Is a website more important than social media marketing?

When you start a new business, it’s difficult to know how to market yourself effectively.

You only have so much time and money to get things up and running after all, so which one is more important for a small business – a website or social media?

I will be run through the benefits of each form of marketing before giving you my opinion on which one I think is important for your business.

What are the benefits of social media?

One of the enticing aspects of using social media for marketing is that it’s free to get started. While you can spend money on adverts and promoted posts further down the line, creating accounts for your business is quick and easy.

Your target audience is already present on social media too. Although you need a strategy in place to attract them to your page, posts and tweets – they are there already engaging with businesses like yours and ready for your content.

Social media channels are optimised for search engines, particularly Pinterest and Twitter.

You’ll have noticed social media articles and pins appearing in your Google search results from time to time. What could be better than posting on your preferred social media platform and have it easily found on Google for free?

Can the benefits of a website be better than that?

Yes, they can.

With a website, you have full control over your website. From design and functionality to content types and where you promote it. If something doesn’t work, you can make changes.

You can get across your business personality more easily with a website. Although you can change colours and use images on social media, for the best brand positioning a website can offer so much more and it’s long-lasting too.

Your website is available 24/7. You’re not at the mercy of social media algorithms and peak hours. Instead, your website is there consistently plugging away in the background at promoting your business.

You can capture email subscribers through your website with a lead magnet.

One of the problems with social media is that your account could be closed down at any point (and it seems for any reason) which means you lose access to your followers and their information. Using your website to attract those followers to your mailing list ensures you keep those details in a secure cloud-ready for when you need them

Yes, you can do this through your social media posts, but you still need to direct your followers to a sign-up form hosted away from that channel. While third party websites can offer this functionality, it’s better to have this under your sole control with a form embedded on your website.

Is a website better than social media for marketing?

The answer is yes and no.

Your social media marketing and your website should work together to give your target audience the information they need and market your business as effectively as possible.

Your social media marketing should drive traffic to your website where you can convert those visitors into paying customers. Although it is possible to attract and convert new clients through social media alone, it’s a lot harder without the reassuring social proof of a website behind it.

Having said that, there are some obvious downsides to having a website when you are starting a new business. Running and design costs, maintenance and time spent figuring out how to create your website or finding a web designer to do it for you are just a few.

With that in mind, I suggest that start-ups begin their marketing with social media.

Get posting and interacting with your target audience, build your credibility and reputation while you plan your website and what you want to achieve from it, and hopefully gain some new clients in the meantime.

Can you market your business without a website?

Technically, yes you can. There are some business owners who don’t have websites at all and promote themselves through networking and social media alone.

I personally don’t recommend that.

I believe that having a website gives your business credibility and social proof that’s difficult to achieve through social media alone. When you look into buying a product or service, do you search for websites or simply scroll through social media? I expect you head to Google and search, and most of your ideal customers are doing the same when looking for you.

Is a website more important than social media marketing?

No, I think they both have a pivotal role to play in your marketing efforts, but I think you’re making it harder for yourself to have a successful business without a website.