With all of the hype surrounding the need for an effective presence in social media, it may be tempting for some small and medium-sized businesses to put all of their marketing eggs in Facebook and Twitter baskets.
In fact, a recent report by Burson-Marstellerindicates that 72% of U.S. Fortune Global 100 companies are now using Facebook.Further, there was a whopping 179% increase in the average number of Facebook pages used by U.S. Fortune 100 firms from 2009 to 2010.
So if it’s good enough for organizations like Exxon Mobil and Wal-Mart, isn’t it good enough for your company? And taking that thinking a step further, is it also good enough to ditch the cost and effort associated with having a dedicated website?
In other words, can an effective social media presence replace a dedicated website?
Probably not. Here are three key reasons why:
- Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and others are all great platforms to employ if you’re looking to increase brand awareness. No one would suggest otherwise, but the fact of the matter is that your presence on social media sites like these can’t help you generate a whole lot of awareness outside their individual platforms. On the other hand, your firm’s dedicated website has a much better chance to deliver high search engine rankings when compared to a page on Facebook, for example. Getting maximum value for the content your firm creates pretty much dictates the need for a dedicated web page. Especially when you consider that factors affecting search engine rankings for Facebook and Twitter pages are largely outside your control.
- Speaking of control, your firm will give a lot of it up if it decides to rely solely on social media to increase brand awareness. Facebook and Twitter control most of what visitors see when they come to your pages, and they also get to impose whatever rules they want to when it comes to the content you upload.
- Measuring results is another issue with a social-media-only web marketing strategy. Your ability to measure results on Facebook or Twitter will be limited by whatever tools their platforms offer to users. With a dedicated website, however, you control the access to traffic statistics, and therefore, you get to decide what metrics you’ll use or whether or not you wish to employ a third-party supplier to help you measure your return on investment.
Not that we have anything against a well-conceived presence on social media networks, mind you. But we think social media networking must be viewed as just one of many weapons in your digital marketing arsenal.
And if you want your attack to be as effective as possible, we believe strongly that the 1-2 punch of a dedicated website and a thoughtful social media presence is very hard to beat indeed.