By Justin Delos Reyes – Web Success Team
Social media is, without a doubt, a great place for businesses to start or continue their online marketing efforts. But brands cannot thrive online and achieve web success through social media alone. In order for them to convert Likes into sales or retain customers, they need to complement their social media pages with a strong website.
What is a strong website?
To begin, a strong website is one that encourages engagement. Social media has shown us that customers engage with brands that provide interactive online experiences. Secondly, a strong website has a clear call to action. Tell visitors what you want them to do so you can fulfill your marketing objectives. Finally, a strong website is properly SEOed. People should be able to find your website when they search for keywords or phrases related to your brand.
Engage Your Audience
Believe it or not, there are still websites that read like brochures. These websites are all about the brand and do not acknowledge their customers. Additionally, these brands are likely to be using social media as an advertising vehicle – and nothing more.
Such practices were the norm 7 to 10 years ago. But it’s 2011 now. Customers in every age demographic are more Internet and social media savvy. They expect to have an opportunity to voice their opinions and insights, not only on your Facebook Page but on your website as well.
Letting visitors rate products or comment on your website may scare you. But the truth is, customers will find a way to write or read reviews about you any way. Why not make your website a hub for them to discuss your brand so you can monitor what they say? By adding a social layer (such as ratings or reviews) to your website, you are putting customers in the driver’s seat while you hold onto the key.
Promote a Call to Action
Since one of your marketing objectives is to get more Facebook Likes or Twitter followers, you should tell your website visitors to follow you! Implementing buttons on your website that link to your social media accounts may suffice. But accompanying those buttons with text that says, “Follow us” or “Join us on our Facebook Page” can definitely encourage visitors to take the next step to interact with your brand. Calls to action should be clear. A social media button by itself isn’t as clear as it is with text next to it.
SEO Your Website and Monitor Analytics
If people cannot find your website on search engines, you are missing out on the opportunity to convert them into followers on your social media pages. The average user still looks for brands on search engines before they search for them on Facebook or Twitter. Properly SEO your website and track what keywords or pages are generating the most traffic for you. The same keywords that people are searching for can be weaved into your social media updates and can help you identify potential followers.
Certainly there are other factors (navigation and content, for instance) that make up a strong website. But when it comes to integrating social media and traditional websites for achieving web success, engagement, a clear call to action, and proper SEO, are good starting points. Social media is an extension of traditional marketing efforts and websites still top the list of online marketing tools. Creating a relationship between the two will help your brand gain momentum with customers and encourage them to visit you online.
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