With 20% of small businesses now using social media instead of websites, do we even need websites? Can we establish and grow our business on social media profiles alone?
In this day and age being online is an absolute necessity. You can’t develop and grow your business if you don’t have some kind of online presence in place.
There are two main options when it comes to developing an online presence.
1. A website
Although they cost money to create and keep updated, they are completely customizable to your business in both style and functionality.
2. Social media profiles
These are completely free and give you access to a large network of potential customers. However, you are subject to 3rd-party control, and get little-to-no design modifications with very limited functionality options.
20% of small businesses now using social media instead of websites, do we even need websites? Can we establish and grow our business on social media profiles alone?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both choices.
Can your agricultural business grow using only social media?
Whether your business is well-established or just starting out, setting up a social media profile is a huge way to help it grow.
You don’t have to spend hours creating one either. You just sign up for a popular social media platform like Facebook or Instagram, make a business account, and boom you’re done.
Can you use social media exclusively to grow your agricultural business though?
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages and find out!
Advantages of social media for businesses
1. It’s free and easy to set up
Social media is a great marketing tool for your business because it’s completely free and it only takes minutes to set up. This means you can get your online presence started with little to no cost.
However, if you do want to promote yourself more on social media you’ll have to spend money on advertisements.
2. Improves brand loyalty
By interacting with your brand daily your audience will come to trust and respect your brand. They’ll be loyal to you and think about your company over your competitors. In fact,
89% of consumers will buy from companies they follow on social media.
3. Helps with customer engagement
If you develop a popular social media profile you could get the attention of numerous consumers. Social media encourages back and forth communication between you and your audience. This real-time customer interaction will help them learn your business’ values. This means you’ll be top of their list when they’re looking for somebody who does what you do.
4. No commitment necessary
If you start a social media account you don’t have to keep it going. There is absolutely no commitment with social media. You can easily delete your account and try something else if it’s not working out for you.
Disadvantages of social media for businesses
1. It doesn’t guarantee conversions
When thousands of people are following your brand online you’d be under the impression that they’d engage with you and take a look at what you have to offer.
In a recent study, it was discovered that 46% of people who followed a brand on Facebook had no intention of making a purchase. They only followed because they wanted a free product, entrance into a contest, or they were recommended by a friend.
Unfortunately, social media doesn’t clock up many conversions but you can funnel your visitors to your website where you could encourage them to convert.
2. There is limited customization
With social media platforms, your account will look like everybody else. Your profile will follow exactly the same template with the only customization being your profile picture, your banner, and a few other profile edits.
Limited customization means you can’t show off your individuality and show your audience why you’re unique. This could put you at risk of becoming a commodity. If your audience doesn’t see you as unique they might choose to work with one of your competitors over you.
3. No ownership or control
The number one issue when it comes to social media platforms is the lack of ownership. You technically don’t own your profile and if something went wrong with your account you could lose your entire business.
Not only this but the social media site controls what adverts and promotions pop up on your profile. You also have to follow strict guidelines to make sure your profile stays afloat.
You don’t want to be building up a social media presence for years only to have it stripped away in a second.
The social media platforms of today might not even be around forever either.
Bebo and Myspace were once huge before Facebook so maybe a new social media tycoon will take over.
This is why you should consider building a website for your business alongside your social media accounts.
Are you still unsure?
Let’s take a closer look at websites to see what their advantages and disadvantages are.
Do you need a website for your agricultural business?
If you want complete control over your company’s online presence then getting a website is the perfect way to go.
When you have a website you also own all of it and don’t have to worry about a third-party deleting all your hard-earned work.
It’s a good idea to remember that the best digital marketing strategies incorporate both social media and your website.
Advantages of owning a website
1. It improves credibility
Having a website makes you more trustworthy and legitimizes your business.
75% of consumers
even admitted to making assumptions about a company’s credibility based on their website design. People always put more trust in a business if they have their own website up and running.
2. You’ve got full control
When you have a website you own it completely and get to control every aspect of it. You can decide what it looks like and what features are displayed on it. You can make it the perfect place for your audience.
3. Better marketing for your business
When you have a website at your disposal you can improve your marketing strategy. You’ll be able to communicate and sell to your audience easily and provide them with incentives to convert.
You’ll be able to market your business using blogs, videos, images, and customer reviews. You can also use pay-per-click campaigns to drive more traffic to your website and improve your conversions.
4. Your website is available 24/7
Having a website means you have a sales guy 24/7. Your website will be able to grab leads round the clock and you don’t have to pay for their lunch breaks! It also means people can easily get information about your website whenever they need it.
Disadvantages of owning a website
1. You have to work hard to attract traffic
You won’t be able to attract traffic by simply creating a website. You’ll have to put time and effort into creating blog posts and other types of content to attract consumers to your site. You’ll also need to improve your SEO (search engine optimization) so you can rank on the search engine results page.
After optimizing your website it’s a good idea to make it look pretty too. Consumers don’t like companies with old or outdated web design. In fact,
38% of people will stop engaging with a website altogether if the content or layout of the site is unattractive.
2. Needs continuous maintenance
If you want to run a website then unfortunately you’re going to have to keep it maintained. It can be quite time-consuming to maintain a website but it’s necessary for security reasons.
A maintained website also keeps your customers happy as it shows you take your business seriously.
3. It can cost a lot
No matter where you go to get your website made it’s going to cost you money. A custom website can cost anywhere from $1000 – $10,000 or more depending on what you’re looking for.
You can get free websites but usually, they’re low quality and will only make your business look unprofessional.
Here at Agtivation, we love helping ag businesses grow their business online.
If you’d like to talk about how to improve your business by implementing some of the latest web design trends then
get in touch with our team today.