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Guest blog by Barnabas Nagy | FurlongDesign creative design studio | furlongdesign.com | barnabas.nagy@furlongdesign.com | twitter.com/furlongdesign | +44 77 99 56 56 26

internetToday I dared to open one of the archived newsletters from Entrepreneur. Since I am a web designer I don’t like reading titles such as this: Does Your Business Still Need a Website?

The article discusses the idea of establishing accounts on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn instead of a website. They evaluated an individual for whom this business strategy worked out. You can read the whole article here. Before giving out my space to social networks, I would like to look into this discussion further and let you know my opinion.

 

Rudy Mendoza totally abandoned his corporate website saying “We spent tens of thousands of dollars on our website and got almost nothing out of it” I’m really sorry for the designer team who created the website for Rudy Mendoza. They didn’t do a great job. A good website can be profitable.

3 Main Reasons Why Businesses Shouldn’t Ditch Websites for Social Networks:

1. Social networks serve a different purpose than a website. They serve as a tool to communicate directly with customers and achieve real time feedback. The functions of third party applications are complementary to a website but should not replace them.

2. Most social networks are found to be useful when companies and individuals link to additional information about them. Social networks are just a platform to jump from, not to jump into.

3. A website can drive as much sales as, and often times more than these social media networks. Although I have achieved leads and sales from social networking sites, the majority of my business has come from my website.

A brand cannot live without a good website that provides their customers additional information or the ability to purchase the product/service they are interested in. If the company tries to remove this component they risk damaging their branding. Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

Companies should use websites and social media networks to market their products or services. Why should you have to choose when you can use both?

Note: I use social media networks and find that they have been useful in increasing brand awareness for Furlong Design but I would never forgo my corporate website for those sites. Let me know what you think by leaving comments below. Original source: http://furlongdesign.com/2010/04/14/does-your-business-still-need-a-website/

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About the Author

Julie Weishaar Provides Internet and Video Marketing Solutions For Business

8 Responses to “Does Your Business Still Need a Website?”
Read them below or add one

  1. I am also a web designer, and I cringe every time I come across a business that doesn’t have a website. Even a bad one from the 1980′s. There are just some people who don’t get it that computers are a part of everyday life in 2010.

    • jweishaar says:

      Hi Brandon. Thanks for your comment. I obviously agree 100%. As a marketer, I cringe when I hear that companies don’t have a website. I would think that as a web designer, you would cringe at the really bad ones :). There are still many that don’t get the fact that computers and the Internet are here to stay. I have spoken with some small business owners who have websites from the 1980′s that they are now updating. Some of them feel that their product/service is not one that will be found by search, but rather by direct marketing, word-of-mouth, or other non-search ways. I always advise them to utilize optimization strategies since they are re-doing their website anyway, even if they don’t feel that search will play a big role in acquiring new customers. My take is “why not do it right from the get-go”. Makes sense right?

  2. jweishaar says:

    @ Cassandra:
    Thanks Cassandra for your comment. You are absolutely right that social media and effective websites should work hand-in-hand. And while I agree with you that templates are a great resource for small business owners, (I use one myself), nothing can replace the professional look and feel of a website designed by a true creative website designer. In my opinion, the larger companies that have the resources should and probably do utilize professional website development services.

  3. jweishaar says:

    Jason, you are right in that both a website and social media are essential. However, the website is much more than a business card. It is actually the hub of all your marketing activities, including social media marketing, and should contain a call to action either to make a purchase or contact the company for more information.

    Thanks you for your comment :)

  4. Cassandra says:

    You made some great points here, Barnabas! You are correct, social networking sites should not take place of a website; rather they should work hand-in-hand to raise even more awareness of a brand. For small businesses looking to start a website, Office Live Small Business is a great place to start. It is an extremely inexpensive service that offers free web hosting, email accounts, online support, and easy-to-use website design and management tools. It is also template-based service, so you do not have to worry about learning how to use code!

    For great tips and conversation about running a small business website, join the community over on the Office Live Page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officelive.

    Cheers,
    Cassandra
    Microsoft Office Live Outreach

  5. WebStyley says:

    A website is the modern day business card. A good website motivates customers while building trust and credibility. Social media gives your site more exposure and introduces more people to your company. Today both are essential!

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