Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Without question, social media has increased the opportunities for authors to connect with readers and build their brand. This only makes a dedicated web presence more necessary now than ever. Here are three reasons why you still need a dedicated website:
- First, social media is about sharing, not showcasing yourself as an author. An author website is about one thing: you. You are the focal point in the universe of your website.
- Second, social media is about change. Think of the torrent of posts on Twitter and the ever-changing news feed on Facebook. Your site, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to build a case for your book and present yourself, and your ideas, in a structured fashion. You keep the site fresh by updating news, adding reviews, writing blog posts, etc. Change happens on yourterms.
- Third, social media is about “sameness” – your page on Twitter looks the same as anyone else’s, save for customized headers. That’s how it has to be for social media sites to “scale” and accommodate hundreds of millions of users. A (custom) author website is about creating a uniquepresence; you start with a blank canvas, then create a unique look and feel that conveys your brand with words and images. You can have any configuration of pages, content zones, downloads, and media. The specific look, feel, and even capabilities are up to you.
The website is your “mothership.” Social media can drive traffic to your website where you have total control over what the visitor sees, and your site should provide opportunities for people to share and like your blog content. Blog? See the next question.