Pros and Cons of a Website vs Social Media

In today’s digital age, the question of whether a small business needs a website or can thrive solely on social media is more important than ever. While social media platforms offer unparalleled reach and engagement opportunities, the traditional website remains a cornerstone of online presence, providing businesses with a customizable hub for branding, e-commerce, and customer interaction.

In this blog post, I talk about the advantages and disadvantages of social media versus a website, so you can make the best decision about using them for your small business owners. This doesn’t have to be an either/or situation, but it is good to see the time investment and lifespan of each, specifically when it comes to content. Both can work well for your business.

The aim of this post is to help you decide what to invest in for your business. And the decision should take into account your resources, personality, goals and more.

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Social Media and Websites

Social media refers to websites and applications that allow people to create and share content or participate in social networking. It’s like a virtual community where users can connect with friends, share photos, videos, thoughts, and interact with others through comments, likes, and messages. Popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

A website is a digital space on the internet where you can find information, pictures, videos, and more about different topics or businesses. It’s made up of web pages that you can access using a web browser like Google Chrome or Safari. Websites can be used for many things, like sharing news, selling products, or just providing information.

With so many great things you can do on social media these days, your biggest question might be – Why do I need a website if I have a: Facebook group, a Business Page, an Instagram, or (fill in the blank)?

I talked about deciding if a website is still relevant for your small business here.

Is Social Media for You?

There can be a lot of advantages of growing an audience on social media. it’s fun, it’s social (at least some of the time), you can grow quickly, scale with ads, and more. But social media platforms are totally different than a website and you should take time to consider the longevity, sustainability, and impact of each.

Here are some questions to ask when it comes to creating content for and spending time on social media:

  • Are the posts you are creating on social landing with the right audience?
  • Are they getting seen in a way that’s effective for your objectives?
  • Do you feel aligned with your presence on social?
  • Does it affect you mentally in a negative or positive way?
  • Is it something you see yourself doing in another 3 or 5 years?
  • Is social working for you to actually grow?
  • How do you feel about each of the platforms?
  • How will you archive your social media presence?

These are questions that as a small business owner you should consider about the future of your business.

Will a Website Work for Your Business?

Having a website for your business is a big step, and not one you should do without planning and future thought. Websites require maintenance and cost money but also can work for your business around the clock and grow your audience. And even as a website designer, I tell people that websites are not for everyone.

I will write about this more in the future, but here are some questions to ask about whether a website is the right or best tool for your business:

  • Will you be able to maintain a website
  • What type of information will you have on it
  • Can you learn and use the tech integrations or are you able to hire someone to do that
  • Your own name or business name might not be available as a domain

see all of my blog posts on website tips here

A Website vs Social Media

Some important points to remember about social media are listed here. You don’t own any of your followers information and building a following on social may get you an audience, but it also can be:

  • Building something on borrowed land
  • Change too quickly for any real impact
  • A time suck for you
  • Very short lifespan of social content
  • Little to no return on your investment into creating the content
  • The cause of mindset, confidence, or comparison issues

There are also things to consider for having a website.

  • Websites cost money
  • Sometimes people don’t know how to use their website for their business
  • Can become outdated when your business changes
Responsive web design displayed across a desktop, tablet, and smartphone.

Is your website collecting dust? Or is it unpublished or outdated?

Watch my free 30 minute training on How to Create a Dynamic Website Strategy. It has tips and ideas to elevate your website and business that you can implement this week.

Pros and Cons of a Website vs Social Media

Let’s review the options of working with social media versus a website. Remember this is not an either or decision to make, but instead consider where you want to invest your time for your business in this season.

Social Media Pros:

  • Wider Reach: Social media platforms have billions of active users, providing access to a vast audience.
  • Cost-Effective: Setting up profiles on most social media platforms is free, with little to no investment.
  • Engagement Opportunities: Social media enables direct interaction with an audience through comments, messages, and posts.
  • Viral Potential: Content shared on social media can quickly reach a large audience through shares and virality.
  • Targeted Advertising: Social media platforms offer highly targeted advertising options based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.

Social Media Cons:

  • Limited Control: Businesses have less control over the platform’s algorithms and policies, affecting visibility and content reach.
  • Constant Monitoring: Managing social media accounts requires regular monitoring and engagement to maintain relevance.
  • Platform Dependency: Changes in algorithms or policies can significantly impact reach and engagement.
  • Competition: Businesses must compete with numerous other brands for attention on crowded social media feeds.
  • Lack of Credibility: Some users may perceive businesses without a dedicated website as less credible or professional.
  • Short Life Span: The longevity of some social posts are as short as a couple minutes.
An infographic comparing the pros and cons of a website versus social media, advising on which platform to invest in for a business.

Website Pros:

  • Brand Authority: A website provides a centralized hub for showcasing products, services, and brand identity, enhancing credibility.
  • Customization: Businesses have full control over the design, content, and functionality of their website.
  • SEO Optimization: Websites offer greater opportunities for search engine optimization, improving visibility in search results.
  • Data Ownership: Businesses retain ownership of user data collected through their website, facilitating targeted marketing efforts.
  • E-commerce Integration: Websites can facilitate direct sales, streamlining the purchasing process for customers.
  • Longer Life Span: Content you create for a website, specifically blog posts can get found years later

Website Cons:

  • Initial Investment: Building and maintaining a website requires upfront investment in design, development (optional), and hosting.
  • Technical Maintenance: Websites need regular updates, security monitoring, and maintenance to make sure they work.
  • Traffic Acquisition: Unlike social media, websites require proactive efforts to drive traffic through SEO, advertising, and other channels.
  • Slow Growth: Establishing a website’s authority and traffic can take time compared to the immediate reach of social media.
  • User Engagement: Websites may have fewer interactive features compared to social media, potentially limiting direct customer engagement.

Deciding to have and maintain a website is an important decision for a business. It’s not for everyone. This information was intended to give you some things to think about when making the marketing plan for your small business. Let me know which team you prefer more, social media, a website, or some combination of both.

Want a website for your business? Then you need to get…

Create Your WordPress Website

My course on how to set up your domain, hosting, and website on WordPress so you can have that site you’ve been dreaming of.

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