I saw a question posed on LinkedIn the other day that asked this question. I found it strange because right away my answer is that you need to focus on both! But it got me thinking... are there any reasons why you should focus on one or the other?
It really does depend on what you are trying to achieve. If, for example, you are selling product on your website, then your social media should drive people to your site. So which one is more important? I'd say both! Your website has to be up to date and contain relevant content, but social media is the best way to inform people about the existence of your site.
If your website is all about raising awareness, then I think the answer is slightly different, but we end up at the same conclusion. Social Media AND the website will therefore be doing the same thing. However, a website enables you to provide more information than social media can offer. For example, instagram allows you to post a picture and a comment, Facebook allows you to post a status, and as for Twitter, well, you're limited to just a handful of characters! Of course there are many more options but I think you get the drift. Your website will give you more room to promote your product, service, or cause - and potentially promote it in different ways to different audiences! But again, you have to have some way of driving people to your site, so social media is an excellent vehicle for this.
If you think you only have time to do one or the other, I think you need to re-address the way you divide your time. There are plenty of tools out on the market that allow you to link your social media to each other, so potentially you only need to post something once, and it populates across the different platforms you have chosen. So keep that website up to date, and consider posting when you've updated your site - do you have a new product or service, or is there a special offer you're promoting for the month? Whilst many sites state that you must be putting information up on social media frequently - like 3 -4 times a day, you are much better off posting relevant and up to date content when it is available than just posting because "you were told you should do it that way".
IS WHAT YOU'RE DOING EFFECTIVE?
If you haven't looked into Google Analytics or Webmaster tools (or plenty of other tools out there), it might be time to do so. There's no point continually posting information if no one's looking at it! Then it is truly a waste of your time. You might be making lots of sales, but if this is the case, then it's not from your social media or website strategy! (Imagine what you could be achieving if your online strategies worked??!!)
Make a plan, stick to it for a couple of months, and regularly keep track of who's looking at what. If it's not working, consider another strategy! And don't just expect that because you're paying someone to do it for you, that it is being done, and it's working! Ask to see the reports of effectiveness, and if they can't show you that what they are doing is making a difference, then it's definitely time for a change.
So after all that rambling, the answer to my question is BOTH! But what do you think?
So many people in small businesses are time poor or don't understand the rapidly changing landscape of marketing, particularly how they can best use online marketing to their advantage. Here's a collection of ramblings designed to help those little fish out there!