Having a dedicated social media page does not always mean having the ultimate solution. For certain marketing tasks, a business website would work the best.
We believe that both strategies are reasonably good if you are able to execute them properly to help serve your needs.
“Is it worth right now to invest in the creation of a website? Or I can get by with just a page on social media?”
These questions may come as a challenge as each of the two channels is serving different business needs as a rule.
Entrepreneurs who have just started or moved their brick-and-mortar business to the online space have to decide on the main channel to use to inform the audience about products, services, promotions, and special offers.
In this article, we’re offering you our view on the key pros and cons of marketing your business online through a website and social media page to help adopt the proper channel matching your specific demands.
Option 1: Opting for a Template-Based Website Builder
If one of your core business needs is a quick time to market, starting off with a landing page, a single-page website, is one of the best solutions to go for.
In just a matter of several days, you can:
- Create and start managing your website;
- Display the benefits of your products and services;
- Use calls to action and page links;
- Promote the page through an ad campaign.
The fastest launch is possible with the help of template-based website construction platforms, called website builders.
The most popular and creature-rich website builder platforms that we’d suggest you to consider are:
Website builders provide a full-fledged online presence for virtually any type of business starting in digital as they offer an opportunity to get:
- Ready-made templates to make your website look professional;
- Web hosting for fast loading, security, and staying up 100% of time;
- Domain name to make it easy for your customers to find your and remember;
- Payment gateways and other necessary microservices and integrations;
- Built-in analytics that lets you go beyond opens and clicks to track visitor action throughout your website;
- Service support allowing for support requests and changes.
Option 2: Getting Started with Social Media
Social networks also make a useful tool for helping businesses to establish an online presence. Now we’ll take a closer look at the key promotional formats and features that the most often used social media platforms are offering today.
Facebook allows you to start a dedicated page that is either a personal or standalone business profile. The latter is the only option that is allowed to be used to promote goods and services.
A dedicated Facebook business page is a free chance to increase brand awareness and generate sales on Facebook. Depending on the products you offer and the niche of your business, there are three types of business accounts that you can use for promotional purposes through Facebook:
- Facebook Events which can be used by merchants to inform the audience on presentations, sales, and promotional offers tied to specific dates.
Events pages have benefitted from the many new Facebook features including the ability to launch Facebook Live and promote your live stream.
- Facebook Groups which are community-driven and formed based on common interests. Group admins can set up a group to have open membership, membership upon approval, or membership by invitation only. Once someone becomes a member, they can start posting and suggesting topics for discussion. Posts will show up in members’ news feeds.
Ads and promotions in groups are unlikely to be seen often as the target audience prefers content that is interesting and useful.
- Facebook Pages which are essentially profile pages for your business as a public entity, maintained and updated by the admins. This option suits for sharing news, updates, and announcements about your brand.
A Facebook Page is focused on commercial purposes mostly and gives an opportunity to showcase goods directly. By improving the engagement level of your content, you can help Facebook’s algorithm showcase the updates in your followers’ news feed.
To capitalize on the increase in online shopping in the midst of the Covid outbreak and help the many ecommerce businesses stay afloat and grow, Facebook has added a feature recently called Facebook Shops. The feature enables you to build a dedicated online shopping section right in the app to leverage the discoverability and sales of your products and services.
Our article “Facebook Shops: New Facebook Feature Facilitating Sales” offers a deeper dive into the latest update.
A specialized page dedicated to your ecommerce business can be created using Instagram as well. Business Pages on Instagram allow you to use a bigger number of clickable links both in the profile bio and in post descriptions. Additionally, you’re allowed to specify your business niche, add products to posts through special tags, and indicate the price.
Many believe that Instagram is a good fit for products and services aimed at the younger generation. According to Statista’s research of June 2018, the number of Instagram monthly active users of all ages has reached 1 billion. Since then, The number has been growing each year exponentially.
Today, 66% of Instagram users use the app to interact with their favorite brands and purchase products.
Previously in NEKLO Blog we have revealed 3 strategies helping boost ecommerce sales on Instagram and outlined the easiest social media marketing tactics that help businesses to create content easily and fast.
Apart from “shoppable posts”, there’s an “indirect” way to market products using Instagram, that is through creating a page dedicated to your target audience.
Consistent publications and quality content will help you significantly increase brand awareness and, therefore, sales.
Benefits You Get with a Business Website
Opting for your own standalone business website has a number of pros.
The key perks are:
Content management systems today provide a wide spectrum of opportunities. You can choose from multiple templates, themes, plugins, and extensions to adjust your digital space according to customer expectations.
For non-standard and complex projects, it makes sense to go for custom software development services. With the help of experienced developers you will be able to architect your digital space from scratch.
SEO-friendliness = wide audience reach
Websites have no restrictions of the size of audience reach and offer many options for promotion.
The most often used are:
- Organic search through SEO;
- Contextual ads;
- Blog to share experience and useful stuff.
With the help of Google Analytics and other powerful analytics systems that can be integrated into custom developed website you can:
- Monitor sales and the effectiveness of your ongoing promotions;
- See changes in your customers’ behavior on the website to apply timely adjustments.
Social networks cannot offer such an opportunity. All you can get with a page in social media is a statistics section where the data is limited.
Business Website’s Core Disadvantages
From the experience of our working with complex ideas and projects, we believe that the main cons of choosing to develop a business website are:
Resource-intensive website building
A website created with the help of a template-based website builder will not be able to cover multiple features and complex functionality as the resources of a website-constructor are limited as a rule.
To handle an online store with thousands of products, for example, it makes sense to consider custom web development services offered by US software development companies and tech agencies from other countries as well.
NEKLO knows how to deal with custom projects that seem challenging at first. Check our custom software development and web application development services pages to see what you can get by choosing to work with NEKLO Team.
Complex promotion settings
It’s not that easy to launch advertising campaigns leading to a standalone website. Quality ad settings and campaign monitoring might require a skilled team having decent expertise.
Either in-house or external, the right specialists take time and money to be trained specifically for your platform and business niche.
Upsides of a Business Page on Social Media
Let us briefly overview the main advantages that having a page on social media can bring to your business.
Usability that users love
Social media platforms have it all “in-the-box” to be able to offer a user experience your customers are used to.
If you follow this promotion strategy, the key step is to put your brand page together. Moreover, it doesn’t require payment.
Low entry threshold
You can create a decent product and service branded page and launch it the same day. Managing a business page in social media doesn’t really demand any special skills.
Ability to extend audience reach
Along with greater discoverability through hashtags, you can always gain new brand followers by inviting friends and business partners to your group on Facebook or page on Instagram.
Bigger audience reach would still require organizing an advertising campaign, but the cost is going to be lower than in the case with a website’s contextual ads.
Downsides that Business Social Media Page Have
The limitations of social media strategy for businesses that we have identified include:
Along with preventing you from the use of useful integrations, ready-made templates hinder creativity. Someone else’s business page could have used just the same template as yours, which would make both your and your competitor’s accounts look alike.
In other words, there are fewer options to add personality to your brand and make it look sophisticated.
The flip side of the low entry threshold benefit.
Virtually any business can create a dedicated branded page on Facebook and Instagram. Besides, as promotion outside the social network is quite limited, getting ranked in searches with just a business page or group is hardly possible.
If there’s no ease in payment options or if there’s no shopping cart, customers might not make a purchase decision. Many still prefer full-fledged websites for their online shopping, offering a lot more buying opportunities, secure payments, and handy checkout.
Final Thoughts. Where to Begin?
The internet in 2020 provides businesses with a wide range of online promotion opportunities. Depending on time frames, budget, and core requirements for development and growth, businesses in ecommerce and other industries select what would work the best.
Here at NEKLO we cooperate and help companies representing different business niches, not ecommerce alone. From what we have identified, we’ll recap as
Combining both channels a custom business website and page on one or more social media makes the most successful and optimal option for growth and promotion.
Without a doubt, having a custom software solution, whether it’s a web app or custom high-load website, will help to gain a competitive edge.
Our team is ready to cooperate and assist if your business needs such a solution.
You can always reach out to our sales rep Alex (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-mokievets) directly to discuss how we can help your products and business to stand out.