call, have a quick 30 minute call where we’ll ask you some questions, and we’ll give you a plan to get things set up for the future.
Best wishes as you navigate the waters of doing business online!