Social Media IllustrationDo I need a website or can I get by with just a social media page? This is a question you may have asked yourself, especially if you’re just starting out in a new business.

In one sense, both a social media page and a website serve a similar purpose.  Both provide the chance for you and the customer to connect with one another. Used the right way, both can be excellent promotional tools for your business.

Whether you can get by with just a social media presence as a substitute for a website depends on your individual needs and circumstances.

Advantages of a Social Media Page

Let’s first look at the benefits of having a social media page take the place of a website.

The biggest selling point in this regard is that social media is free. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram, there are no charges levied, unless you want to pay up to get advertising or sponsored updates. This is good for businesses on a budget.

The second biggest selling point is that social media pages give you a ready stream of traffic, if you market yourself properly and design your page to be as appealing as possible. According to the Next Web, Facebook has over 1.23 billion monthly active users, 945 million mobile users, and 757 million daily users. Twitter claims they have 284 million monthly visitors. This volume of traffic is staggering. Your own website could never hope to get that many hits.

You can read more about the pros and cons of using a social media presence here.

Advantages of Your Own Website

The biggest plus of getting and developing your own website on your own domain is that you are staking your claim on the web. It makes you look professional, serious, and a force to be reckoned with.

You also get more control.  You and only you get to choose what you put on your website. You don’t have to contend with a social platform changing policies without warning.

A third positive of your own website is that design-wise, the sky’s the limit. Social media only allows you a certain amount of customization, but with a domain, you’re in full control. You can shape the public perception of the business, without any restrictions whatsoever.

As discussed previously regarding the pros and cons of a website over social media:

With your own website, you have more leeway to communicate with and sell to your customers. A website not only has more space to market your business; but you can include more marketing features such as videos, customers reviews, blogs and special promotional offers.

For newbies especially, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. You need to decide which is better for your immediate needs. At the very least, get your social media pages with desired usernames. Then when you have the cash, get a domain and set up a website. Many entrepreneurs maintain both, either at the beginning or eventually as the business gets established.

This is a topic ripe for discussion. So please let us know your opinions on the subject in the comments below. Social media or website? Or both? Where do you stand?