I am on social media, does my business still need a website?
Small businesses are expected to have a website, but if you only have a social media presence what are the issues you could encounter.
I have another blog on WNA explaining 10 reasons why I believe a website is advantageous, but I wanted to approach this from another perspective and explain why only having a social media presence can be problematic.
My concerns with this strategy are:
Algorithm dependence issue
You are dependent upon the Facebook algorithms and its changes as to whether you are seen, and the algorithm can change overnight! This can have significant effects on your visibility, which can lead to fading reach. So suddenly you aren’t even getting your messages out to all your followers, in fact the average reach on Facebook is 5.5%. That means that if you have 1000 followers, your posts are only going to 55 people. This reach number has been decreasing over time and we expect it to continue to reduce.
Social media platform popularity
Or it could be a slower change with customers moving off your social media platform onto another popular platform, so then you need to be constantly moving as well. Do you need to be on Snapchat, do you need to be on TikTok? However, if you have a website it is always there and no matter what happens with the social media platforms, everyone can find it.
If you sell products on Facebook in Australia, and you don’t want to do a manual payment method, then at this stage to have a payment/cart option you will need to link to a website with that ability. There are changes coming to Facebook Shops, however in Australia we have been waiting a long time for a payment/cart option that is integrated into Facebook Stores and at this stage they haven’t indicated whether this refreshed Facebook Shops will have that option available either.
You are also restricted by Facebook rules and may not be able to show certain images or products. For example, you cannot sell live animals on Facebook. If you have a pet shop, then that can be very limiting! There are penalties, and a penalised Facebook page can be turned off without any notice. So, all that effort at creating a community of followers and clients can be gone in an instance. And I highly recommend any companies that utilise Facebook as their community to ensure they get email contacts as well for exactly this reason.
The final verdict – should you consider a website for your business?
If your main customer base is on Facebook and you already have a strong following then you might make the strategic decision to not put the time, energy, and cost into a website. But make sure it is a strategic choice, not just “I don’t know how to get one setup” as there are website options that overcome each of those objections. If you don’t have a strong following then having a website for Google search is still the best return on investment. Weigh it up and make your strategic decision.
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