Recently, I explained to a small business owner that his interest in starting a business social media campaign was premature; he didn’t have a website for his business yet. He told me that everyone tells him he needs to be on Facebook, Google + and Twitter. He figured that if everyone was telling him the same thing, it had to be correct.
He didn’t like my objections to his plan. While I told him that social media can play an important role in developing a company’s brand and the public’s awareness for it, a website plays a greater role. Let me make the case here.
A website is totally within your control. You develop the content, choose the images, the page titles, what testimonials appear, if people can see your phone number or email address, and countless other important decisions. Facebook and other social media are controlled by the masses.
A website is easy to update. Talk to someone whose employee set up the company Facebook page and is no longer with the company or forgot the password, and see now long it takes to update information on that page. Try months or years, if ever. Every website my company builds for small businesses can be updated by the owner or someone else on his staff as quickly as they can update a Microsoft Word document. Seriously, I can train most people in 30 minutes to make updates, including new pages, new headlines, changes in an existing page and updated photos.
A website can be visible anywhere, anytime. Done correctly, your website can be visible on every kind of device you can think of – from desktop and laptop computers, to the latest iPhones, Droids and tablets. It’s open for business 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
A website gives people an easy way to make a referral. Most of the time, people who make referrals to me send me a link to the company’s website. That link allows me to investigate the company to see if it fits my needs. Rarely do I investigate a company whose name someone says to me. It’s all about the links these days. If people can’t refer you with a link, you’re behind the Eight Ball.
A website is an asset. An effective website does more than marketing. It shows everyone who visits it that your business is using the tools available today to present itself to people. It shows potential partners, affiliates and even companies that might buy your business one day that you are serious about your business.
More than half of small businesses still lack websites, according to research from last year. So if you don’t have a website yet, don’t feel like you missed the party. The best thing to do is get started now on creating a website presence that can embolden your business. Let’s discuss how that would look for you.