Social Media vs Website. Why Facebook shouldn’t replace your dotcom
As a leading digital agency here in Dubai, we’re increasingly being asked to help our clients decide between facebook and their website. Here in the Middle East, with the huge popularity and reach of facebook, brand managers and marketers are often convinced they need to move their “online communications” to social media. They ask us to build a facebook page, an youtube channel and a regular twitter feed. “Forget the old website – it’s traditional” we hear. Huh?
Yes, social media is a powerful tool for consumer dialog and for building online reach for a business, but it does not really substitute a corporate website.It’s like the news on tv or radio. Sure it’s a one way communication, and it’s more fun to talk about the news, to share the highlights of a game over a beer, or discuss an event at the office (social networks), but you still need the news.
With a website that you own, you control the communications – the why, when, how, what and more. You can gather data, send emails, add sections, choose design formats, choose build platforms, what you say and the web design. With social or earned media, it’s WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get.
Your website gives you the full power of inbound marketing. Most social media platforms offer very limited or no data – although facebook is trying to change that now. In contrast, website analytic tools (easy one is Google Analytics) can provide a bank of marketing data and insights on your communications. Analytics allow you, as a brand manager, to improve your online marketing and, ultimately, grow your business.
On any social media platform you have absolutely no control of your content in any way. Your message becomes their message. They can believe it, change it, share it, control it even. Thousands of dollars worth of campaigns have been waylaid because they have ben burnt in social media. And, often because the reason people turned against the campaign oir the brand had nothing to do with marketing at all.
A website is the grand central of your online marketing initiative. In fact, with an ever increasing digitally savvy society, it is the hub of ALL your marketing efforts – from tv, radio and print, down to your business card. It is the one single destination (which you can totally control) to which you drive your target audience, your business partners, your stakeholders and your customers to. Yes, today it’s important to be on facebook, to have video content that’s sharable, to tweet. But you still need a grand central, a hub – and that should be a rock solid website. Your dotcom.