Fortifying Your Online Presence Beyond Social Media
January 30th 2024
Let’s start this article with a social media horror story from the SilverServers social media management team:
At the end of 2023, the public Facebook page of one of our social media clients was unpublished. Despite a thorough investigation, we were unable to discover the reason for the suspension, and Facebook wouldn’t give us any clear direction about the cause of the problem. Appeals failed, meaning all of the page’s content and interactions were lost, and appear to be unrecoverable. Facebook provides no resources, no opportunity for proper review, and no recourse for unpublished pages.
Social media horror stories like this occur all the time for small businesses. Platforms don’t always tell businesses why their pages have been suspended. When the online presence of a business or brand is based entirely on pages and accounts on that platform, situations like this can be devastating for that company’s digital image. We wrote this article to help small businesses consider a stronger online strategy that provides more security against unexpected suspension or unpublishing on social media. Let’s take a look at the risks of a social media-first strategy, the advantages of a website-centric strategy, and tips for a balanced approach to both.
The Risks of Social Media-First Strategies
Social media platforms have become integral to the marketing and outreach strategies of countless businesses. These platforms offer unparalleled reach, engagement, and user interaction. However, the unpredictable risk of accounts being delisted or shut down raises questions about the stability and reliability of solely relying on social media for a company's digital presence.
Social media's volatility is often underestimated. When an account gets delisted, the immediate consequence is the loss of content. This includes posts, interactions, and followers - essentially the digital assets a company has built on the platform over time. If an appeal against delisting fails, the situation can be likened to a digital erasure of a brand's presence, with little to no recourse.
Impact on Brand Image and Outreach: Delisting can damage a brand's image, signaling instability or unreliability to the brand’s potential clients. Moreover, the sudden disappearance from these platforms can disrupt communication channels, impacting customer relationships and marketing campaigns. There is no easy and effective way to reach your entire audience and inform them that you’ve lost your account — your followers may simply forget about you.
Data and Content Loss: The content uniquely created for social media – often at significant expense – becomes inaccessible, leading to a substantial loss of digital assets.
The Strategic Advantage of a Website-Centric Approach
In contrast to the unpredictable terrain of social media, a company website offers a stable, controlled environment for content dissemination.
Control Over Content: Unlike social media, where platform policies and algorithms dictate visibility and accessibility, a website is a domain entirely under a company's control. This autonomy ensures that content remains accessible, regardless of any changes in social media landscapes.
Sustainable Brand Presence: Websites are the digital bedrock of a company's identity. They offer a persistent, unmoving location where customers and clients can always find the company, its products, and its content.
SEO and Longevity: Content on a website contributes to the brand's SEO efforts, driving organic traffic and maintaining visibility in search engine results for long periods. This long-term visibility contrasts sharply with the fleeting nature of social media posts.
Data Ownership and Analytics: Owning a website means owning the data generated, which is crucial for analytics, understanding audience behavior, and refining marketing strategies.
Integrating Social Media and Websites: A Balanced Approach
While highlighting the risks associated with a social media-first strategy, it's essential to recognize the value social media adds in terms of engagement and reach. A balanced approach, where social media is used for engagement and driving traffic to the company website, can mitigate risks while maximizing outreach. Here are a few tips and considerations small businesses can use to balance social media and website strategies effectively.
Use Social Media as a Gateway: Think of social media as the inviting front porch to your website, the main house. It's where you engage with visitors, spark conversations, and create interest. Then, strategically direct this traffic to your website, where deeper engagement occurs - be it through detailed blog posts, product pages, or newsletter sign-ups.
Content Repurposing and Cross-Promotion: Create content that can be adapted across both platforms. For instance, a detailed blog post on your website can be broken down into smaller, engaging snippets for social media posts. Similarly, social media trends and feedback can inspire comprehensive content on your website. For example, you may collect your best performing product feature posts and compile them into an article on your website with answers to common questions or other engaging commentary. This creates a cohesive narrative across your digital presence.
Enhancing Brand Consistency: Ensure your brand voice and messaging are consistent across both platforms. Your social media profiles should reflect the same tone, aesthetics, and values as your website. This consistency strengthens brand recognition and trust.
Integrated Marketing Campaigns: Launch campaigns that span both your website and social media. For instance, a product launch or sale can be teased on social media, directing users to your website for the full reveal or sale details.
Utilizing Social Media for Customer Engagement and Feedback: Social media is an excellent tool for real-time customer engagement and gathering feedback. Use these insights to refine your website content, products, or services. This feedback loop can lead to more effective and user-focused content on your website.
SEO and Social Signals: While social media may not directly influence SEO rankings, the website traffic generated from social media can boost your site’s visibility in search engines. Use social media to share links to your website, increasing traffic and potentially improving search engine rankings.
Crisis Management: In case of social media delisting, having a robust website ensures that your online presence persists. Use other social media platforms, email lists, and PR strategies to guide your audience back to your website, minimizing the impact of the loss of one channel.
In conclusion, while social media is an invaluable tool for modern businesses, its unpredictable nature highlights the necessity of a balanced, website-centric content strategy. A company's website should be the core of its digital identity, supplemented but not overshadowed by its social media presence. This approach ensures resilience against the volatility of social media platforms and secures a stable, enduring online presence for the company.
Reach out to us at SilverServers for help with website design, SEO, or social media management. Our team is uniquely experienced at balancing these strategies, or collaborating to provide the one you need the most help with!
For more related content and tips, check out the social media section of our blog!
Check out our SEO Showdowns to get to know how our social media team and website teams work together for the benefit of your website.