One of the biggest lessons I learned when I first started fashion blogging and working as a stylist was that Social Media is meant to be supplemental. Yes, it seems like everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Path and more, but in all honesty, if you don’t have an actual website to bring them back to so that they can learn more about you, your services, or your product, then you, my friend, are doing it all wrong. Here’s why:
Social Media: Poof! It’s Gone
Imagine if you were one of the early adopters of the next “hot” SM platform and were able to build a nice following, but then it went bust. Guess what: if you never had a website in place to link them to, you pretty much have to start building your presence all over again. This, along with someone hacking a SM page happens quite frequently, so before you spend ALL of your time building up your followers, invest in a website. It may not be perfect from the initial launch, but having that footprint to lead people back to your brand is imperative. Not only do you have total control over the content you produce, but if you’re able to build high traffic, you can monetize your site as well.
Blogger Untapped Opportunities
If you’re interested in working in fashion/beauty, having a site as opposed to just being a SM “personality” (which only works for maybe 5%) gives you so much more credibility. Most brands need to know if they agree to collaborate with you on a project, they can get a real RIO (Return in Investment) outside of you just posting a selfie. Those links that they get from a website live until you decide to delete it, so when someone is searching for a product review or to see how to style an item, not only will you gain readers/potential clients (and possibly a commission if an item is sold), but it also opens you up for future opportunities. Social Media can be monetized but it’s still a very slippery, foggy slope. Launching your own website/blog allows you to be much more creative and have total control over your brands voice.
Small Business Sales Conundrum
So many small businesses and brands rely solely on sites like Facebook and IG for promo. Considering Facebook constantly changes their algorithm so that most of the people who’ve voluntarily “Liked” your page don’t actually see it (unless YOU pay for ads), and IG posts can be missed/skimmed past quickly, that can be a big reason why your business isn’t performing as it should. Having a website (or even a blogging component to an e-commerce site) allows you to tell your brand’s story, gain customers outside of a word of mouth reference (which is essentially how SM works), and also have access to valuable analytics about your customer base. Use Social Media to share tidbits and BTS, but let your website/blog host your meat + potatoes.
Don’t get me wrong, Social Media is a fantastic marketing tool: it can help expand your reach while building a community and nurturing engagement. Find the best platforms that fit your needs, but if you’re working to build any type of brand, you definitely need a blog. Like’s and Followers help raise brand/blog awareness, but they won’t necessarily translate into sales. Pageviews can!
What do you use Social Media for? Is the engagement better on certain platforms for you or equal? Do you need to start a blog component? Comment below.