Social Media vs. Website: What’s a Small Business to Do?

Small businesses with tight budgets are understandably cautious about where they invest their limited marketing dollars. This leaves many business owners wondering if they are better off skipping the costs of investing in a website and instead concentrating only on social media.

What many business owners do not realize is that a website can be as simple or as sophisticated as their budget dictates. And even if you start with a very basic design, you can build on that design as needed or when more marketing dollars become available.

Many people believe that they can make up for not having a website by increasing their social media presence. While the best case scenario would be to have a website and a social media presence, if you must make a decision between the two, a website is in almost all cases the best way to go.

Social media is appealing to businesses with very little money to spend on marketing because social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are simple to set up and are free. Further, they allow businesses to engage with their customers without worrying about the overhead of a website.

The problem with diving into social media with no website to link it to is that you are at the mercy of the social media provider’s terms and conditions. You also have few options when it comes to layout. Further, the fact that social media sites encourage back and forth means that you may have people posting things on your social media accounts that you do not want posted.

While developing a website costs more to create and maintain than social media, it is well worth the effort. Here are some other advantages of a website for your business:

  1. In today’s digital world, savvy consumers are leery of businesses that don’t have a website. Such businesses are seen as behind the times.
  2. You own your website. Unlike social media sites, you can personalize even the simplest website to make it uniquely yours.
  3. You have space to market your business and obtain sales leads. You can include videos, customer reviews, testimonials, and promotional offers on your website without worrying about meeting your social media provider’s terms and conditions.
  4. While a website requires an upfront investment, it can actually save money in the long run. Many customer service tasks can be taken care of on the website, reducing your overall operating costs.
  5. Your business will be open 24/7.
  6. You can expand your customer base – exponentially. Billions of people are on the Internet every single day. Without a website, you have little chance of connecting with them.

It is always difficult to decide where your marketing dollars would be best spent. Creating and maintaining a website is one decision that is almost always in the best interest of your business.