Recently I’ve heard many small business owners complain about Instagram blocking or suspending their accounts.
Losing access to your sales channel on Instagram can be very frustrating even if it’s just for a few hours/days. People hop on and off Instagram feeds so quickly these days that you can lose customers in a few hours’ time.
That’s why you ALWAYS need to back up your Instagram sales with a website. Even if the majority of your customers come from social networks, there’s that big thing to remember: your Instagram or Facebook account doesn’t really belong to you, it belongs to the social network. An influx of comments, an audacious image you’ve posted, a flow of fake abuse reports or just a human/bot error may lead your Instagram account to suspension.
This is not the case with owning a website.
Just a few benefits of owning a website are:
– You own all content, files and databases related to the website.
– You can store as many site backups as you need, so if anything ever goes wrong with your current hosting, you can always re-build your website on another server.
– Even if you forget to renew your hosting subscription or domain name (they will send you a million of reminders by the way), you still have your backups!
– You get some visitors from Google search. This may make up just a small share of your customers, but they are usually more motivated to buy because they know exactly what they’re looking for.
– And yes, there’re still people who prefer googling things to digging through social networks.
– Obviously, websites are better-structured than Instagram so it’s easier for your customers to find content/product they’re looking for.
– A website is a great storage space for static content like FAQs, knowledge bases, shipping&delivery info etc. You know, all those questions that customers keep asking over and over again.
– Website statistics are more transparent and you can measure them with multiple tools of your choice.
– Your website has to be seriously hacked/infected or you should be posting really offensive content there in order to get blocked by search engines or suspended by your hosting provider. There’re no moderators following every step you take.
So why would we even have to CHOOSE between Instagram and a website?
These two should go hand in hand, supporting and complementing each other.
Think of various use cases where both your Instagram account and your website are involved. For example, customers might use your website to find products (because it’s better-structured and you don’t have to filter by annoying hashtags) and then get back to you via direct messages.
Or you might use your website to point your customers to information like shipping&delivery, FAQs, or “get a quote” forms, which will save you a ton of time.