5 Reasons You Should Stop Using Social Media as Your Web Site

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat-you can’t go a day without hearing something referring to each social media outlet, with new platforms popping up regularly.

Make no mistake-social media is great. You can connect to people all over the globe, and they can connect with you. But, it’s social media…meaning each one is a platform created for you to share your media (articles, images, videos, thoughts, etc.), in a social way.

Many new or small businesses create a social media page and-I mean it is free, and on a network visited by millions, right? How could that NOT be a great idea? But…they stop there. Maybe you’ve thrown up a few social profiles for your business, so your bases are covered.

So you think, “Why would I spend money on a website, when I can just run my business pages?”

Here Are My Top 5 Reasons You Should Stop Using Social Media as Your Web Site:

1. Control Your Brand
Your website, your rules. You decide how it looks, what features to include, you showcase your business according to your own vision. We all have a vision for our businesses. When the social media platform decides to change it’s rules, it’s posting guidelines and even it’s image dimensions, you are at their mercy. They aren’t running it by you first. You either fix it or don’t. They do not care.

2. Legitimize Your Brand
My 16 year old daughter, can make a social media business page. It reflects no authority, no expertise, no professionalism. It’s just some pictures, videos and a means of contacting you. However, when faced with purchasing from a Facebook page vs an actual web site, the majority of consumers are going to pick the established company over a fly by night pop up, with their money.

3. Keep Your Customers
Free is rarely free. So, why is your business page free? Because of those side bar ads and ads through out Facebook. Some of which, are your competition. Some aren’t-but imagine you are presenting your business to a panel of investors. How would you feel about McDonald’s interrupting your presentation to talk about their coffee? Pretty annoyed. Worse, if then , those investors quietly got up from their seats and went to McDonald’s. That’s exactly what happens when someone is on your Facebook page and notices an interesting ad. Sure, they came here for your custom jewelry, but that waist trainer ad had a deal they couldn’t resist, so they didn’t-now they have completely forgotten about your jewelry.

4. Search Engine Marketing
With your own site, you control the search engine tags and your search engine listing. You build up your search engine sexiness with properly tagged and linked subject matter. You stand out, in a sea of many. You also need qualified leads coming to your business.

If you sell mufflers you need people, who are interested in purchasing mufflers, coming to you.

If you present your business to 3000 people who aren’t in the market for what you are selling, you are wasting your time. Many businesses believe that the more eyes, the better. Not true. The more eyes of people who want what you have, the better. The rest are just passing through.

5. You’re Missing Customers
Not everyone is interested in social media. You say, “So, they just need to go to the page link I put on my business cards, they don’t have to socialize.” which isn’t as true as you think.

Have you ever tried to visit a Facebook business page, from your phone or tablet, when you aren’t logged in? You get stopped and required to log in. But what about those who do not care for any social platform? They have to create an account, just to see your business page. Most will not. Would you? It’s a pain and a hassle when there are many businesses, some similar to yours, with actual websites that ANYONE can access. How much money are you missing out on?

6. Bonus: A reliable, custom branded, shopping cart system that is easy to control and track, with a database of your orders, change pricing on the fly, no limit to the number of items that you can sell and your own system where you can let your customers know that their items have shipped and receive their feedback-a very useful marketing tool!

So does that mean social media business pages are pointless? No. They are good for an additional means of communicating with your public-similar to a postcard or commercial. They have their purpose, and some businesses, more than others, will find social media as a fantastic tool for promotion. Social media pages are a good way to drive traffic to your actual web site, but they aren’t your web site.

Not by a long shot.

Find how little a fully responsive custom web site would cost you.

No strings. No harassment. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Content Marketing Made Easy

By now you’ve heard the term “Content Marketing” more times than you can probably count, but may either be unclear on what content marketing is, or overwhelmed by exactly how your business can use this proven tactic, to grow your audience, and improve your search engine rankings.

First, let’s start with what content marketing is.

Very simply, it’s your company adding quality content that is relevant to your product or service, on a regular basis. The content is most often in the form of a blog post, ebook, article, downloadable pamphlet, video, audio/podcast, info-graphic, case studies, etc.

You want to keep this content relevant to your product or service so that people who will actually buy your product or service are driven to & looking at your web site.

For instance, if your web site specializes in personalized golf balls, writing an article on today’s general political climate wouldn’t make much sense.

While there may be a tiny handful of people who are both interested in reading your take on politics, and your golf balls, you would better attract buyers by creating and showing some or your golf balls that have been personalized, in support of your political views or in satire of the views you take issue with. This is just an example, and to be clear, politics is probably a subject you’d do well to avoid, however in this example you see how you can keep current and relevant while providing content that your buyers will appreciate.

And that leads of to the second issue…

Coming up with content.

At first glance, it’s a daunting task. What do you talk about? What do you show? How do you come off as informational or entertaining rather than a cheesy sales attempt?

It’s actually easier than it sounds. Here are a few tips to help you quickly enter the area of content marketing for your business online.

1. Be genuine.

If you don’t want to come off as a sales person, or be completely ignored all together, create real content. If it’s an article, speak from your expert position. If it’s a blog or social media post, let it get a little more personal. Let your readers and followers feel like they are connecting with you.
Quick Tip: Avoid the inexpensive mass article writers that are out there. Sure, they are cheap, and wordy, but they do not have the inside knowledge that you or your staff has and you have no real idea of the accuracy of what they post or if they’ve posted very similar articles for others in your industry.

2. Be visual.

If you are selling a product, show your product. Make sure to use quality photographs and candid shots versus staged shots tend to read better. If you are selling a service, be mindful of your visual layout of your article, using headings, line breaks, avoiding massive paragraphs, etc. You can also include info-graphics, photographs around your office, of your staff, screen shots of your work, etc.

3. Be consistent.

While you may be too busy to post every day, come up with a regular posting/publishing schedule that you can stick to. If too long of a time passes with out hearing from you, you can lose the new audience that your content marketing has gained. If you are too busy, delegate the content creation to someone on your team and just act as an overseer when it’s time to publish.

Quick Tip: It’s perfectly fine to post a candid or funny & relevant photo or quick video with just a small text blurb-everything you publish is not required to be lengthy and in depth. It’s more important that what you publish be something your audience will find value in, be it a form of entertainment or information.

4. Be social.

After you’ve posted on your site, mention the new post on twitter, instagram, facebook, linked in, and any other social media channels you use. If your content was posted on any of the channels mentioned, do a quick post on your web site linking to that content on social media. Basically, where ever you post your content to, be sure to link to that content everywhere else because sometimes Instagram will make more sense than an article, sometimes you’ll tweet something that seemed insignificant, then received a lot of responses and retweets, so make sure your interesting and/or informative posts are shared, first, by you.

So….that’s the quick and dirty on content marketing.

The more interesting or valuable your content, the more likely it is to pick up traction and increase your site visitors, directly via post sharing or indirectly through search engines ranking your site higher based on the valuable content.

If you are able to create content yourself, do it-doing so only costs you time & effort. If you need someone else to create your valuable content, delegate the task to someone on your team, or even rotate it between a few employees and you supervise and do final approval before anything is published. If your business is big enough, and has the budget, you may also consider hiring a dedicated content creator. If you do, I advise you to look for a content creator who is not only skilled verbally, but knowledgeable in your field, visually oriented, well versed in social media and with at least basic web design, photoshop and video creation/editing skills.

Now, get busy creating some content 😉