We are currently living in a time of a powerful trend for social media profiles. There’s no point in listing them all, because everyone knows exactly what I’m talking about. These are corporations that, in a sense, control the sphere of information transfer on the Internet and have made people dependent on them to such an extent that no one can imagine life without them. So where is the place for websites in all this? Will they be obsolete soon?
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I don’t really have a clear answer. Setting up a profile on any social media platform is free. You don’t need any special skills to create and run such a profile. No platform has as much reach and as many active users as several leading social channels. In addition, you do not have to pay for domains, servers, designers, maintenance, because it is in the interest of the companies with which we create our profile. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Supply and Demand
To understand the phenomenon, it is best to look at it from an economic perspective, because as we all know, money rules the world. Browsing the board on one of the portals, every now and then I come across ads that in 90% do not interest me at all. These are various companies that want to promote their product, but maybe they don’t target the content well, because I’m generally a weak customer – I buy only when I need something. Moreover, I know what I want. However, let’s look at it from the perspective of the person who is the target audience of these ads.
Thesis – Social media create demand and websites satisfy it. If I come across an ad for something I like while scrolling through the board, I’ll click on it. 99% of the time, an ad will lead me to a website where I can buy the product or service. This is clearly a way to create demand, because if I hadn’t seen the ad, I probably wouldn’t even know I needed it.
On the other hand, if I know what I need, I go to the Internet search engine on G. There I enter what I want and find the best offer on the list of search results. This is how I meet my own demand. This is completely the opposite of social media.
This leads to the conclusion that if we want to run a business on the Internet, we should have both a social media profile and a professional website to increase our chances in the ‘fight’ for the client. If we hit it from both sides, we increase the probability of winning.
Your Business Image
I don’t know about you, but I always check if a given person/company has a website. Sure, if I see a business card of a restaurant on G.’s maps, I know it exists. However, I am not entirely convinced by pubs that do not have a website and only upload their menu in PDF to social media. For me, a website is a kind of company’s showcase on the Internet and if it is done well, it encourages me to eat lunch there. If I have a choice of two companies: one that has a business card in G., but does not have a website, and the other that has both – I will always choose the second one.
I don’t want to offend anyone at all, but I think if someone is running a business these days and doesn’t have a website, they don’t understand the period they live in. The most popular Internet search engine in the world (G.) recorded 92 billion hits in 2020. So statistically, every person on earth has used it 11 times. Let us bear in mind that there are billions of people who do not use the Internet. On a daily basis, G. records almost 4 billion searches for anything. And that’s how many people will definitely NOT see your page if you don’t have one. Nice scale 🙂 If we add about 3 billion active users of the most popular social media platform (the one on F.), we have a powerful machine thanks to which we can conquer the Internet market. All you need is a cool idea and a lot of work 😉
This is something I consider to be the most important advantage of having your own website. You can write what you want on it, sell what you want (according to the law), upload what you want. Social media platforms are one big censorship and if you don’t comply, they will ban you without warning. One interesting example is a company that sells bicycles. I will not write what brand, but generally one of the biggest and everyone in Poland knows it. Some time ago there was a situation where their channel on the video site (Y.) was banned because they used the word “pedał” too much… In Polish it meens “a pedal” or “a faggot” 🙂
You can also sell what you want on your website and you don’t have to go through the political correctness of your products every now and then. At Cosmi.pl, every now and then we come across problems that F. rejects our products because there are some politically incorrect words in the composition of the cosmetics. Recently, he refused us a snail slime cream, because as we could read in the justification, you can’t advertise things obtained from animals. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t make sense – they just block you from selling and we are at their mercy.
This is very much related to the previous paragraph, but I think it’s worth emphasizing. I would like to use an example here that reflects well what I want to convey. Suppose we have to go to work in the morning by car, but it broke down. If we only have one, we have a problem. If we have two, three or more, we always have an alternative. We may just have to take the one we don’t like, but we’ll get to work.
The same is true for online business. You can even inadvertently use some politically incorrect F-word at any time and you’ll get banned. They will probably unblock you, but for a few/over a dozen days business will stand still. If you run an online store, then create an account in some marketplace, expand your social media profile with the possibility of listing products, use comparison websites, ads, write blogs. If one fails, you always have other options and you won’t be left stranded.
To be completely objective, I can’t forget about the disadvantages of websites.
It is not to create a good website
The first problem is creating them. Anyone can set up a Facebook profile, but not a website. Here you need to know and be able to do a little more if you want to achieve a nice effect. You can study and waste your time, or you can pay someone like me a few thousand and be done with it. Of course, there are also various types of ‘ready-made’ where you just need to pay a monthly license and we have a great blog. In many cases, this is probably enough, but if you want to stand out, you need something more.
If you want to have a nice website, there is no reason to delude yourself that someone will do it for free. Knowledge and experience cost money, and the market verifies it very quickly. I think it’s better to pay someone who knows, than to do it sloppy but at cost. The fact is that you need a few thousand for a nice website and this can be a big problem for many people.
You have to take care of it
If you run a stationary clothing store, you have to hang clothes every day, clean, watch over employees, control the warehouse, do repairs once in a while, etc. It’s exactly the same on the Internet. In order to develop, you need to take care of the tool for earning – it will not do itself. However, if you don’t want to have an online store, just a simple blog or business card, then you basically only pay once when setting up and then only every year when renewing the domain and hosting.