Website or Social Media for Your Business? Which is Best?

Website or Social Media for Your Business? Which is Best?

Just for a minute, remember how it felt when you first started your business. The feeling you had when first realised that you’d come up with something special. It might have been a lifelong passion, or maybe you were just turning something you were already doing into a business. How ever it got started, stop for a minute, and remember that feeling. Right now. How good was it?

Now imagine the journey you’ve taken since then. You can think of your that business journey as a ride on a Melbourne tram early in the morning. Your idea is the tram itself – quiet and eager at the crack of dawn, gradually picking up speed and welcoming new passengers along the way. Each new face represents the growth of your business, the community of loyal customers that you’re building. This journey is more than just moving from A to B; it’s about the paths you choose the connections you make, and the work you’re doing to become an essential part of Melbourne’s daily heartbeat.

So, what’s the link between this tram journey and deciding whether to focus on social media or a website for marketing your business? Both social media and websites aim to connect you with your audience, but they do so in different ways.

Stepping Up from Social to Your Own Site

Think of social media as hopping on and off various trams, each one taking you through different parts of the city. It’s useful, but you’re not in control of the route or the destination. Now, owning a website? That’s like having your own tram. You decide where it goes, the stops it makes, and the experiences it offers along the way.

Your own website can be a game changer because it can overcome several of the big obstacles that a social media sites present a business. For example:

  1. Your website is your own – so you make the rules.
  2. Websites won’t change the rules under your feet.
  3. A website helps you build deeper connections with customers.
  4. Websites can be seen in Google Search
  5. You can make a website your own.
  6. A stream of useful data is at your fingertips.
  7. Your website is where everything connects.

These are just some of the powerful benefits of a website compared to social media. Let’s look at each of these in turn.

1. You make the rules on your website

Owning a website is like having the best coffee shop in Melbourne. It’s your space, your rules, and your story, and it’s presented your way. Social media gives you a presence but simply does not give you the level of control that you get with a website. You’re constantly having to keep up with the rules that are decided by the platform.

2. Websites won’t change the rules under you – the policy challenges of social media

Anyone who had a business Facebook page back in 2018 will know this all too well. Back then the platform decided out of the blue to announce it would prioritise content from friends and family over posts from Pages. This seemingly small news algorithm changes suddenly made it near-impossible for businesses to get noticed on this social media platform without spending heavily on paid social media strategies. Marketing strategies had to change overnight. The costs of marketing on social media became significantly greater without warning.

This unpredictability has also reared its head in the harsh criticism social media platforms like Facebook have received over their changing advertising policies that suddenly exclude content that was previously acceptable, and in new moderation rules for content that seem to many businesses to be unfairly applied. When a business is hit with an unexpected penalty like this, guess what: there is little to no chance to appeal, or to even find a human administrator who can help.

On the other hand, your own website is like being the master of your own little Melbourne laneway, painting the walls and setting up shop exactly how you like. If you want to showcase your latest creations with a gallery or share your journey with a blog, none of these things are an issue. Your website is your own blank canvas. It’s where you tell the world: “this is my brand, this is what my business does, and here’s how it can make your day better.”

3. Websites build deeper connections to customers

Think about your favourite spots in the city. What makes them special? It’s the stories they tell, the memories they hold. Your website does the same for your business. Instead of the fleeting interactions of social media amongst a sea of other messages that your potential customers are bombarded with, a website invites your visitors to sit down and stay awhile, diving into what makes your business not just good, but great.

4. Websites can be seen in Google

Imagine someone wandering through Melbourne, looking for the perfect gift for their partner. They pull out their mobile phone and do a search for “gifts near me”. With a well-optimised website and Google Business Profile, your business pops up first, guiding them right to your door. It’s about being visible when and where it counts, ensuring that when someone’s looking for what you offer, you’re right there ready to help them.

A website puts you fully in control of this process. The social media sites of individual businesses on Facebook are rarely found in Google’s search engine unless they’re searched by name, and so many of their messages to potential customers will not show up in search engines at all. It’s like being on a tram on the street in a quiet suburb versus one in the centre of the city. Being on a tram is better than walking, but you’re going in the wrong direction.

Being where your customers are means having the creative freedom to present what customers want to read in the way that they want to read it. Getting on the tram you want to ride. Imagine if you couldn’t get on the tram because of the colour t shirt that you were wearing, and when you popped an acceptable jacket on top of that finding that the ticket price had doubled!

You shouldn’t have a platform tell you what your business colours and fonts should be, to censor your content, and make you pay to have any chance whatsoever of a real customer actually seeing what you have to say. How is that fair?

5. You can make your website your own

When you start talking customisation, then this is where the fun begins. Want your website to feel like a cozy nook on a rainy Melbourne day? Or as vibrant as a street art-filled alley? With your website, you can. Tailor every aspect, from the colours to the layout, ensuring every visitor’s experience is not just a visit but a journey.

6. Your website helps you know what’s going on

You can’t make good decisions with a blind fold on and so partial insights like just the number of visitors you’ve had aren’t always great indicators of whether you’re getting your brand in front of the right people. If you’re a shop selling candles and you get 5,000 visitors looking for carpets, then those are wasted visitors.

With a website you can track who comes to your site, what they’re looking at, what pages they visited and whether they made an enquiry. You can also see if a website clicks from an email, an ads click and search click all worked together and added up to make an enquiry, or whether people were making enquiries on their visit. This is gold, especially when cross matched with demographic information like the age, gender, locations, and interests of visitors. This isn’t just data; it’s the secret ingredient to making your business even better, refining your offerings based on real feedback from your audience.

7. Your Website is where everything connects

There’s one more thing that a website can do but a social media cannot. A website can be the grand Flinders Street Station of your online presence because it can connect to your social media account and get data from it, and connect to your Google Search console, and even your Google analytics. It can piece these things all together and be the one place where a customer’s journey can keep on rolling, and an opportunity to make those people getting on and off your tram feel comfortable that they got where they wanted to go and paid for the privilege.  

Jumping on Board

Getting into the world of websites might seem as daunting as navigating Melbourne’s trams for the first time. But just like learning any new thing or going on any new route, once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. Start with a simple question: “What do I want my website to achieve?” From there, it’s about finding the right team to bring your vision to life. And remember, just like Melbourne’s community of supportive locals like CJ Digital, there’s always help available to guide you through the process.

Your website will scale with you more than social media.

Your business journey, from those first steps to where you stand now, has been nothing short of remarkable. Just like Melbourne’s trams, your business connects, serves, and becomes an integral part of the community’s fabric. While social media plays its part, a website offers a depth, control, and customisation that’s unparalleled. It’s your space in the digital world, a place to grow, engage, and stand out.

While this discussion has been about whether a website is better than social media to represent your business, don’t forget that there’s a role for them both to play. Social media can create a conversation with customers and communicate in a much less formal way. They are both touchpoints where customers can get on or off the tram. But for representing your business in the way that you want it to, a website cannot be matched.

As you contemplate your next step in growing your business, remember that the path is yours to choose. Wherever you are in your business journey, a website is more than just a platform; it’s a home for your business online – a place where your unique story continues to unfold, captivating not just you but the entire Melbourne community you’re a part of.

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