Don’t do it. Don’t make the same mistake hundreds of other entrepreneurs make and assume you don’t need a website for your startup. Contrary to popular belief, social media is not enough. You need it, too, but you cannot set it up in lieu of an actual site your business calls home on the web.
Yes, a website costs money, but not that much, and it’s worth the initial investment for the following reasons.
Even if your new business sells gag gifts, you still need to be professional in your approach to fostering client relationships. Yes, you can be playful and casual to an extent, but numerous people do not take a business seriously if it doesn’t have a website. Constant Contact explains that over half of those researching a business, product, or service online head straight to a website rather than a social media page, so don’t underestimate the importance of this crucial online presence. Despite the popularity of social media, people equate professional with a website.
Taking this a step further, Forbes agrees with Constant Contact. Today’s shopper conducts research online prior to making a purchasing decision, and if you think this is limited to Millennial and Generation Z shoppers, think again. A primary reason why the Millennial generation remains the target demographic for all businesses, large, small, and startup is because they are the most populous and they influence their parents and grandparents shopping decisions. If you don’t have a website, millions – yes, millions – of potential customers will not find you online.
3. Search Results.
You might think they’ll find your social media pages but this mindset fails to take into account that a website also bolsters your credibility with Google, the number one search engine. Face it, Google pretty much owns the universe, and it has more control over whether your startup business will make it or break it than anyone cares to admit. One thing that Google takes into account when it spews out search results for its users is small business websites, and if you build a reliable and informative one and link it with your social media, you stand a better chance of getting to the first page.
Branding is the name of the game in digital marketing and no business will survive without an identity in today’s marketplace. Yes, social media brands you and it also offers a platform to engage with your current and future customers, but how much control do you have over social media? Be honest, some of the biggest news in current events is how much social media destroys presidential elections, so you should never count on it to establish your identity. A website is a much better branding platform for numerous crucial reasons, the most important of which is you control the content.
Sure, you can delete a post on your Facebook wall or tweet, but how many people saw it before you hit that crucial button? What about trolls who spend their days bullying people on social media? What about trolls who spend their days writing bad reviews about businesses they’ve never solicited? For all its good, social media has also introduced a huge bad, and in terms of business applications, it gives people a platform to climb up on a soapbox and damage your reputation. You control your website’s content and you can tell people, really tell people, why they should solicit you.
Your business startup should use social media to boost its online presence. Nobody disputes that. You cannot downplay the importance of a website as well, however. This platform allows you to establish your professionalism and engage with potential clients in a manner you control. Shed a positive light on your new entity with a beautiful and informative website.