difference social and website

Content is all around us. As a business owner or leader, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 4.74 billion social media users out there and check your channels multiple times per day. You also likely read a few blogs or gained insight from industry leaders via their website content.

Social media vs website content is one of the areas where people get “stuck” in their content strategy. Should you focus on social? Website content? Both? Let’s find out.

Where Businesses Go Wrong with Their Content Strategy

One of the key issues that we see when working in the industry is that internal teams often combine social and website content into one strategy. You may want to align your efforts, but you’ll miss out on maximizing your marketing.

Instead, you should:

  • Create a social content strategy
  • Create a website content strategy
  • Measure the success of both individually
  • Build out different KPIs

The evergreen content you post on your blog may reach new audiences, but it’s a long process. Google can take days or weeks to crawl, index and begin showing your website’s blog posts and pages.

Social media is different. When you build a following, your posts are delivered to the feeds of people following you and interested in your content. The reach of social media is vast, and it’s a great way to build your brand.

However, social media posts are often shorter than your website content and lack the level of formatting that your site can offer. You also don’t own the platform you’re posting on as you do with your website. So, what’s the benefit? Massive reach potential.

When setting goals and KPIs, you may consider:

  • Website content: Time on the page, conversions, bounce rate.
  • Social content: Follows, likes, comments, video watch time, shares, and where people say they’re hearing about when contacting you.

With all of this in mind, you also need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of both types of content and where to spend your time.

Social Media vs Website Content: Where to Spend Your Time?

Content is created at such a fast pace, and it’s something every business should invest in. Splitting your time between social media and website content is a great choice, but it’s a good idea to understand the strength and weaknesses of both before diving in.

Understanding the Strengths and Weaknesses of Website Content

Website content is your “own.” You own the design of your site and the content that lives on it. In terms of formatting, you have far greater control over your own site than on social. However, you have to ask yourself:

  • Does your audience want to go to your website?
  • What content does your audience want to consume?

Website content has low-to-medium shareability, and you’ll need to rely on search engine traffic or other marketing outlets to get people to read your content.

The disadvantage of website content is that no one passively views your posts. Instead, people will land on your content if they already know about you or through searching for educational, transactional, and other forms of content.

A few disadvantages of website content include:

  • Without using other marketing efforts, such as sending an email blast with a call to action to check out your blog, most people will not visit your site once a week – or even once a month
  • People often don’t leave feedback on your site (spam killed this avenue)
  • You’re at the mercy of search engine algorithms

So, why bother with search and your own website? Over 8.5 billion searches are made each day. If you have the right content marketing strategy in place, you can capture leads and build your brand.

Website content can also be repurposed into videos, images, and other forms of content for your social channels.

Understanding the Strengths and Weaknesses of Social Media

A recent survey found that 73% of people use social media to increase their content’s reach. You can and should post blog links to your social channels because it will send traffic to your site. How you should post these links to your blogs on social media needs to be done carefully in order to maximize reach, but we’ll save that for another post. 

You can also build a highly engaging audience with whom you can share your insights and build over time. People are on social media all the time. And while some of these people are checking out what their friends are doing, others are decision-makers and people that need your services.

People use social to:

  • Discover ideas or solutions to their pain points
  • Learn and analyze what their peers are doing
  • Gain industry insights
  • Much more

If you’re active on social media and engage with others, you can build your firm’s trust, expand business opportunities and reach people unaware of your company. You can also analyze your channel and trends, such as which types of content get the most clicks and shares and which do not. The amount of feedback and insights you can gain through comments and direct messages from your network is invaluable.

Social also revolves around sharing, so you can have a single post viewed by thousands because someone who follows you shared it. 

The main downsides of social are:

  • You need to post often
  • You need to engage with your audience in the comments (which is a negative because it’s time-consuming, there are a lot of benefits to be reaped when doing so)
  • You are at the mercy of the social media platform. You can build up a great brand on a social media platform, only to have it disappear or have the algorithm change. 

What’s the secret to social media marketing? Videos. People love videos, and it’s an immensely powerful type of content that can land you new customers. Your audience wants a “human connection,” and this is something that video offers that texuals posts often lack.

We like to mix multiple forms of content into a social media strategy, such as:

  • Text posts
  • Images
  • Videos

It’s also important to note that social media content itself requires a different writing style and “voice” from web content. How you write a piece of content for your website is vastly different from how you write a social media caption. Furthermore, how those social media posts are written will vary greatly depending on the exact social media channel. Some simple differences in web content versus social media content include:

  • What topics you chose – if you want your web content to be searchable, you want to consider choosing topics that people are searching for, whereas, with social media content, you don’t have to rely solely on ‘searchable topics.’
  • How long of a solution you’re able to present – most social media platforms are limited in characters and/or video length. 
  • Who is writing and speaking – often, social media posts perform best when created by an individual, versus website content can be written from a company perspective
  • Sentence length and structure – on social media, you need to break things apart even more, so that it’s easier for people to consume while scrolling.
  • Etc.

If you’re to take pieces of web copy and simply distribute them “as is” across your social media platforms, you’re doing yourself a huge disserve. It’s smart to re-use web content, but make sure you reformat and repurpose it in a way that works for and with the social media platform. 

So, with all this information, what should you do? 

The truth is that your audience is diverse, and offering multiple forms of content to them will help expand your reach further. Trying various forms of content will also help you learn what your audience wants to consume and what it doesn’t prefer.

For a moment, instead of worrying about social media vs website content, consider this: use both to reach your goals. Mixing website and social content together can help you achieve both your short- and long-term goals harmoniously.

You can then measure your ROI over time and see what’s providing the best return on investment for you. Here’s how to measure the ROI on your content. Over time, as you build up your content “assets,” or your posts and videos, you’ll build up posts that will push organic search traffic to your site and an engaged following on social channels.

If you want help with your website or social content, schedule an introductory call with us today.

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