For some time now, and fueled by the fast pace at which technology is growing, a great debate has taken center-stage in marketing and publicity circles. What is more important than the other between a website and social media? Is a website alone enough? Isn’t social media alone just fine? Doesn’t having the two lead to duplication of information?
The simple answer to this modern-day dilemma is that the two of them are complimentary rather than alternatives. They work together, in different ways, to meet a common objective: creating and maintaining a relationship with your customers, and keeping them informed and engaged.
This can take the form of a Facebook page, a Twitter handle or any other common platforms in social media. Social media generally helps you to push your content to where people are. People don’t come for your information; the information is sent where they are.
Social media has immense advantages such as:
- allows you to reach a global audience within a short time,
- quick, easy and inexpensive to set up or bring down
- very easy for the information you put there to be shared over the internet
- It gives you the most realistic interaction and engagement with your clients.
On the flip side, it suffers a number of disadvantages:
- Its structured nature prevents you from adopting very creative measures in your design. It limits you to what it offers and supports on its platform.
- You have little control over what others can do with what you post there.
- It does not give you very reliable reporting tools that you can use to analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns.
- The content on social media is quickly “overwritten” by new and more recent content, which affects the longevity of your posts.
A website is considered the “official” tool people can use to get information about you. Compared to social media, with a website, people come to get information from it.
Some of its advantages are:
- Its perceived official nature which makes it more reliable,
- It gives you full control over what you post and the manner you want to post it in
- It is dynamic and its dynamism is fully up to you to determine,
- It is usually cost effective, with costs ranging from free to premium, depending on the features.
On the cons side,
- It can take relatively longer to set up or introduce a new design,
- It might require some technical skills to fully tweak it the way you want
- Its effectiveness is based on how many people actually visit it, unlike in social media where information is sent to where people are.
Where the two Meet
Like we said at the beginning, the two are meant to work together. Social media can be used to share information that you post on your website, and share links that direct people to your website for more information. None of them can be fully effective in isolation. A website can keep information for long but it requires social media (plus other features like SEO) to let the world know that that information exists.
The two serve to complement. Customers who get to see you on Social Media can know more about you through the website. Customers who create an account on your website can make follow-up queries via social media. When you post new products on social media, the customers can see more details or even purchase them from your website. This leads to a more satisfied clientele, and a happy clientele becomes a form of marketing to your business.
Here in Kenya, those companies which transact directly with people, e.g Telcos, have invested heavily in their social media because that is where customer complaints are filed, and that is where they should be responded to effectively. Companies which fully employ this are viewed to be customer friendly, “cool” and loosely putting it, less analogue.
Here at Clinet Online we make it our business to help you create, interconnect and maintain these two platforms whose effectiveness is crucial to your business performance. Talk to us today and you shall dine with excellence.
Wondering what your small business should begin with? Well, if on very low budget, social media can be a good starting point. But ensure you soon follow it up with a website.