Owned v. Earned Media – Why you still need a website

Some trusts have wondered whether they really need a website at all anymore. Why not just make a facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or other social media site page and call it good?

The answer has to do with earned and owned media. On other people’s social sites, they control the ads, the sponsored content and even what updates make it in front of users’ eyes. If your content is good enough, has broad enough appeal and, in some cases, you pay enough, some of your audience might find out you posted it. Most won’t.

Social media is a powerful tool for building audience and engaging with constituents. It is a great complement to your website. But it is not a replacement. You own your website and control what content is featured on it. To the extent you offer valuable content and earn and keep the trust of your audience, you also own your email list. Email is still the most effective way to reach most of your audience. Email, social media and advertising are best used as tools for bringing the audience to your website where you can offer more value, present content in a way that makes sense for them and for what you offer.

Think like a journalist and put headlines and teasers on social media that require the reader to come to your site for the “rest of the story”. You can certainly tweet an update to your followers if an event’s time or location is changing, etc. but if you want to show them what a great event it was and what a great organization you are for having put it on, bring ’em back to your site for a slideshow and blog post. Then entice them to subscribe to your email list. Then you don’t have to wonder if the social media giants will feature your content in front of you audience in time to matter for your next event.