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I originally wrote this article back in February 2012 and thought it could use an update.  It is 2019 after all, and a lot has changed in 7 years.

We started out in September 2000, and back then websites were the main staple of a good online presence.  The commercial nature of the web had taken off, in fact the dot com bubble had already burst.  A business lacking a website was not quite cause for shocked exclamations, because people were still getting on board with the idea that a website had become a necessity to compete on the web.

In the original version of this article in 2012, I said, “… today I still run across business cards without a web or e-mail address.  And, some are still using Yahoo and Gmail e-mail accounts to conduct ‘professional’ business.”

And, I am still often left wondering if the omission of a website address on marketing materials is by accident or by design.  Seriously, I’ve tracked down websites (out of curiosity) that are clearly more than 10 years old and haven’t been brought up to today’s standards.  I know, I know… It’s purely a matter of not realizing what is required to compete.  Things like responsive design, mobile compatibility, and so much more, demand older sites be brought up to speed.  So, do some businesses intentionally leave off their web address, because it is severely out of date?

I digress.  Back to the original question…  Is having a website enough? 

It’s 2019, and I must say, it certainly is NOT! Don’t get me wrong, a website is still the hub and go-to source of your company’s most current information.  Social media channels come and social media channels go, but your website should be treated as a priority and central resource within your marketing plan.

This image exemplifies the top social media channels encircling the hub of a business's online presence - its website!

Your Website is the Hub of Information About Your Business

Although Social Media is all the rage today, covering all of the bases is nearly impossible.  Doing social media well is topic for another day, but…

Here are some things to bear in mind about Social Media

  1. Your audience is probably scattered across different Social Media channels.  Determining which channel(s) you should target with your marketing efforts is an important decision.
  2. People are fairly loyal to certain Social Media channels, if not exclusively entrenched in a single platform.
  3. Hence, they also prefer to stay within their channel, rather than leaving to go out on the web.  We’ve all seen videos showing people completely absorbed in their phones. This may signal an intense game of Candy Crush is under way or that Instagram has got some titillating, engaging content to enjoy.  It’s scary, but people are so enthralled by their phones, they’ve been know to absentmindedly walk into traffic.  #eyesup people!
  4. Social Media channels have come and gone.  Putting one’s social media eggs all in one basket isn’t a good idea.
  5. Similarly, being spread across too many channels may be difficult to do well, so we recommend focusing efforts where they’ll have the most impact.
  6. Social Media channels have fallen out of favor or can be ignored at certain times, like election season or the holidays, when everyone is too busy to pay attention.
  7. A company’s Social Media activity sends good signals to search engines, so do it!

Which Social Media Channels Should You Target?

It seems that only company’s with extremely large marketing budgets and staff are able to effectively manage a wide variety of social media channels.  Most are publishing to no more than 4 or 5 of the more well-known social media entities.  Figure out where your ideal customers hang out, and go for it.

So, is a website enough?  It’s not.  Of late, we are sometimes asked in consideration of all the other things out there – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. –  “do I even need a website?”

Remember:  YOUR WEBSITE IS THE HUB.   Other platforms may come or go or lose favor with certain portions of their audience.  You’ll always have your website, not as a fall back option, but as the stable, up-to-date resource that YOU control.  And, that’s no small thing.