Social media has finally been accepted by businesses as a platform to enhance marketing efforts. However, many marketing managers have been lured into believing social media is all they need, unfocusing them from their central marketing hub: their website.
Now don’t misunderstand, social media has a place in the marketing spectrum; but to make it the central focus for your brand is shortsighted and could cost you sales and growth. You see, social media is where people congregate to be entertained, helped and informed; hence you know where to go find them to invite them to your website. However, managing your message over various networks is a nightmare you don’t totally control. Let’s take a look at this.
Whoever owns the data is in control! Well, social networks like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Et Al. are companies in business to make money. Your data is an asset they will not relinquish. They make the rules, and often change them in the middle of the game, and can (and do) restrict what you can and cannot do with their data.
Moreover, they also restrict how you are allowed to share with THEIR assets. If they deem what you are doing to be bad for their bottom line, they will change the rules to prevent it. So with such inconsistency, how can you control your marketing efforts?
Finally, there are many different networks and people use them for different reasons. Pinterest is a photo lover’s network, so how do you tell your story only using photos? Facebook and Google are more for socializing, while LinkedIn is a professional network that shuns selling. Trying to speak to the different demographics, consistently, can be daunting to say the least. But what if you could meet them there and take them where you want them to go?
This is the true value of social media. It allows you access to millions of people, so you can find those who are interested in your message or offering. Once you’ve found them, you can invite them to where you have total control – your website.
Your website allows you total control of the look, feel, content, offering and data collection. This is marketing gold, ensuring your message is not watered down by distracting noise of other’s Facebook or Twitter advertising. It gives you more flexibility to showcase your calls-to-action with impact and to build on a sale. It’s where everyone lands, no matter the source of advertising or marketing that introduced your brand to them.
On your website, you can design a site catered to your strategy, pulling your visitor in, to exchange value for value. The value you bring is your expertise, product or service, and tips and how-to’s through your blog. The value the consumer brings is his or her contact information. This allows you to drip market to them, so when they are ready to buy they remember where they got all the wonderful information.
However, there is a caveat. According to a Google study titled, The New Multi-Screen World, today’s consumers use multi-device paths to a purchase. In other words, they start on a smartphone, move onto a tablet and finish on a PC or laptop – or any combination thereof (see image below).
Therefore, make sure your website is adaptable to the smartphone, tablet, monitor and laptop screens to ensure you don’t lose any opportunities. If you’re still with an old website, then look into getting a new responsive website created that includes a blog on your domain, not a free blog on WordPress or Blogger – a must for marketing today.
While social media is a place your business must be, do not put all your eggs in that basket. Use a strategy that leverages the pluses of social media to drive the traffic to your website, where you can control the experience. After all, you have to meet your customer where they are, before you can take them where you want them to go. Just make sure where you take them is an inviting home.