On more than one occasion I have come across a marketing blog post claiming that businesses should just do away with their company sites and turn their social networking profiles into final destination of all their website marketing efforts. For the record, I 100% disagree with this (and it’s not just because I am an SEO professional). While social media may be at the core of how we connect, communicate and grow online, a social profile cannot replace the value of a well optimized website. Your website has to remain the central hub of your website marketing.
Social media marketing is a powerful and useful tool when handled appropriately. It allows you to connect with your customers on a personal level and stay connected with them throughout their day. Thanks to the increase in smartphone usage, your target audience is almost always online, no matter where they are or what they are doing. However, social media marketing is not the magic bullet to your online marketing needs. It is only one more piece of the puzzle.
Think of your Internet marketing like a bicycle wheel. Each of the spokes represents a different online marketing tactic: off-site link building, content marketing, on-site optimization, local SEO, social media and so forth. All of those things connect back to your main website, the hub of your wheel. You can’t afford to be missing any of the spokes, because it weakens the effectiveness of your wheel. But you can’t even build the wheel without a strong and constant center to hold everything together.
The Internet is constantly evolving. This means that the spokes of your wheel can be replaced at anytime. Social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but there are also no guarantees that it will stick around forever or remain as powerful as it is today. That’s why you have to diversify your website marketing efforts so as to not rely on one source of traffic. If Facebook where to disappear tomorrow for some reason, what would you be left with? Would you still have a strong online presence or would you fall of the face of the Internet?
Note: The same argument could be made for your website if Google were to shut down, hence the need for diversity.
Businesses should never favor one website marketing tactic (social media, SEO and content marketing) over another. The most successful websites are the ones that develop and integrated approach. But your website has to be the thing that pulls all your website marketing together.