Short answer, yes. Most people like to do research before doing business with a new company. Your website is your opportunity to tell your story in your own voice without the restrictions of a third-party platform, like social media applications, and their restrictions on content.
However, social media today has an incredibly broad reach. For instance, in today’s culture almost half of American internet users are getting their news through Facebook. (Journalism.org) So with that enormous reach why would your business need to have a standalone website separate from Facebook or any other social media outlet?
In a poll of 1,000 American Adult consumers, more than half (52%) said they go to a company’s website for more information for content and product information. (AMA.org) That tells us company websites are still number 1 in communicating with a consumer audience online. It also tells us that even though consumers aren’t relying completely on social media (only 25%) for product information, it’s still important to have a social media presence. The name “Facebook” isn’t synonymous or interchangeable with the word “internet” just yet.
So the simple answer is yes, your business needs a website. In a previous article, we touch on how not every business needs a website to get started. The key words there are to get started.
Is your business thriving or surviving?
Survival mode is if you are a micro business on an incredibly tight budget, you are just starting out, or you just need some kind of information online quickly and social media is the simplest way you know how to do it. But what does that say about your business? It says you’re small and you don’t have enough money for a website or you don’t know how to get a website.
Being small isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t mean you aren’t an expert in YOUR industry. But not having a website can plant questions and doubt in a consumer’s mind and they will wonder how relevant you are. Not having a website is a missed opportunity to make a good first impression and often results in getting passed over completely.
When a consumer looks for your business specifically and you don’t have a website they’ll go to third party sites that do like Yelp and Google Reviews that will reference your company. At these sites, the consumer will get content that you have not created and aren’t always in control over. Your website is a chance to tell your story with your own words with your best foot forward.
Both your website and your social media platforms are important for marketing your business. But for now, your website is still number one. When you’re ready for Thrive mode, work out a budget and understand that it is an investment. Think about what you want to accomplish with the website and what the primary goal will be. Hire a professional designer who is an expert in THEIR industry.