May 12, 2010
When a friend of mine who’s big into social media for her job recently stated that websites don’t matter anymore because everything’s all about social media now, I might have taken that a little personally. I mean, I am a web developer and you basically just told me my job and what I produce no longer matter.
I’ll tell you why I disagree and you can contact me personally if you find fault in my reasoning. BTW, you won’t find fault because I’m going to tackle this from the consumer’s perspective and as the consumer, I’m always right.
(See what I did there?) ;D
As a client of a particular karate school and as someone who endlessly researches and looks for information, I immediately sought out their web site and I found it. Yay. The site was sorely lacking information but I was told they were working on updating it. Happiness.
Fast forward a couple months when I became curious about their other locations, instructors, and events that were going on. Back to the website I went! This time though, the site was down and it appeared for good. Panic struck my karate chopping little heart. Oh nooooo.
Keeping calm and channeling my inner chi, I remembered my karate school had a Facebook page, so off I went to see what information it had to offer me. Can you imagine my dismay when I found EVEN LESS information than had been on their website? Luckily, I was distracted. It went a little something like this:
“Hmm...type of parking: parking lot. Well that was helpful. <sic>”
“Oh look, photos from class. Cool.” I even “liked” a few of them.
“Oh, look! There are some people I know from class. I think I’ll friend them. Wow, that was fun.”
Satisfied with my dose of frivolous fun, I went off on my merry way. Just about two seconds later I realized I still didn’t walk away with class times, the various location addresses, and more. “I’ve been fooled!” I thought.
You see, social media can be fun. If done right, it can also be informative and it can drive business for companies. But nothing will replace a well thought out and executed web site. This is my professional opinion as a CONSUMER!
I would have loved to have seen instructor bios, pictures of the exterior of the locations (it makes finding them easier) along with the address and a link to a map, a list of the various class times for each location with downloadable calendar links, a basic pricing guide, and a product catalog would have been REALLY COOL so I can outfit myself and advertise their brand. See what a good client I’m trying to be?
So, will Twitter and Facebook ultimately replace web sites? Not in this consumer’s mind. I NEVER go to Facebook first looking for a company’s web site. If a Google search for a company turns up both their web site and Facebook sites, can you guess which one I’ll click on first? That’s right, their web site. Web sites reign supreme.