Solve the dilemma of modern entrepreneurs – what to choose: a website or a page in a social network? Which option is more effective in terms of promotion? What are the disadvantages of social networks? Where better to direct their resources? We understand the details.
Features of your own site
Let’s begin by considering the pros and cons of having your own site, that is a full-fledged resource with a domain, independent of other resources directly.
Speaking of the advantages of having your own page in the web, it’s worth mentioning the following points.
The ability to manage a huge range of products
If you trade in thousands of items, you can’t place them all in an Instagram feed or Telegram bot. No matter how hard you try, you can’t call it a convenient solution. Even restaurants publish their menus on separate pages.
So the owners of a rich assortment for sale is better to aim in the direction of their own site, and even with WooCommerce or 1C. Otherwise, a potential customer will never sort through a whole pile of merchandise via a social network.
There are features not available on social networks
The main advantage here is that you decide what features it will have when you design the site.
Enough to hire a good programmer, and any desires will be executed. You do not have to be creative and adapt to the realities of social networking interfaces. You can post content in a convenient manner, add buttons where it looks the most logical for users and creators of the resource.
In addition, it is important to comply with the laws of the country in which the site operates, and everything else is to taste and color.
More ways to promote
The site implies full interaction with search engines without intermediaries.
You can use contextual advertising and place any ad units in different parts of the site (most importantly, do not overdo it, so Google does not swear).
You can also use cross-links, content marketing, and mailings with the collection of contacts. And yet no one forbids the parallel promotion of the site in social networks.
Automation of payment and order placement
It is easier to automate all financial aspects on websites. You can create a form to enter the delivery address and even a form to enter additional personal details of the order. You can add a payment system so that the customer can pay for it immediately, using a convenient tool (Apple Pay, for example). Here about payments solidityfinanc.com
There is no need for intermediaries in the form of technical support staff. The user will manage on his own and the automation will process his order without errors.
Having a domain and rights to the site
Domain is the name of your website and one of the first things potential customers see when they visit your resource. A domain can be linked to your company brand and complement your image.
Also, the domain is one of the main components influencing the SEO performance of the website. That is, you can use it to promote the resource.
Disadvantages of the site
But there are serious disadvantages, which discourage modern entrepreneurs to deal with the development of web pages.
It is expensive
Advanced website functionality will cost a lot of money. You can create a web page on a conventional Wix or even WordPress, but if it does not have a hand of a specialist, it will not be possible to make a profitable commercial project.
Need to hire developers, and savvy developers are impressive money. Even freelancers charge decent money, not to mention the reliable web studios. And if you take a cheap price, you can even suffer losses due to missed deadlines and “crooked” working sites.
It takes a long time
It takes time to create it. Creating a business page on Facebook is not a big deal, but the development of a site, even in its basic manifestation, will take more time.
You need a domain, you need hosting, you need developers, system administrators, designers, etc. When creating a truly quality product, each component is critical.
Some hosting providers make it easy for entrepreneurs and offer ready-made server builds with WordPress already installed, but you’ll still need an expert or an independent dive into a new activity to customize it further.
It’s unlikely you’ll need that
Yes, just like that – it’s not a fact that you need your own web page. Social media has become quite functional for many types of businesses. If a website isn’t going to make a profit, why spend the money to create one?
Page in social networks
Now let’s talk about Facebook pages, business profiles on Instagram, WhatsApp-bots and other platforms for the new generation of businessmen.
Let’s start, as usual, with the pros, of which there are not many.
Easy access to users
Your potential audience is already using social networks. No need to look for tools and marketing solutions to lure customers to you. Potential buyers don’t have to Google something to find you. The recommendation system, storis and built-in social media marketing features will do everything for you.
Also, easy access means you can always be in touch with your users and quickly inform them about new projects, promotions, etc.
For the creation of a page in social networks for the time being do not take money. Even for a business account, you will not be asked a penny. You only have to pay for the advertising mechanisms built into the conditional Instagram or its equivalent.
This allows any business, even the tiniest one, to be on the Internet. And even without creating a business account, through a personal profile, you can advertise your beauty salon or modest bar, while gaining new customers and additional profits for further promotion. A very easy start for all comers.
The usual means of interaction with the client
To get in touch with the client, you do not need to call him somewhere. You don’t have to ask for an email address to tell them about range updates or upcoming discounts. You don’t need to ask for a phone number to talk to a manager.
Social networks already have a comments section for customers to ask questions, built-in messengers for personal communication between the user and the business, and feeds for publishing information to a mass audience.
Convenient personal accounts
To promote a site, monitor the behavioral characteristics of the audience, generate new traffic and collect data you need to use a bunch of assorted programs and tools.
In social networks, most of the necessary tools fit into one personal cabinet. It shows statistics of visits, demographic and other characteristics of visitors to the page, mechanisms for publishing advertisements. That is, everything that might be useful to the aspiring entrepreneur.
Disadvantages of social networks for business
Despite the very powerful pluses, there are also enough disadvantages.
This disadvantage stems from the most important advantage of social networks. Since it’s easy to create a social networking page for free, everyone takes advantage of this.
Page on the Internet is no longer a significant advantage for the business, as it was 10-20 years ago, because everyone has one: from a large IT-company to a manicure salon at home. You don’t even have to know anything about programming to create one.
So you will have to invest in advertising and constantly look for ways to make your business stand out against the hundreds of competitors from Instagram and Facebook.
The lack of even basic, but necessary for business functions
Social media complicates certain procedures, including such fundamental things as buying products.
Instagram doesn’t have the technical means to place orders for merchandise directly on social media. You have to go one of two ways: either by taking the clients to other pages or by arranging for the money to be transferred directly. Both greatly complicate the order for the user and make the whole payment procedure extremely unreliable.
But social networks are gradually catching up and offering more tools for the sale of goods and services without resorting to third-party applications and services.
Dependence on the chosen social network
To effectively promote your business on social networks, you will have to constantly be guided by their algorithms. Regularly change the development strategies and advertising campaigns in favor of the capabilities of conditional Instagram and its policies.
You also have to understand that if the owner of a social network wants to forbid a business to advertise its products, it will do so without asking anyone. At any moment, such content could become objectionable to Zuckerberg or another corporation.
So what should you choose: a website or a social network page?
Choose your own website if:
- You have a large store with highly specialized products and a complex system of searching for these products. In this case, the site will be more convenient for customers, and the audience of such a resource is likely to have less confidence in social networks.
- You are engaged in a specific business and need the functions that are not in social networks. For example, you are engaged in manufacturing guitars to order and for each client calculate the cost separately. To do this, the site should have a price calculator with the ability to choose materials, fittings, electronics, and other components.
Choose a social network if:
- You have a small online store that sells shoes. The site does not have a “shopping cart”, and you take orders via WhatsApp. Information about such goods and so spread the word of mouth, so additional promotion (in addition to the mechanisms of social networks) is not required.
- Your business is related to the beauty industry, and the most important components necessary to promote and demonstrate the services provided – photos and videos. You accept people for appointments over the phone and have no plans to automate the process. You don’t need any additional features in your field other than the ability to communicate with clients and publish visual content.
Again, these are the basics. You need to evaluate for yourself the ROI of the additional features the website provides and consider the feasibility of implementing them.