invest in your website not your facebook page
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invest in your website, not your facebook page

invest in your website not your facebook page

I love social media. I love helping others use social media. I love studying social media and learning the best ways for brands and businesses, non-profits and individuals to use it.

This week I spoke on social media strategy for a group of local business people. I explained the keys to an effective social media strategy are knowing what social media avenues are the best fit for your audience and determining how social media will be a part of  your larger marketing plans. They asked questions about Facebook pages and Twitter profiles.  And then I dropped the bombshell on them:

When you have to choose where to spend your resources — financial, personnel, and time — invest in your website NOT your Facebook page {or other social media platforms}.

Probably not the message they were expecting from a social media strategist; but, truth nonetheless. After they had a moment to absorb what I said, I offered them {and now you} two significant reasons why investing in your website is more important than building your Facebook page.

We need to invest where we have the most control.

As much as we love {or love to hate} Facebook and other social media platforms, the reality is, we are at their mercy. We have no say in the algorithms that control how many people see our posts. We don’t get to choose the ideal image size or placement. We can’t even be sure what will work from one day to the next.

But with a self-hosted website or blog, you are able to prioritize your content and develop your branding. You have the ability to customize your site to meet the needs of your community.

We need to invest in the places we will have the most long-term gain.

You are not writing quality content or marketing your products or services without an eye on the future. Authors are building platforms, businesses are gaining customers, service provides are increasing clients.

While Facebook can be a billboard for your business or platform, it isn’t where the long-term action takes place! Products and services are sold on websites, not Facebook. You need to be paying attention to where your marketing efforts are paying off. Don’t assume social media is growing your website. And remember this, all the referrals in the world from Facebook or Pinterest are not worth anything in the long run if your website isn’t growing as a result.

I don’t want to imply social media isn’t important. It is!

Social media should be a component of your marketing strategy. But, as you make determinations about how you will allocate your limited resources, consider these questions:

  • If Facebook shut down tomorrow, would people know how to find you? (tweet this)
  • Do you use social media to push to your website or are you satisfied with a growing social media presence?
  • What are the measurable marks of your social media strategy?
  • In other words, how do you know if the investment in social media is paying off?

Social media is great! Facebook can be a very useful tool for building your brand and growing your community. But don’t get caught in the trap of relying too heavily on social media. Invest in your website — devote yourself to making it as user-friendly, informative, and appealing as possible. Make certain your website information is prominent on your social media profiles and use social media to invite people to interact on your website.

Here’s a bonus tip: email lists remain the most valuable tool for online marketing. Build your email list and make sure you regularly invite people to subscribe!

How do you use social media to push people to your website?

 

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8 Comments

  1. So true! I can get so sucked into social media each time I sit down at the computer that I run out of time to create content or update my websites. Thanks for the reminder to set my priorities!

  2. Teri,
    Great article and point that can’t be emphasized enough. But, if I were to play devil’s advocate, I would argue that truly small businesses can reach reach more people, achieve more engagement and drive more awareness through Facebook than their website. Facebook is so easy to use and is becoming second nature for most people. Updating a status, posting a picture, commenting on content, etc. can all be done in minutes, if not seconds and can be done through smartphones. While I understand that we do not own our Facebook page or content and that our presence is totally at the mercy of Facebook, the low barrier to entry, huge market and ease of use sure make it more appealing than putting blood, sweat and tears into your website for most small business owners (read: mom and pop businesses).
    Thanks again for the great post,
    Chris

    1. Totally agree, Chris, which is EXACTLY why I tell all my small biz clients to learn Facebook! It’s vital to include both components in order to have an effective marketing strategy. But I think we both agree, giving up a website for a Facebook page is not a wise long-term plan. Thanks for the excellent comment … and playing devil’s advocate!

  3. Hi Teri,

    I’m a couple months late on this, but I work for Strategexe and noticed you linked to our blog near the end of your post. Just stopping by to say thank you for the link!

    – Jonathan

  4. I could not agree with this article more. Accolades, praises and hive fives to you Teri. I live in a small town and I am trying to establish myself as the “local WordPress website designer/guru”. It is so maddening and frustrating how many of them have just a Facebook page…because its free. Just like you said if Facebook shut down tomorrow or (gasp!) started to charge for business pages, they would be up a creek! And yes I am slightly, just slightly biased because I design websites, but still! I think two points are important that I would add to this discussion: 1. Question: How do you find businesses these days? The Yellow Pages or Google? 2. Your website is your virtual home office – just like you would leave a physical office to meet with or recruit potential clients or partners and bring them back to your office to broker a deal, same thing with your virtual office. Leave the house to be social ( Facebook, twitter, pinterest, linkedin etc.) but do so to connect with others to bring them back to the home base to broker a deal( product, ebook, ecourse, consume content, etc.) Oh I should write a blog post about this :). Great article Teri!

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