Selling Social: Why You Still Need a Website

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Selling Social: Why You Still Need a Website

Facebook has about 2.7 billion active users every month. Let that sink in for a minute. That’s close to 35 percent of all humanity on Earth visiting the same website every month. This sheer number alone has web marketers salivating.

To have that many eyes available for your product or service is incredibly seductive. Some companies have gone so far as to open their stores directly on Facebook, using apps designed to allow product purchases without leaving the social site. It seems like a natural extension of the social paradigm: open a store, let Facebook’s social search and integrated advertising platform do your marketing for you, and rake in the profits.

In light of this emerging paradigm, business owners may wonder why they should spend so much time and money building a website and then clawing their way up the search engine ladder. The Internet seems like a cold and forbidding place, especially for a new business trying to break into the market. On the other hand, all your friends and colleagues are already on social media. Why not just skip the Internet completely and set up shop where all the people are?

Well, for one thing, the Internet itself has over 4.9 billion users globally. (source: Internet Statistics 2021) Of course those users are just “out there,” not collected in one convenient place like Facebook. On the other hand, if half of all your potential customers fall outside the Facebook community, you might well be losing more business than you can afford. Facebook users can still browse to a regular website if they want to, but due to recent changes to Facebook’s algorithm, your brand posts may have limited reach to your intended audience.

But there’s another, more powerful reason why you shouldn’t drop everything and rush to Facebook: Facebook stores typically undersell regular websites by a fair margin. In April 2011, for instance, GameStop opened a Facebook store to great fanfare. Six months later, they quietly closed it, citing that the return was not worth their continued investment.

Meanwhile, online retailers like Amazon continue to rack up record profits while having a tiny fraction of Facebook’s active user base. This is because Amazon advertises themselves as a store, not a casual gathering place. Having an enormous number of potential customers is not enough to translate into good business numbers. You also have to take human nature into account. To wit: People on social media are there to be social, not spend money.

Having said all that, it’s still good business sense to maintain a presence on social media. In fact, it’s generally expected that any medium-sized company will have a business page. But rather than using Facebook as a sales platform, we recommend that companies use them as part of their branding and public relations strategy. The return may not be immediate, but having an informative and responsive page goes a long way to making customers gain a personal connection with the business, making them feel comfortable and engaged. From there, you can simply leave the door open to your separate, more commerce-driven website and let your customers come to you.

When the time comes to open a new commerce-driven website, spruce up your old one, or just put together some strategies to gain more customers, we at Matcha Design are ready to assist. Contact us and let us put our expertise to work for you.

About Matcha Design

Matcha Design is a full-service creative B2B agency with decades of experience executing its client’s visions. The award-winning company specializes in web design, logo design, branding, marketing campaign, print, UX/UI, video production, commercial photography, advertising, and more. Matcha Design upholds the highest personal standards for excellence and can see things from a unique perspective due to its multicultural background.  The company consistently delivers custom, high-quality, innovative solutions to its clients using technical savvy and endless creativity. For more information, visit MatchaDesign.com.

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