Do I Need a Website or Can I Use Social Media?

Your website is your gateway to the world. However, today’s world has many gateways, so in this article, we discuss various answers to the question of “Do I need a website?

 

The Age of Options

There are so many options for getting your work out into the world today. The Internet, aka, the World Wide Web, aka, The Information Superhighway brings the world to your fingertips, and your work to the world. Not only does the Internet grant unprecedented access to global reach, but so far, most all of the social platforms are absolutely free.

The world shall be forever indebted to the inventor of the internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and all who came before—and after—to lay the groundwork necessary to make it possible.1)https://webfoundation.org/about/sir-tim-berners-lee/

Talk about creators and entrepreneurs, Sir Tim Berners-Lee was the perfect visionary to receive or conceive of the idea of the internet. Few others would have done so for free.

 

Setting Up Shop from Social Media Platforms

For all the grief Facebook gets and frustrations at their algorithm changes that reduce organic reach, or their politics or privacy policies, or change of design and access… whatever it may be, remember, it’s all FREE!  You may be able to set up shop on your city street corner for free, or run a hotdog stand downtown for free for a time, but to stake your claim and pitch your tent on the corner of the world for free, is truly an amazing thing.

A lot of social media platforms have features that can make your page or profile like a website. Many Influencers use Instagram to direct message brands for paid sponsor contracts (Snapchat Influencers do this as well). Facebook Pages give you the ability to create a shop, run ads, and accept payments on products or services.  Pinterest is one of the biggest buying platforms, though their system is one of the few where it’s far more effective to have a website of your own.  Twitter and LinkedIn aren’t so much selling platforms (yet), but they both serve as ways to distribute content blog style.

So yes, you can run a business from Social Media. The question isn’t can you, but should you.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

Why Do I Need a Website?

As awesome and simple as it sounds to use a social profile as a website, it’s not a good long-term strategy. Any of these platforms could decide to shut you down for any reason… or no apparent reason (yes! it happens!).  In fact, we’ve had direct experience of exactly that with one of the brand sites we own, GardensAll.com.

 

A Website is Safer

Shortly after we purchased the website and started posting on Pinterest, they shut our account down overnight with no clear or relevant explanation. It took us about 6 months of sending emails consistently—and eventually daily—to rescue the account.

We were following all of Pinterest’s guidelines. None of our content was inappropriate or harassing, and we weren’t even directing to any sales pages or links.  In fact, we barely had more than 100 followers on that account at the time and were only pinning images about gardening and growing food. I mean, it’s a gardening page!

Fortunately, we had both our website and email list. Two properties that we own and have full control over. Thankfully we got our account back, because today, Pinterest is a significant source of traffic for our sites. Having a website, decent sized email list, and large Facebook following all proving we were a legitimate brand may have helped us get our account back.

 

Fine to Start with Social Media

You can absolutely start with growing a social media following to get going.  That’s a great way to start if you’re unsure whether you want to go all in on creating a brand, or if it’s taking you longer to build or get a site built.

If you don’t plan to build a brand or business, then social media might be enough. For instance, some people just want to generate cash, such as via internet marketing or selling T-Shirt through ads, etc. If that’s your goal, and you never plan to grow that into a bigger business with its own brand, then sure, only social might be fine.

However, consider your longer term goals. If you think you’ll want to grow a business eventually, then you’ll want at least a landing page—a one-page site that promotes your offerings—to start with, so that you can begin to collect emails and grow your email list.

Social media puts you in more direct contact with your audience than a website.
~LeAura Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

Growing followers by publishing content and sharing relevant information from your social sites, such as a Facebook page, works well, especially if you’re just getting started with all of it. You can practice publishing consistently to your social account while you steadily grow your following. It’s a great way to get to know your audience and discover what they respond to most, what they need and how best to serve them.

But the bottom line? If you plan to grow a brand, you’ll want a website eventually… a place to call home, no matter how much you may “travel around” on the social accounts.

Your website is your online home… the one you own.
~Devani Alderson, iCreateDaily.com

Start. Sustain. Succeed!



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