So your company is on Facebook, and maybe Twitter or Instagram as well. Do you need a website as well?

This is probably one of the most common, and most important, questions small business owners have. So common, in fact, that we dedicated this entire article to this one question.

If all you’re looking for is a quick answer, yes. Your small business absolutely needs a website.

Continue reading for the why.

It’s Risky Business

Perhaps one of the most risky business moves you can make is keeping all your assets in locations you don’t control. This could be anything from leads to contact information to distribution channels.

By now you’re probably thinking, “What do you mean I’m not in control? I’m the one posting, messaging, deleting, editing, etc. Of course I control it!”

Well, in this context, “control” means no one else has the ability to take the assets from you or block you from retrieving the information. If your assets (followers, leads, messages, etc.) are all on social media you do not have control, the social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) does.

They can delete, suspend, or block your account, profile, and page at any given moment. If you make one slip up you risk losing everything.

The Banhammer

You don’t own any of “your” content on social media. Facebook could ban you, or delete your profile. Then what? You’ve lost everything. You might not have known you were violating their terms by promoting your business from your person profile.

Next thing you know, POOF. Your entire account, everything you worked tirelessly to create…gone in an instant.

Building Assets You Actually Control

Since we’ve established that you only have limited control over your social media assets (since they can be taken from you by the social media platform), how do you create assets that you do control?

Mailing List Building

Also known as email lists or newsletter subscribers, mailing lists are one of the easiest and most common ways to gather leads and prospects.

There are a multitude of services out there, including MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact…the list goes on. The important point to remember and understand is you control the list. If you don’t like one company you can take your list with you to another. You can even download and backup your list for safe keeping so it is never lost.

Manual Documents

These take a little more elbow grease, but another possibility is to keep an Excel or Google Sheets document with important prospect information: name, website, phone number, email address, the list goes on. You own and control the document. Save it. Back it up. Take it with you anywhere you want. You own it. You control it. No one else can take it from you.

The Importance of Diversifying

I’m sure you’ve heard the proverb, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Just like when investing in the stock market, it’s a very bad…extremely bad…idea to keep everything in one place. You’re one disaster away from losing everything.

Yes, You Should Be on Social Media

Social media is very powerful. This article was never meant to convince you otherwise. But social media should not be your only medium.

Protecting Against Total Loss

By diversifying your contacts and digital assets among social media, email lists, manual spreadsheets, etc.,you are effecting protecting yourself and your business against total loss.

Let’s say you get banned from Facebook for violating their terms of use (say promoting your company from your personal profile). You might have lost your Facebook page, but you haven’t lost everything. You still have your mailing list. You still have your email account with all your contacts. You still have the spreadsheet you created with your prospects’ information.

Your business goes on.