At the moment, social media still seems to be all the rage.
You have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ … and I could probably name 20 more major social media sites.
Heck, even MySpace decided to get back into the social media arena last week.
However, the reality is that social media is not the cure-all that many business owners would like it to be for addressing their online marketing challenges.
In fact, I’d like to give you 3 solid reasons why your company website is actually more important than social media.
1. Social Media Is Not The Place For Selling
In 2012, Forrester Research published a report, “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers” shows that fewer than 1% of transactions could be traced back to social links.
In another completely independent study, only 2% of respondents said that they used social media to help them with their buying decision.
Think of it like this … if you go to a restaurant, but someone sits down at your table to try and sell you a new roof for your house, even if you needed a new roof you would be offended. Its just not the right place to pitch your wares.
Same concept applies with selling online.
So what does tend to drive online sales the best? Well, referencing the two studies mentioned above … pay-per-click advertising, traditional search marketing and email marketing.
My own personal experience concurs with these findings.
2. You Control Your Website 100%
Your website is the face of your business on the Internet, and people do judge a book by it’s cover. Therefore, you want to be able to customize your site to look just how you want it to.
As Andre Agassi famously said back in 1990, “Image is everything.”
On the Internet, your website = your company.
In addition, when you develop a web presence on a 3rd-party site like Facebook, you’re building an asset for *them* rather than an asset for *yourself*.
Websites can appreciate in value over time, just like a piece of real estate can. So why would you want to give that value, which could be substantial someday, to someone else just because they allowed you to create a “free” account?
3. Your Website Demonstrates Legitimacy
For me, this is probably the most important reason for a business to have a website. It gives you credibility.
Although the cost of developing a website is way less than what it was just a few years ago, it still does require at least a little bit of an investment in time and money to put forth a decent website. And if a business is not willing to make this minor investment in developing their “home” on the Internet, I just don’t take them seriously.
Sure, you can create profiles and pages for free on all the social media sites that you want, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But until I see a stand-alone company website, the trust factor is just not going to be high enough for me to potentially do business with them.
A quality website demonstrates that that a company is legitimate and stable.
Now, after reading this article, you might conclude that I’m not a big fan of social media. However, that’s not true. I personally use socially media and realize that it can be an important part of your overall online marketing strategy.
The main point I’m trying to get across is to put things in their proper context and not get caught up in the hype around social media and forget about the fundamentals of how most people use the Internet.
If something changes, I’ll be sure to let you know. But for right now and the foreseeable future, your website is the focal point of your presence on the Internet.