These days, with all the focus being on having an active and robust social media presence, it’s easy forget the importance of your blog/website and its relationship to your social platforms.
A company I saw recently had some brilliant engagement on Facebook but when I clicked-through to their website, it was incredibly basic and hadn’t been updated in years. Not only was it antiquated, but the site was almost epilepsy-inducingly ugly and the layout was confusing. In short, it didn’t inspire much confidence that this company was either reputable or serious about their business.
This is not to say the company was not reputable, but rather it affirmed to me the dangers of indulging in the rich benefits of social, without first checking that your site is presentable for when you bring people back to it. Whilst social plays a key part in enticing and engaging prospective customers – it shouldn’t be seen as the main part of your web presence, but rather as a small part of a larger piece. If your website is the cake, social media are the crumbs.
- The crumbs point to a cake
Remember Hansel and Gretel? In the same way, your social media presence should be the outpost that first alerts people to your companies existence. Having got their attention, your social media presence should then be used to pull them towards your blog, your product or your service.
- Crumbs are small piece of the cake, not the entirety
The online model I see practiced increasingly is freemium. In essence, a limited skeleton service is provided for free with users having to pay for a superior version of the initial service. Companies who adhere to this model giver users the crumbs, so that they want to buy the cake. Think of the popular adage, “Give them just enough to get them interested but little enough to keep them wanting more”. So too must your social presence hint of more things to come. By all means, help people with your how-to guide to drawing up a contract, but not so much that they never need to go to a solicitors ever again after reading it.
- Don’t get too obsessed with the crumbs
LinkedIn is not where you will make most of your transactions. Or, to be clearer, whilst LinkedIn may be the site of all your relational transactions, it is ultimately on your website – where the customer will click ‘checkout’ – that the most most important* transaction of all will take place. Social is something that takes time and effort, but there are other ways to get noticed. SEO, traditional PR, so-called ‘old’ media etc all have their worth. Don’t forget about them.
- Even crumbs can be savoured and enjoyed!
All this, of course, is not to denigrate or undervalue the importance of using Social Media. Social networks are wonderfully empowering, informative and useful platforms to use and be involved in. Those who use Twitter and Facebook regularly can tell you that the benefits of “going Social” are numerous and wide-ranging. So please get stuck in, whole-heartedly and with an appreciation of its many benefits – but don’t expect social media to solve your woes if your website is not up to scratch.
*I appreciate that, for some, the social transaction is just as important the financial one. But for the business-owner trying to payback his/her business loan, it really isn’t.