Every business needs an online presence. These days, I’ve seen more and more small business owners outsource their online presence to 3rd party social media companies like Facebook and Instagram. Sometimes when meeting a proprietor in person, I ask them for their website – and they tell me to find them on Facebook! Such organizations carry out the bulk of their business and social connections via online platforms.
I think this is setting yourself up for failure. Every business needs a website. And here’s why.
Social Media Killed off Blogging – A Warning
I remember the late 2000s. It was a glorious time for blogging. It seemed that everyone had a blog, and you could often find interesting, in-depth, and thoughtful articles by people who weren’t news agencies. Entire communities converged around the comments sections, and there was a rich interlinking of bloggers who acted as thought leaders on a variety of issues. The blog format allowed them to write posts that were as long or as short as they needed to be.
Then social media came along, and many people simply switched over. They stopped maintaining their blogs, and instead preferred to build communities online. The allure was convenience and the fact that their audience would automatically see new content when they browsed their page.
It single-handedly killed off RSS feeds.
But where are bloggers now? As Facebook starts to lose its sheen, these bloggers have lost their online audience. It’s been years since I last browsed my Facebook page. And this single point of failure has resulted in the death of all the blogging content I used to love.
You Can’t Have a Single Point of Failure in Another’s Hands
You spend years building up a profile of connections on a 3rd party site. But no technology company sits at the top of the pile forever. Already, Facebook’s usage is declining, and this is a trend that will continue as people grow weary.
Already we’re beginning to realize that we can’t have one social network for everything. We need to compartmentalize our activities. One network for friends, another for family. Having it all mixed up together makes no one happy.
But what happens when you’ve invested all your digital reputation in a company that’s losing users? Without an online presence of your own, you’re at the mercy of a 3rd party that can change its policies at a moment’s notice. What’s more, you don’t control the conversation, and you can’t moderate comments.
A Website Allows you to Synergize with Other Channels
There’s no reason why you can’t have a website and a solid social media presence. If you have a post, write it first on your blog, and then promote it on social media with a link back to your site. You can place references to your site on eBay, Instagram, and all the other places where you have a presence. Once on your website, you control the user experience. You can look at analytics, direct them to your most profitable channels or products, and generally service the visitor with a more targeted approach.
A Website Belongs to YOU – Future Proof
A good website is YOUR brand. YOUR asset. It can’t be taken away from you by a change in the TOS. You can’t be banned, and you don’t need to spend money to advertise on it. In the end, third-party platforms come and go. You should use them whenever possible. But never give up control of your own branding. A website is a lynchpin that holds everything together. All your social media profiles should be like a spider’s web with your website sitting in the middle, working for you.
Don’t outsource all your assets to a 3rd party. Because a time will come when it fails for reasons beyond your control. And you’ll be left with nothing.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!