Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media
Social media has become a huge part of online marketing today, and for good reason. Nearly everybody has a presence on at least one social networking site while most people have accounts on multiple sites and check in on a daily (or even hourly!) basis. Social media is where the people are, which means that it’s where the marketers should be too. The search engines have certainly picked up on the importance of social sharing and now include social signals as a ranking factor for web content. Social media marketing is no longer a separate marketing entity. It should be integrated with all other marketing efforts. It took some time for the majority of businesses to warm up to the idea of social media, but it’s officially caught on. In fact, some businesses are taking it to the extreme and are even putting more effort into their social profile pages than into their website.
Here are 3 reasons why favoring social profiles over a business website is a bad idea:
A social profile isn’t owned property
Who owns your Facebook page? If you said “I do” you are dead wrong. Facebook in fact owns your Facebook page. You can think of it as rented space. You may “live” there, but Facebook is the landlord that calls the shots and you need to play by the rules that Facebook outlines for business pages. Facebook can change the layout, look, feel, etc. of the pages on the site whenever it pleases. Maybe you had your Facebook page set up just so in a way that was visually appealing and easy to navigate. Facebook can change that in an instant and leave you scrambling to figure out how to make things “right” again. A business website on the other hand is your owned property. The design, color scheme, layout, navigation, etc. is completely up to you.
Popularity of social sites can change
While it’s a pretty safe bet to say that Facebook and Twitter will remain relevant for many years to come, you never know. Imagine how disappointing it would be to invest all of your time and effort on making a great social page only to see the number of people that visit that social site trend downward over time. It can happen. Think about MySpace. Google+ may not have been an immediate “Facebook killer” but it appears as if Google is sticking it out for the long haul. Google+ has some great features and eventually more people may become more invested in it.
Social media typically isn’t a place of commerce
Think about the reasons why people use social media. To connect with family and friends, to find information, to read the latest news, etc. People don’t typically head to a social site to spend money which is why social advertising is very hit or miss depending on the company and industry. If you operate a business that has an e-commerce component you can’t expect that someone will buy directly from a social page even if that capability is there. A social page may influence a purchase decision but people will typically head over to the actual business website to complete the purchase.