Just a few short years ago it used to be that if your business wasn’t online (if your business didn’t have a website), it was as good invisible. Now the game has changed a lot and having a website is pretty much just a basic requirement which is expected of every business for that much-needed air of credibility.
The Website vs. Website & Social Media Conundrum
However, business owners have somewhat of a conundrum to deal with when social media is thrown into the mix, quite simply because it can be looked at from two viewpoints. One: a business website exists to give potential customers more information about your offering and perhaps even serves as a platform over which they can inquire to get more specialised information like tailored pricing, etc. So if you only have a website and your business is not really actively represented on social media platforms, this gives your business a certain air of exclusivity in that potential clients and whoever else who wants to get into contact with you knows where to find you. Two: on the flip-side social media is where the world goes to engage these days, so there is a very strong case for at least having some presence on social media, even if it’s only in the form a page which lists just a little bit about your business and directs those who are interested in knowing more to visit your website.
Take Ownership of Your Social Media Presence
It perhaps goes a bit beyond just the social media platforms with this, that being the need to take ownership of your web presence. If you don’t then somebody else will make representations on your behalf like how business directories list information about businesses which either do or don’t have their own websites. Social media platforms do that as well, like if someone “checks-in” to your business and is then invited to describe your business. When people search for your business on social media platforms this is what they’ll see – the information generated by a third-party and in the worst case scenario this third-party could very well be a competitor seeking to smear your business.
So take ownership of your web presence, including your social media presence by at the very least linking back to your website after giving a brief overview of what you are offering.
Clearly Defined Engagement
Now there are entire industries and even careers built around social media engagement, with some companies hiring social media experts and social media officers exclusively to represent the company over social media platforms. This is probably an extreme case, but one which may be in order nevertheless. The important thing is to clearly define how your business is going to engage with people over social media so that the social media platform doesn’t set unrealistic expectations. It’s okay if you “typically reply within eight hours” or something like that, for example, as long as you’re consistent and as long as the people who want to engage with you know where to go if they want more than what you can offer over the social media platforms.