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Are websites ‘old hat’ for small businesses ?

It seems to be an unwritten rule that businesses (especially SMEs) need an online presence to be visible, make their ‘mark’ and grow, ie via a website.

However, there appears a trend that websites are loosing popularity with some preferring to establish their online presence using social media - a mix  of Twitter, FB, LI, Instagram etc.

A couple of articles I’ve recently read support this suggesting that websites are too static, too expensive (development, hosting, support/enhancements etc) versus social media that is dynamic in content, can instantly respond to opportunities, deploy new offerings by ‘pushing’  it out to prospective clients.

Its a fast moving world now and It’s certainly got me thinking....

Is an answer to just use websites as a point of reference now and drive business by SM or even have no website ( although I suggest that would not work for all )

Interested to hear what you think ....

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Replies

  • I get a far greater proportion of good quality leads from the website, and a high rate of poor leads from social media. So I believe it's far from falling into redundancy. 

    • PRO

      I dont have any involvement  in social media or a website but enquiries do come in from different segments including those who are young and technically savvie who seem to trust conventional methods of advertising , Possibly many realise how easy it is to build misleading profiles on social media , many can talk a good job and pontificate til the cows come home . 

      As Dan points out above the discerning serious clients will still veer towards a good quality website . 

       

  • PRO

    A website is supposed to be a partially static point of call for a potential customer./'Information'

    Social media is supposed to be a constantly updating information highway. / 'personality'/ online presence.

    I would always prefer to view someones website rather than their social media feed. In fact ive just spent 1 hr going through yours gary :) And nothing wrong with it -- but i went down the internet hole through other linked people and i have to say it hurt my brain and really annoyed me.

    Social media annoys some people -- its relentless -- constant pointless updates and borderline corruption -- see endless - 'retweet my post for a chance to win something crap' 

    I guess the point is are you trying to gain a new customer or are you trying to build a social media presence ? 

    As above -- i would assume a quality client will come more regularly from a quaility website. 

    Social media can become quite quickly a never ending self publication and not only that it puts you in a non professional environment IMO -- where personal opinion creeps in - leading yourself open to disagreements / negative publicity. 

    I would certianly be banned from any social media that was related to business - what i am 9-5 is not what i am 5-midnight -- id be worse than trump. And although im sure many would say they arent as potentially troublesome as i -- ive read 'plenty' this evening on twitter from 'proffesionals' that i feel from a customer point of view would be potentially negative. 

    Websites will be long term -- as we see everywhere social media platforms are transient and largely based on subsecting areas that appeal to fluctuating social groups -- facebook is now considered to be only for the old -- fine if you want that market -- snapchat -- pointless for business ? / twitter -- a massive potential sht storm. 

    Im sure all the available online options have a purpose -- but i dont see a quailty website being beaten any time soon for gaining quailty new clients - and the set up admin costs dont need to be high -- where as a constant online presence through ,any of the others is costing you far more if you calculate time spent doing it - at the same time as you / i nott being potentially a marketing expert -- leading to potential negative side effects. 

     

    • PRO

      As a consumer i prefer to choose the method which narrows the search and saves time which is nearly always through personal recommendation . 

      I rarely trawl the web to find trades people i find it chaotic , its like trying to find a needle in a haystack , I can see it reaching a saturation point one day . 

      As you point out Dan websites are static which i find reassuring but its not about me and  to many social media is in their veins and they embrace it with a vengance but equally many who steer clear so it may provide an equal playing field . 

  • I have not got a business website as I never got around to setting it up as my line of work is maintenance and I have a full customer base.  Like forums, Face Book, Twitter etc are taking the lead unfortunately as so many users see that as thier first port of call. It's good to see that this forum is bucking the trend as so many forums that I am a member of are slowly fragmenting due to lack of participation. 

     

  • PRO

    I've always intended to have a website but like you Andrew never got round to it and word of mouth and a bit of local advertising keeps us busy. I also believe that it has to be a really good website or none at all because a bad one, to me is pointless......I end up spending money on more practical things to help the business move forward. 

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