We have businesses say this to us from time to time. Our answer is simple: would you rent your store without a lease with a landlord that could kick you out without notice, tell you what you can and can’t sell and increase your rent whenever they want?
Here are some of the issues we see with relying solely on social media for a web presence:
Control: You want to be able to control the design, layout and overall branding of your website. It’s your business, why would you give someone else that level of control.
Social Media is not meant to be a sales pitch: Your website is where you can make your hard sell. Social media is not the ideal medium for that. No one is going to like your page or follow you on Twitter if all you do is try to sell them your products. Social media is meant to engage your customers with interesting content that creates a relationship with your customers and potential customers. The idea is that this engagement will increase brand awareness and ultimately convert that awareness to sales.
Which social media site do you use? While there are a lot of people on Facebook, it’s not everyone, and lately there have been some pointing to the waning of interest from teenagers. Facebook or any other social media site could go the way of Myspace and quickly evaporate. LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ have less users and to some extend, are less suited to be your sole presence given the lack of customization that can be done on those platforms. You can worry about charts like the one below and decide which platform you should be on, or you can realize that everyone represented on the chart below uses the internet and has the possibility of getting to your website regardless of the social media site they prefer.
Don’t get me wrong, I think social media is a fantastic medium and every business should be using at least one site to engage their customers and build on brand awareness. Its great, but it has it’s place. That place is not a replacement for a branded website that you fully own. To do the traditional hard sell, nothing compares to a well designed website developed by a professional.