I had the task of going online yesterday and looking for business websites and their social networks for a project I was doing at work. As a Marketing Coordinator, I want to connect with other businesses and network. I got so annoyed on Google searching for business websites just to find Yelp reviews, listings on urbanspoon and city search etc. However some of these businesses had Facebook pages. Facebook is NOT a website for your business. If you have a Facebook Fan Page it should be used as a tool to bring people back to your fully hosted website, even if it’s just an informational landing page until you create a full website of what you really want. If you’re a business owner having a web presence now of days is essential. I also think that Twitter & Facebook go hand in hand. If you have one you should have the other among other social networking platforms. I always look for both when it comes to businesses and as a consumer I’ll “Like” and “follow” the Facebook & Twitter accounts. I saw this with salons, restaurants, retail stores just to name a few.
I turned to the internet to give me the information I was looking for, I’m sure other people have done so as well. One of the first things any business owner should do is invest in a website. The benefits of having a website are first and foremost building your brand and marketing yourself. It’s the World Wide Web, people in every time zone can access your information at their leisure. Your website is basically your online resume of what you can offer a potential client. You are showcasing your product or service. I’m sure marketing materials and advertising can rack up in cost and there may be times when you run out of materials and have to reorder or make edits and changes. You’re website can push information out instantly and you can edit information as necessary without waiting on anyone to do it at any additional cost. To take it a step further once you make your changes post it to Google Plus, your Facebook wall and Tweet it out so that your social networks will know and share the information. It then goes viral and you are bringing traffic back to your website.
More importantly you need a way for your existing clients and potential clients to have access to you, whether it is a contact page on your website allowing people to email you or a phone number allowing people to call you. Having a website also allows you to build lists by offering a newsletter and enlisting subscriptions to keep your clients informed. If you are going to go the DIY (Do It Yourself) route there are tons of turnkey website companies out there that are user friendly. As a graphic designer the only thing I don’t like about turnkey websites is that they all have a similar look and you want to stand out from everyone else. I’d invest in a graphic designer to execute the custom look you are wanting and a website that will set you apart and stand out from other businesses. You will show your clients that you really took time and invested money into your brand. That says a lot about you and they will have confidence in doing business with you. Your website is a HUGE part of your brand, so if you own a business and you don’t have a website consider getting one created a top priority.