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This article was published on December 1, 2010

Do I Need A Website Or Can I Just Be Social?

Do I Need A Website Or Can I Just Be Social?

In today’s social networks, particularly Facebook dominated world, many companies are asking themselves: Do I need a destination site or can I move all my online activities to the social networks I am on?

Here’s a great blog post I found from a year ago which predicted the decline of the Destination Web vs. the Social Web.

The Reasons Why You DON’T Need A Website:

1) Why work so hard to bring traffic to your website when Facebook alone has 550 million users? Do you know how long it would take you to get 550 million people to come to your site utilizing SEO efforts and buying ads? Today, companies can engage with potential customers and current customers on their Facebook page far better than on a static site, with many more social features of engagement than anyone could have ever dreamt of.

2) On Facebook you can integrate all of your other social activities right on your page by creating specific tabs for your twitter profile, YouTube channel, FAQ’s (Get Satisfaction) and specific landing tabs to expose your promotions, such as this one.

3) On Facebook you can even open an online store and sell your products. It’s called F-Commerce. Take for example, Pampers web store and Toy Story Facebook page.

4) Facebook’s Photos application is one of Facebook’s most popular apps and is the most popular photo directory in the world. On Facebook you can feature all of your product photos in nicely organized albums for the world to view.

5) On Facebook you can create company events – whether virtual or offline – and integrate them with the rest of your activities.

6) On YouTube you can aggregate all your videos and create a channel where you can feature special videos and create your own customized channel (though you can and should upload your videos to Facebook as well).

7) On LinkedIn, you can target all of your business contacts and initiate contact with them unlike on a static website

8 ) On Facebook, users can view Facebook Insights (or analytics) for all your pages. Here you will find information regarding your monthly active users, number of new likes, members’ demographics and page views.

Here Are The Reasons Why You DO Need A Website:

1) Image is everything. And in today’s world, a company without a website is a company without a face.

2) Building your own database of – users, clients, names. What will you do if tomorrow Facebook closes your page and you are left with no database of your own? You will be lost. You must have a database of your customers.

3) Search – people today still search Google when looking for things – a hotel in Paris, a new coffee-maker, etc. You want to be high up in those Google search results when they do their searching.

N.B. It will be interesting to see what happens with FEO (Facebook Engine Optimization) when search comes to play a more major role in Facebook’s existence.

4) Blogging – creating a company blog enables you to make a name for yourself in your field. Look at Mint for example and what a remarkable job they did with their blog. Their blog got so popular that it was bringing tons of traffic to their site and increasing their brand awareness.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the cross-promotion of your different properties and maximized utilization of each and every one of them. Each of your social channels is supposed to promote your destination channels and vice versa. Your blog should be promoted on your Facebook page. Your Youtube videos should be promoted on your Twitter profile. Your Twitter should be promoted on your blog and your Facebook should be promoted everywhere. Take, for example, Skittles’ amazing website which basically acts as an access point to all of Skittles’ online social activities and acts as a catalyst of virality. Hopefully not only you will be promoting your different properties but others will as well and this will in turn help your SEO and increase the traffic to your site while also helping your social profiles thrive.

We live in a world where word spreads fast. Take advantage of certain technologies and applications which you don’t need to develop on your own while understanding which basic utilities and functions you do need to program on your end so as to not only properly function but even succeed as a business.