Do I really need a website in this age of social media?

Let’s jet back to the 90s which saw the launch of the internet era.  Some pop trivia for you – the first website launched in 1991.  These are internet fossils by today’s standards but whilst many started out looking no better than a glorified word document, they very quickly developed into vibrant sites with bold colour schemes, outrageous typography and funky animations.

Yet by the early 2000s social media began its booming revolution, starting with myspace.com, and developing into the minefield of platforms we have today such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – there are too many to count! 

Since then, social media has steadily dominated every aspect of our everyday lives – whether it’s work, pleasure or more commonly, both. Undoubtedly, having a social media presence is absolutely essential for any business trying to grow a successful digital brand, but the importance and priority of having a high-quality and functioning website mustn’t be forgotten. 

So back to our question, and here’s the answer: if you’re serious about marketing your business, then yes.  Here’s the key:

A website and social media are two separate entities which MUST work together in order to achieve an effective marketing strategy. 

 

A social age

Social media is more than just endless memes, Colin the caterpillar cake wars, and viral Tik Tok dances – it’s become an integral part of life online and, like it or not, an absolute necessity for businesses wanting a rock-solid digital identity. After all, the biggest resource of knowledge and networking is available to us in our pockets 24/7 so social media is the prime platform to reach for when wanting to find out about a business … and fast! 

What makes a social media presence so valuable to business marketing is its instantaneous impact, which makes engaging with a target audience easier (and quicker) than ever! Social media is the prime platform to give business updates, whilst also giving the ability to chat and engage with potential clients in real-time – this immediacy brings businesses to life for consumers.

Yet social media hasn’t knocked the old website off its perch – far from it.  Yes, it’s been one of the biggest impacts on the way we design and develop websites in recent years (largely in the need for more mobile-friendly formats with bite-sized sections of copy) – but this doesn’t mean we should forget the need for a high-quality, high-functioning website. 

 

The website edge

It’s true to say we do see businesses sometimes leaving their websites on the back burner in favour of the increasing popularity of social media but it’s a mistake to see them as a lesser priority when it comes to developing brand awareness. 

Biased we may be, but the evidence stacks up to show just why you should never demote the importance of your website. Here’s why: 

  • It’s an integral part of your business’s sales funnel – your website is responsible for attracting customer interest, providing important information or the perfect solution to your visitor’s problems and directing them to complete a lead enquiry or purchase a product.

 

  • Website analytics provide key data for your companygoogle analytics can provide you with invaluable insights such as traffic source, session durations, devices used and the number of visitors to your website. 

 

  • You don’t own your social media profiles – have you ever thought about what you would do if your social profile got taken down? We understand that a huge ‘perk’ of only having social media is that it’s free to market your business … but the lack of control is the price you really have to pay if something goes wrong! 

 

  • It gives you authority and credibility – websites give the last seal of approval when it comes to legitimacy. Anybody can make a social media profile, and according to Weebly, 56% of consumers say that they don’t trust businesses without a website. 

 

  • You’ll gain consistency of brand identity – it would be such a shame to lose a conversion due to a poorly designed website that isn’t in line with your social media branding. Consistency in branding will support your efforts to appear professional and trustworthy! 

 

Today the internet hosts around 1.88 billion websites at best count – surely this stands testament to the fact that having a website is fundamental to a strong, high-quality digital presence. 

 

So let’s work together

It might seem like twice the work but despite their differences, social media and websites have actually been designed to work in perfect harmony. Social media engages an audience to then direct them to a website – and the website helps to shape the identity of social media pages in order to create a strong and consistent digital presence. 

There should never be a conversation that favours one platform over the other. We believe that social media experts, web designers and developers should all work together throughout the entire design process to strengthen a digital presence, not weaken it.

If you’re finding it hard to juggle your social media platforms and a website, here are some tips on how to get started:

 

  • Use content scheduling platforms such as Planoly, Hootsuite and Later – we understand that running social media platforms is a whole job in itself and extremely time-consuming but if you don’t want to outsource it, take advantage of these excellent time-saving tools. 

 

  • Use the content from your blog posts as social media content – this will save time and give you plenty to talk about whilst enriching your followers with informative content. You don’t need to do twice the work – and you can link through to your site for the full article. 

 

  • Optimise your social media profiles with calls to action – use every opportunity to send your followers to your website, whether this is adding linktree to your bio or using the link feature on your Instagram stories. 

 

  • Use paid media to promote your website – direct your followers to use your services or purchase a product from your website through paid social media ads.  This doesn’t have to be spendy but can access a whole new audience for your brand. 

 

And don’t forget – you don’t need to tackle all this in-house. At our Exeter website design studio, we are experts in making sites that harmonise perfectly with your social channels. If you need help in making sure that your customer’s journey is seamless from social media to the website, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!