I’ve been preaching the gospel of owning your own website to creative professionals and other entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals for well over a decade. You really do need websites in social media age. In fact, this article is a revamped LinkedIn article of the same title that I wrote circa 2015 (and for some reason deleted when I was rebranding). That said, I really cannot stress the importance of your own website in an increasingly (social media driven) digital world.
The Challenges of Exclusively Using Social Media and Failing to Build Websites In A Social Media Age
An Email Account and Social Media Are Not Enough…
With the prevalence of social media in today’s world, it is easy to think that a professional-enough email address to handle client communique and a fair amount of social media popularity is all you need to succeed digitally. However, nothing could be further from the truth. You still need a website as the main point of content production, promotion, and client access to succeed in a digital world. Social media platforms are merely a complement (albeit an important one) to the same. Below, I take a closer look at why this is so; starting with the many ways that social media is failing you and the work you do, that you are perhaps overlooking.
01. There’s no real freedom of expression and control over your content
If you have ever lost content to a social media platform that went defunct or that decided to delete your posts due to some policy violation you never saw in the fine print, then you need to keep reading. The fact is, e do not own these social media platforms we use so heavily. As such, the accounts we create and the content we post to social media platforms are not being created or posted on our own terms. They are largely being (or can be) censored, depending on the platform’s policies or ways of operating. While this is not necessarily a bad thing depending on what is being censored, it is not necessarily a good thing either.
Company policies and platform policies can change at any time. This affects the way you are able to connect with your audience using your content and selected platform(s).
On the other hand, when you have your very own website, the content and publication policies are your own or that of your company. As such, the content posted is usually completely and directly under your control.
02. Lack of ownership
Censorship is becoming an increasingly real thing in our world. I hear stories, daily from YouTubers and Instagrammers, for example, about content unilaterally deleted or removed by the respective platforms for various reasons – including off-limit topics. Admittedly, sometimes these scenarios are less about censorship than they are about algorithms lacking the discretion of human beings in determining what is a violation and what is not. That said, these situations are always still reminders that you have less control than you realise when operating outside your own platform.
03. The matter of uptime and platform transfer
We have all had experiences where one of the primary social media platforms that we use will inconveniently experience some downtime. This is likely to leave us stuck and without the option of real business or career continuity. As intimated in the above two points, the key to battling this problem comes down to ownership and growing your own platform.
Yes, You Should Still Use Social Media
Even with bearing all the above in mind, no one is saying that you should not use social media (and use it well) in promoting your career or business. In fact, the truth is, social media, when used well, is a welcomed complement to your website. Social media platforms used efficiently will help to ensure that your website and all you offer there get in front of the eyes and ears of your target clients, customers, and audience.
So, yes, you absolutely need websites in a social media age, even as you leverage the benefits of said social media platforms.
Let’s continue the dialogue. Click here to read part 2.