Some thoughts on why a local store or a professional, regardless if we are talking about an artist, a consultant or an accountant, needs a real website and stop relying only to social profiles (fb, twitter, ello etc).
Your website represents YOUR look and feel
All social networks have been designed in a way that all profiles look almost the same, which would makes sense if you were the social network company. The company wants to represent a consistent message in terms of branding, colors and design for all users regardless if they visit the profile of a Shoe company or an artist. Don’t you want the same for your company? Having a profile on a Social Network is not enough to create your desired image, brand and unique message.
Your competitors are next to your Profile
Ads? Yes, they are everywhere. This is the reason you can create your Social Profiles for free. But what about competition? Next to your profile, an advertisement of another company or freelancer may appear.
Ownership of Property and Statistics
On Social Networks, you do not own anything. Not even the statistics from the people visiting your profile. If a Social Network goes out of business, your profile is gone too. Having a website is like having your own house. You control everything. And everything is yours. And yes, the statistics too. Stats are valuable for every one. You can have as many statistics as you wish in order to procced to decision making regarding your business.
SEO – Get found from search engines
Ok you have your friends. Who will click the like button on your profile page. Or will add you as friend. Are they enough to do business? Do your friends represent your market? If you are creating Handmade Summer Shoes, then you probably know that there are people from all over the world that right now, are SEARCHING FOR “HANDMADE SUMMER SHOES” on google. Will they find you through Facebook? Probably NOT. If you have a website, you can work on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and make your website appear on google when people are searching for specific keywords.
The Cognitive Dissonance theory (developed by psychologist Leon Festinger in 1957), says that people are very sensitive in differences between an existing belief and a different experienced reality. A new information that contradicts a current expecation, triggers an alarm. Which in terms of marketing is not good. I am not up to explaining the theory of Cognitive Dissonance but in the case of a small business or a freelancer, the information that you DO NOT HAVE a website is something that creates a Cognitive Dissonance, as people “expect” from you to tell them your website address.