Focus your spend, Website vs Social?
In 1993 the first modern internet browser was released to the market. This started the internet BOOM of the late 1990’s and with a few bumps in the road it continues to grow today.
Now moving to mobile browsers as the preferred method of consuming internet content many communities, tools, games, videos, etc… are available for consumption.
Delivery of this content breaks down into several different channels but I would like to focus on two distinct channels which most are familiar with: Websites and Social Platforms.
As a business owner, keep this question in mind, “where should I focus my money and attention online for the long term benefit for my company?”
Now with the stage set, let’s dive into Websites versus Social platforms review.
First a look at the trends:
Early Social platforms now dead (or suffering greatly) (~6 years to death)
Older social platforms on the decline since 2013 (~6 years of very popular)
New Social platforms on the rise (how long?)
Business websites (from beginning and still climbing 12+ years)
- Canadian Tire
- Toronto-Dominion Bank
- Tim Hortons
Review of the trends:
Okay, it is quite clear that company/branded websites continue to grow over time as you would expect as the company/brand itself grows over time. Sure branded websites start from a smaller audience and the volume/traffic is limited but you know the volume comes from a majority of people interested in the company/brand itself which enables the company to target sales to the audience very effectively.
These company/brand websites have what everyone in business is looking for and that is audience loyalty. Sure a brand can kill loyalty over time and see a decline but good companies know this and always try to build loyalty through how they connect to their audience.
The deep connection to audience to build loyalty requires the company/brand to be in complete control of all touch points for the audience. There is no better place to do this online than with a company/brand website.
Conversely, you can see that social Platforms tend to die in a relatively short timeframe. Even the newer BIG social platforms seem to have declining interest in a relatively short period of time. These social platforms have trouble maintaining audience loyalty and as soon as the next thing comes along, the audience moves or at minimum it becomes fragmented.
Sure some social platforms will be around longer than others and some have very deep pockets to try different things to maintain audience but it doesn’t build deep audience loyalty.
A company/brand which uses social platforms to build audiences can build an audience on the social platform, however, if the social platform as a whole declines in interest then the company/brand will lose audience on the social platform and eventually when the social platform dies, so will the company/brand audience it had built up.
From the question I asked you to keep in mind: “where should I focus my money and attention online for the long term benefit of my company?”, I would suggest that the answer is “it depends on budget”.
It all depends on budget but if you do have the appropriate budget then I would suggest that you first always start with deep focus on your company/brand website and then use your budget to work the social platform channels to drive traffic back to your website.
If you have a limited budget used it to focus on your company/brand website. This will enable you to fully control the message and connection to your audience at all times so that you can build loyalty.
Conclusion to: website vs social platform
There will always be new social platforms appearing but Website wins with social platform as an effective tool to push audience back to your website where you can build real loyalty. Oh, and your company/brand website better be mobile ready.