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Social Media Isn't Enough: Small Businesses Need a Website

Social Media Isn't Enough: Small Businesses Need a Website

Duane Chetcuti avatar

Duane Chetcuti

August 22, 2023

Are you a forward-thinking small business owner eager to expand your reach and boost sales? This article is tailor-made for you. While acknowledging the undeniable power of social media, it's crucial to recognize that having a dedicated website can be a transformative step in expanding your online presence.

If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Co-founder, Microsoft

Social media undoubtedly boasts an impressive ability to connect with a vast audience quickly. With millions of users across platforms, it's an effective way to engage and build relationships. The setup is relatively easy, and it's cost-effective, making it ideal for resource-strapped small businesses. Not to mention, it allows frequent updates to keep customers informed.

However, amidst these advantages lies a pivotal truth: Social media should be just one aspect of your digital strategy. In tandem, a dedicated website offers a robust platform that can elevate your business to new heights. In this article, we'll explore why a website is not just a complement to social media, but an essential tool in your business's journey towards long-term success. Let's delve into the compelling reasons why having your website is the key to thriving in today's competitive digital landscape.

Websites vs Social Media: Finding Balance

Finding balance between a website and social media for small businesses

Having a social media page is undeniably beneficial for reaching a broad audience. Social media platforms have millions of users, and by creating a page for your business, you can tap into this vast audience. You can also use social media to engage with your customers and build relationships with them.

Social media pages are relatively easy and quick to set up, and they are often free. This can be particularly beneficial for small businesses that have limited resources and budgets. Additionally, social media pages can be updated frequently and easily, allowing you to keep your customers informed about your latest products, services, and promotions.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business

Navigating the vast landscape of social media platforms requires a strategic approach tailored to your business's unique objectives and target audience. While each platform has its merits, focusing on the ones most aligned with your goals can yield exceptional results. Here's a closer look at some of the most effective platforms for different business needs:

Facebook: A Universal Reach

With over 2.8 billion active users worldwide, Facebook offers a massive audience pool. It's ideal for businesses seeking a broad demographic reach. Its versatile features, including pages, groups, and ads, allow you to create engaging content that resonates with diverse audiences.

Instagram: Visual Storytelling

If your business thrives on visual content, Instagram is a dynamic platform to consider. Its emphasis on images and short videos makes it perfect for showcasing products, services, and behind-the-scenes glimpses. The integration of stories, photos, and reels opens avenues for creative storytelling and engagement.

TikTok: Captivating Young Audiences

Targeting a younger demographic? TikTok's short-form videos are captivating for Generation Z and Millennials. It's a space where creativity shines, making it an effective platform for businesses with visually appealing and entertaining content.

LinkedIn: B2B Networking and Thought Leadership

For business-to-business (B2B) interactions, LinkedIn is invaluable. It's a professional networking hub where you can share industry insights, establish thought leadership, and build partnerships. Ideal for services catering to professionals and businesses.

Twitter (now called X): Real-Time Updates

For quick, real-time updates and customer interaction, Twitter/X is a strong contender. Its succinct format is perfect for sharing bite-sized news and engaging with your audience directly. Lately, it has also opened up to long-form texts and threads.

Pinterest: Creative and Design-Focused

Businesses in the creative and design sectors can leverage Pinterest's visually driven platform. It's an excellent way to showcase products, projects, and ideas in a visually appealing manner.

Remember, quality trumps quantity. It's more effective to focus on a few platforms and maintain an active, engaging presence than to spread yourself thin across numerous platforms. Consider your target audience's preferences, your content's nature, and your business goals when making your choices. An integrated strategy that balances these platforms with a dedicated website can amplify your online impact exponentially.

Social media pages can also be used to drive traffic to your website. By posting links to your website on your social media pages, you can encourage your followers to visit your site and learn more about your business. This strategy can bolster your website's visibility and contribute to improved search engine rankings.

However, it's important to note that social media pages have limitations, such as limited customization options, lack of control over algorithms, and potential for account suspension or closure.

While social media can be a useful tool for small businesses, they should not be relied on as the sole online presence for your business; and it's crucial that you establish a dedicated website for your business. This will provide you with more control and stability, ensuring your online presence is secure and effective.

Why Relying Solely on Social Media is Risky

Social media platforms are primarily designed for social interaction, not for selling your products.

They can, however, still effectively be used to sell products or services.

While you can leverage social media to bolster your business, it should not be seen as a substitute for a website. Your website is a comprehensive and customizable platform specifically designed to showcase your products or services and convert visitors into customers. Social media should ideally be used as a supplementary marketing tool.

As a small business owner, it's crucial to understand the potential pitfalls of relying solely on social media for your online presence.

You Don't Own Your Social Media Channels

Placing the entirety of your online presence in the hands of third-party social media platforms is a substantial risk for your business. This is a risk for your business, as these platforms have their own rules and algorithms that you have no control over.

When you have your website, you have complete control. You decide the content, the design, the functionality, and the way your business is portrayed online. This level of control is simply not possible with social media platforms. They can change their rules, alter their algorithms or even shut down your page without warning.

Owning a website ensures a stable online presence. Social media trends change quickly. Remember MySpace? Or Vine? If your entire online presence is tied to a platform that falls out of favor or disappears, your business will be left in the dust.

Unpredictable Platform Algorithms

Another crucial factor to consider is the constant change in social media algorithms. These algorithms decide what content is visible to users and when. A shift in these could drastically reduce your visibility, causing a significant drop in your traffic. You have no control over these changes and most often, they are not communicated to users until after they have taken effect.

On the other hand, your website acts as a stable, reliable point of contact that is not subject to the whims of algorithm changes.

Consider these specific instances from history:

  1. Facebook's 2018 Algorithm Update: This update prioritized content from friends and family, leaving brands and businesses struggling to reach their audience.
  2. Instagram's Shift to Interest-based Sorting: Instagram made a shift from chronological sorting to interest-based sorting, causing many small businesses to lose visibility.
  3. Twitter's Introduction of Top Tweets: In 2016, Twitter introduced "Top Tweets", which prioritized popular tweets over recent ones. This change significantly impacted the visibility of tweets from small businesses, particularly those lacking a substantial following.

These are just a few examples of how changes in platform algorithms can significantly impact your online presence.

Risk of Traffic Loss

Placing your entire online presence in the hands of social media platforms is risky.

You could be banned and see your traffic evaporate in an instant. Many small businesses have experienced this unfortunate event and struggled to recover their customer base. This is an uncontrollable risk that can occur without warning or apparent cause.

Your small business social media page can be lost abruptly

Recovery from Hacks Can Be Difficult

Securing your online presence in today's digital landscape is essential. Websites and social media accounts are both susceptible to hacker attacks, yet the recovery processes for each differ significantly.

Imagine the scenario where your social media page gets hacked and you're unable to reclaim it. You'd be forced to start from scratch, building your follower count from ground zero. Beyond being a time-consuming ordeal, this situation also jeopardizes the trust painstakingly built with your customers.

When it comes to recovering a compromised social media page, you're essentially at the whim of the platform's customer support, which is often unresponsive and impersonal. Worse yet, you're at the mercy of the hacker, praying they haven't inflicted irreparable damage and that they lack the motivation or expertise to cause further harm.

Having a website equips you with a distinct advantage, particularly in the face of a cyber attack. You retain direct control, empowering you to swiftly respond and initiate effective recovery procedures. This level of control lets you secure your site and jumpstart the recovery process immediately. Assisted by the technical support from your web developer or hosting platform, you can navigate through security breaches and reduce periods of downtime. Plus, the regular backups that websites facilitate help you restore earlier versions, softening the blow of any attacks.

Ultimately, having a website is not just about showcasing your business; it’s also about protecting it.

Competitive Edge Through a Website

28% of small businesses do not have a website. This presents a fantastic opportunity for you to gain an edge over your competitors. By establishing a powerful online presence through your website, you can seize opportunities that your competitors are missing out on.

Competitive edge through a website for small businesses

Leveraging Your Online Presence

  • A website can serve as a 24/7 storefront. Unlike a physical store, it's open round-the-clock, allowing you to connect with customers at any time.
  • A robust online presence can enhance your brand's visibility. With a sleek, professional website, you can project a strong image to potential customers.
  • Your website can be an effective tool for capturing customer data. With the right analytics, you can gain insights into customer behavior and preferences, allowing you to tailor your offerings accordingly.

Outperforming Your Competitors

By building a strong online presence through your website, you're not just keeping up with the competition - you're outpacing them.

Here's how you can leverage your website to outperform your competitors:

Showcasing Your Products or Services

Use your website as a platform to showcase your products or services. Detailed descriptions, high-quality images and videos, and customer reviews can make your offerings more attractive and persuasive to potential customers.

Offering Online Sales

46% of all Google searches are local. Offering online sales can significantly extend your market reach beyond the local community. This can be a game changer, especially for small businesses.

Providing Excellent Customer Service

Use your website to provide excellent customer service. This can include FAQs, live chat options, and a contact form for inquiries. A good customer service experience can turn potential customers into loyal clients.

Utilizing SEO Strategies

Implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to improve your site's visibility in search engine results. This can drive more organic traffic to your site and increase your chances of attracting new customers.

Engaging with Social Media

Integrate your social media accounts with your website to increase your online presence and foster better engagement with your customers. This can help you build a strong community around your brand.

You're losing business opportunities

Websites can significantly improve a business's search engine optimization (SEO) and online visibility. Without a website, your business might be invisible to a significant segment of potential customers who use the Internet to seek out and research local businesses.

Ultimately, not having a website is akin to turning away potential customers. It's a decision that can cost your business valuable growth opportunities.

The Limitations of Social Media

Insufficient Business Information

While useful for providing glimpses of your business, often fall short in offering comprehensive information that consumers need to make informed decisions about your offerings.

Limited by character counts and the format's brevity, social media platforms cannot effectively convey the depth of information that a website can. This disparity becomes especially significant when detailing your products or services, presenting your business's history, introducing your team, or showcasing your values.

In contrast, a dedicated website offers ample space to present exhaustive and well-organized information. Through detailed descriptions, high-quality images, videos, and immersive content, your website enables potential customers to delve into your offerings and brand identity. This comprehensive insight enhances consumer trust and assists them in confidently making purchase decisions.

By utilizing a website, you empower consumers with the information they seek, fostering a deeper connection and helping them navigate their journey from curiosity to conversion. This level of transparency and detail contributes to the overall credibility of your business and enriches the user experience.

Limited Control Over Branding

On social media, you're essentially renting space within a platform that has its own set of rules and restrictions. Your ability to control the aesthetics, layout, and overall brand image is severely limited. Owning a website means you can shape and control your online narrative, ensuring that your brand message is consistently and effectively communicated.

Controlling Your Online Narrative and Brand Image

As a small business owner, establishing your online presence is crucial. You may think that having a social media page is enough, but only a website can give you full control over your online narrative and brand image.

  1. Content Control: With a website, you have full control over the content you present. You can showcase your products or services, share success stories, and connect with your customers directly. On social media, you share the platform with competitors and are limited to the platform's specific rules and restrictions.
  2. Brand Consistency: Consistency is key in branding. A website lets you decide on the design, layout, and color scheme that best represents your brand. On social media, your brand must fit into the pre-existing template of the platform.
  3. Credibility: A website gives your business more credibility. It shows that you are serious about your business and willing to invest in it. A business without a website can appear less professional or established compared to competitors who do.

Website vs Social Media Presence

Let's take a look at the comparison between having a website and only relying on social media for your business:

AdvantageWebsiteSocial Media
Control over ContentFull controlLimited control
Brand ConsistencyFull controlLimited control
CredibilityIncreased credibilityLess credibility
Customer InteractionCan be controlledCan be difficult to manage
SEO BenefitsHighLow
Data CollectionComprehensive data collectionRestricted data collection
Longevity of ContentDurableEphemeral
Target AudienceCan target a specific audienceLess precise targeting

As you can see, a website offers more benefits when it comes to controlling your online narrative and brand image. Don't miss out on the opportunity to create a stronger online presence for your business.

The Benefits of Having a Website

In today's digital age, your website often serves as the first point of contact between your business and potential customers. Don't underestimate its power and influence.

Grow your small business by creating a website

A platform for showcasing products or services

A website provides a canvas to display your offerings with detailed descriptions, captivating images, and even customer reviews. Unlike social media's limited space, your website lets you present an in-depth view of what you provide. It's your digital storefront, open 24/7, welcoming visitors to explore and engage with your offerings on their terms.

Enhancing brand credibility

A well-designed website projects a polished image, instilling confidence in visitors and making them more likely to trust and engage with your brand. It's more than just an online presence – it's a platform that validates your commitment to your business. Just as a physical store exudes professionalism, a thoughtfully designed website acts as a virtual storefront that not only attracts but also fosters lasting connections with your audience.

Capturing customer data

Website forms and analytics can provide invaluable insights into your customers' behaviors and preferences, allowing you to personalize your offerings and enhance customer experience.

Professionalism and Credibility

Having a well-designed and informative website immediately bestows your business with a degree of professionalism.

75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company's credibility based on their website design.

It also serves as a platform for potential customers to verify your business, enhancing its credibility.

You wouldn't trust a brick-and-mortar store that only existed in a mall kiosk, would you?

Customer Trust

Lastly, a website can help build customer trust. A website signals that you're dedicated to your business and your customers. It's a platform where customers can learn about your business, see what you offer, and read testimonials. Those elements build trust.

Greater Reach

With a website, your business becomes accessible to anyone with internet access. This vastly expands your potential customer base, opening up opportunities for growth far beyond your local area.

A well-optimized website can rank high in search engine results, boosting your business visibility. This is not always the case with a social media page. Google, for instance, often prioritizes websites over social media profiles in its search results.

In summary, a website increases your visibility on search engines, enhances professionalism, and fosters customer trust. You can't get these benefits from a social media page alone. You need a website to truly make your mark online.

Crafting a Comprehensive Website

As a small business owner, the information you include on your website is vital. It tells your visitors who you are, what you do, and how they can benefit from your products or services.

So, what content should you ensure to include on your website?

Craft a great user experience on your business website

Business Basics

Your website needs to communicate basic information about your business. This includes your business name, what you sell, and your location. If you have multiple locations, make sure to list them all.

Contact Information

Make it easy for your customers to reach you. Include your phone number, email address, and physical location, if applicable. Also, consider including a contact form for customers to fill out directly on your website.

This is important because customers will be able to contact and interact with a business outside business hours.

Products and Services

Your customers need to know what you're offering. Provide clear, concise descriptions of your products or services. Include prices if applicable. Ensure the language you use is simple and accessible to a broad audience.

About Us Page

Tell your business's story. Who are you? Why did you start your business? What are your values? People connect with stories, so this is your chance to show the human side of your business and build a deeper connection with your customers.

Customer Testimonials

Include customer testimonials on your website. They provide social proof and can be a powerful influencer in a potential customer's decision-making process.

Call to Action

Every page of your website should include a strong, clear call to action. What do you want your visitors to do? Whether it's to call you, fill out a form, or make a purchase, make sure they know what the next steps are.


Remember, your website is an extension of your business. The more useful and relevant information you provide, the better you can attract, engage, and convert your visitors into customers.

Steering Clear of Common Website Mistakes

Business website mistakes to avoid

When establishing your online presence, there are common pitfalls you must be wary of. Avoiding these mistakes can be the difference between a successful website and one that fails to attract and retain customers.

Unclear Call to Action

Your website should have a clear and concise call to action (CTA). Customers need to know what you want them to do. Is it to buy a product, book an appointment, or sign up for a newsletter? An unclear CTA can result in lost opportunities.

Lack of Mobile Optimization

57% of mobile users will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.

In this digital age, a significant number of users will visit your site via their mobile devices. If your website is not optimized for mobile use, you risk losing these potential customers. The user experience should be smooth, regardless of the device used to access your site.

Poor Navigation

User-friendliness is paramount. Your website's navigation should facilitate easy information retrieval. A clear and intuitive navigation structure encourages exploration, guiding visitors toward relevant content. A convoluted navigation system can discourage engagement and impede conversions.

Slow Load Time

Swift page loading is non-negotiable. In a world of instant gratification, slow-loading pages can deter users from engaging with your content. Rapid load times not only retain potential customers but also positively impact your search engine ranking, bolstering your online visibility.

Ignoring SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for driving organic traffic to your website. Ignoring SEO means you're missing out on a significant opportunity to attract potential customers who are actively searching for products or services like yours.

Ignoring Accessibility

When we talk about accessibility, we're referring to the process of making your website usable to as many people as possible. This isn't just beneficial—it's crucial. It's not only about catering to those with disabilities, but also about making your website accessible to everyone, regardless of how they choose, or need, to access the internet.

If your website isn't accessible, you're slamming the door on a significant part of your potential customer base. Here's why:

  • User experience: An accessible website ensures all users, regardless of their abilities, can navigate your site with ease. It's about inclusivity.
  • Legal compliance: Many countries have laws requiring businesses to make their online platforms accessible. Non-compliance can lead to litigation and fines.
  • Search engine optimization: Accessible sites generally rank higher on search engines. They're structured in a way that's easier for search engine bots to understand.

16% of the world's population has some form of disability. This statistic underscores the significant potential audience you might miss.

Costs of a Small Business Website

Creating and maintaining a small business website involves financial considerations that can vary based on your specific needs and goals. The initial investment depends on the complexity of your site and desired features. A basic website with essential pages and straightforward design can be developed cost-effectively, while a more intricate platform with customized design, e-commerce capabilities, and advanced functionalities may require a higher budget.

Beyond the initial setup, ongoing expenses include web hosting fees, domain registration costs, and potential expenditures on software or tools to manage your site efficiently. Depending on your preferences and skill set, you might also consider hiring a web developer or designer for updates and enhancements over time.

While there are financial commitments associated with building and maintaining a website, the benefits it brings to your business are substantial. Establishing an online presence can significantly expand your reach, enabling you to connect with potential customers who actively search for your products or services online. Investment in a professional website can drive growth, enhance brand credibility, and set your business on a trajectory of sustained success.

In summary, while there are costs involved in creating and maintaining a website, the cost of not having a website can be even greater for small businesses. By investing in a website, you can reach a wider audience, establish your brand, and grow your business over time.

Build a website for your small businesses


An online presence is no longer a luxury but a necessity for small businesses. Establishing a website is an essential step in this process, providing a platform from which businesses can reach out to their target audience, promote their products or services, and establish their brand identity.

Remember, a website is not just an online brochure. It is a powerful marketing tool that can give your small business the edge it needs to compete in the tough world of business.

Let's take a moment to recap the main points we've discussed:

  1. Visibility Boost: A website increases your visibility by making your business accessible to a larger audience, thereby increasing potential customers.
  2. Brand Amplification: It provides an ideal platform for showcasing your products or services and emphasizing the unique selling points that differentiate you from your competitors.
  3. Customer Engagement: It offers opportunities to engage with your customers, gather feedback, and build lasting relationships.
  4. Competitive Advantage: Having a professional, easy-to-navigate website can give you a competitive edge over businesses that only have a social media presence.

While social media has a role in a business's digital strategy, it cannot replace the value of a dedicated website.

A website is an investment in your business's future. It's the cornerstone of your online presence and a catalyst for growth, enabling you to reach a wider audience and grow your business over time.

Get in touch with Solveita

Investing in your business goes beyond mere physical improvements. It extends to your digital presence as well. That's where we come in. At Solveita, we're more than just web designers & developers. We are your strategic partners, committed to crafting a website that drives your business objectives and aligns with your brand and its message.

Our comprehensive approach encompasses:

  • Understanding Your Business: Our initial discussions center around knowing your business, your target audience, and your goals.
  • Custom Design: We create a design that reflects your brand and engages your audience.
  • Development: Our team of experts will build a fully functional, user-friendly, and mobile-responsive site.
  • Maintenance: We don’t abandon you after launching your site. We continue to support and maintain your site to ensure it continues to meet your needs.

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