Is it just me, or does it feel like social media is constantly slapping us in the face with its demands? We have to be on it all the time! Post this, share that… and if we’re not actively promoting our business on social media, we must be doing something wrong. Right?
And heaven forbid we step out of those (very unclear and confusing) lines! All it takes is one mistake, and that Instagram campaign that’s been bringing in all the dough can disappear overnight. Plus, there’s almost nothing to be done about it because — surprise, surprise — there is no such thing as Instagram or Facebook support unless you happen to be a mega-influencer.
That’s right. It doesn’t matter that you’ve spent thousands on social media ad campaigns. If you wind up in the dreaded Facebook jail, your fate rests in the uncaring digital hands of a review bot.
But while you’re over there at the popular table and spending hours struggling to appease the mean girl squad that is social media algorithms, your ride or die from years past is waiting for you to turn around and remember all the good times you had together.
I’m talking about your website, and today I’m breaking down three reasons that often-neglected platform is actually your real BFF, and social media is your frenemy.
Your website is so much more than a digital brochure, sitting cold and lifeless somewhere in the depths of the internet. It can do just about anything.
Want to book appointments? Great! It can do that. Feel like creating a bomb event calendar that your community can help build? No problem. How about taking payments from your customers and selling your products or services? Your website has your back.
You can even use it as a hub for all your social media activity, with plugins and integrations that make it easy to share your content across platforms.
But here’s the best part: everything on your website is under your control. You’re not at the mercy of some shady business practices or unfair community guidelines. You can do whatever you want, however you want to do it.
Remember how I said your website can do anything you need it to do? It can also grow with you.
As your business changes and expands, your website can change right along with it. New products? No problem. Need to update your services? Easy peasy. Launching a new initiative or program? Your website can help you promote it.
The bottom line is this: your website will be there for you through all the highs and lows of business, but social media? It’s fickle af.
Unlike Social Media, Your Website Won’t Abandon You
We all know at least one person who’s had their social media account shut down for no good reason. It happens to the best of us, and usually without warning.
One day you’re minding your own business, scrolling through your feed and liking some posts, and the next thing you know — BAM! — you’re locked out of your account with no explanation.
The same thing can happen to businesses, and when it does, it can be disastrous. All of a sudden, you’ve lost your platform, your audience, and your way of reaching new customers.
It’s a nightmare scenario, but it doesn’t have to be. With a website, you’re not at the mercy of some algorithm. Your website won’t put you in jail without parole, locking you out without any help or support. It also isn’t subject to the whims of social media algorithms and ever-changing guidelines.
Sure, you need to pay attention to Google’s ranking factors if you want to show up on page one organically, but as the algorithm gets more refined with each iteration, it’s beginning to be less about hacking the rankings with keywords and code, and more about creating a website people want to spend time on.
I mean, take a look at the top 3 ranking factors for 2022 according to MonsterInsights:
- High-Quality Content: While “high-quality content” might sound pretty subjective, it’s actually not. If you create consistent, fresh content and if you focus on providing deep value to your website visitors, you’re off to a fantastic start! Beyond that, your content should be organized and structured, so they are easy to navigate and read.
- Backlinks: These coveted links from other websites are a great indication that you’re creating high-quality content, especially when they come from high-authority websites. They signal to Google that these authoritative websites trust you and that your content is worth linking to.
While many websites can come about backlinks without trying, you may have to do some outreach to obtain the good ones, at least until you’ve achieved a high domain authority of your own.
- Search Intent: winning at search intent means diving a little deeper into your keyword research than looking for the keywords with the highest search volume. It means understanding the why behind the keywords you’re targeting and ensuring they align with the content you offer.
If you are a local shoe store that sells women’s shoes, for example, choosing the keyword “women’s shoes” and optimizing all your content for that keyword won’t do you any favors. You’ll just be competing with Amazon and other online retailers. You want foot traffic, so you need to attract searchers who are looking for a brick-and-mortar shoe store. You’re much better off focusing on keywords like “women’s shoe store.”
All three of those are directly related to creating content people want to consume and building a website people enjoy spending time on.
Your Website Won’t Take a Toll on Your Mental Health
Okay, if you’re going the full DIY route, it might feel like your website is sucking the life out of you from time to time. But like a good marriage, working through it and riding out the rough patches can create a beautiful relationship.
On the other hand, it’s becoming increasingly clear that social media can negatively impact your mental health. Whether it’s a distorted self-image after so much time spent scrolling through filtered and edited quasi-realities or the high school-bullies-turned-keyboard-warriors leaving nasty comments just because they can, social media can inundate us with negativity.
And no matter how aware you might be of the fact that social media is an echo chamber filled with highlight reels, it can still impact you negatively. Even though I’ve been working in social media since 2008 and I am fully aware of all the ways people can modify, alter, filter, and fake their seemingly perfect lives, I still found my own mental health taking a turn for the worse when I launched this agency and began spending more time on social.
But guess what? With a website, you get to control the narrative. You decide what you expose yourself to. You get to decide how you share, and there is no algorithm insisting you spend time consuming other people’s potentially harmful content. So you get to protect yourself and your mental health, all while investing time in something that can have as much of a positive impact on your business as social media — if not more.
A Word in Defense of Social (and Frenemies Everywhere)
So look, I get that I just spent the last 1,300 words or so practically bashing social media. But don’t get me wrong. I think social media is a necessary tool for doing business in this online world. I’ve seen it do amazing things.
The place I got my marketing start was actually my mother’s business (Amélie’s French Bakery in Charlotte, NC — try the Salted Caramel Brownie and the Spinach Asparagus Leek Soup, y’all. Just trust me.)
Thanks in part to the power of social media to build community, it grew from a small neighborhood bakery to a multi-million-dollar 24/7/365 local destination counting The Pioneer Woman, the White House, and the entire cast of The Hunger Games as fans.
Seriously — the train scene in the first Hunger Games movie? That was our food.
But that was a more innocent time when Facebook was less about algorithms and ads and more about organic engagement.
Still, when it comes to growing a business, it’s all about balance. Social media is like that popular girl who wants to see look great and do well, not because she cares about you but because she wants to curate the perfect Instagrammable friend group. She’ll help you succeed – but only up to a certain point.
Use social media and leverage all the powerful tools it provides to grow your business, but don’t neglect your website in the process. If you do, you might wind up in serious trouble if the rug gets swept out from under you.
A lot of small businesses view their websites as an expense, something that’s nice to have but not necessary to success. But that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Your website is an investment that will pay off again and again. It’s the foundation of your online presence and, if done right, can be a major source of leads and sales for your business.
Think about it this way: would you rather put your money into something that will grow with you and be there for the long haul, or pour it down the drain on a platform that could delete your account (and everything you’ve built) at any moment?
The bottom line is this: your website is your best friend, and social media is something like a frenemy. So if you’re not allocating time and resources to building and maintaining a strong website presence, you may be doing yourself and your business a huge disservice.
Need help getting started? I’m happy to chat! Send me an email or book a 15-minute coffee chat and I’ll help you come up with a plan for simple, sustainable ways you can start investing in your real business bestie – your website.
Have you ever felt personally victimized by social media? Tell me about it in the comments. What did you do to resolve it?