Social Media or your website where should you spend your time?
With the ongoing time pressures of everyday business it is crucial to determine the best strategy to effectively utilize your website, social media and other online activities. With limited time it is good to understand what is what first. By this I mean you must understand clearly where your potential customers may be online and prepare an approach to attract their attention. Once you have their attention you need to get them to do something to take action!
Were you invited to the party?
When I think of social media I like to think of the different social platforms as different parties. Following I will try to explain the different types of parties are out there for the mainstream social media platforms.
You should try to gain a good understanding of the social media platforms available and what would best suit your business and personal style.
Facebook is by far the biggest party happening on the social scene. I liken Facebook to a big block party where you have friends and neighbours as well as other acquaintances showing up. Some like to share things which are of interest to themselves, some like to share issues they feel others should be interested in and yet some others are just playing around. Of course there are also some small home businesses selling crafts and things and bigger businesses trying to reach everyone with their branded content.
Does your business fit in here? Well, if you were to show up at a block party would you be able to go up to someone and start talking about your business and have that person interested? What key points would your talk about that would be of interest? Could you interest a group of people in your little talk?
If you are selling research products, I would think there would be few people to talk with. On the other hand, if you were talking about home renovation tips, I am sure you could gather a small group. Although, if you started talking about your renovation business and how you provide the best service, I am sure the same group would run looking for a beverage. Now home renovation tips, different story.
In a social group like Facebook, you have to be able to provide input which is of interest to people and shareable with other people. The Facebook audience needs consistent timely and useful content for your business to become top of mind when a purchase opportunity arises.
Also, you need somewhere people can purchase or take the next step when ready and this is almost always your business website. So if your website isn’t ready with easy next steps then focus on it first.
Twitter is that party where everyone is looking at their own device to determine what is going on in the world at that moment. There are people who have to know and people who have to share. This is like a big party of journalists and readers. The journalists are constantly trying to determine the next big thing that is going to happen or has happened and be the first to report it. The readers are the people who like to be up to date with what is happening and like to share their new knowledge.
This is a fast pace environment where you have to stay on top of the area of interest for your business to push out to your audience. If you were a researcher from above you could certainly look for new reports and stats just released and pass them along to others following you. This would build your knowledge trust among your following and help keep you top of mine when a purchase opportunity arises.
Now if we look you as the home renovator, being on twitter would not be as beneficial as new approaches or products are just not happening quick enough to capture the ongoing interest of a following. Sure you could post tips, however, the Facebook audience would be better for this and staying active with tips on twitter would be a challenge.
Again at the twitter party like the Facebook party you have to know if your audience would be there and if you would have enough timely information to share to be top of mind.
Okay, the LinkedIn party is much different from Twitter and Facebook. It is more like the business networking event where everyone is there to talk about business. Now is not the time to break out the games and feats of strength. Everything here should be kept professional and business in nature.
People on LinkedIn first and foremost are mostly looking for people to make contact with so your profile should be in tip top shape. You will also want to make some of the right links to people whom you may share mutual opportunities with.
LinkedIn is also a growing place of content for businesses. Again like other social networks you have to post content which is interesting to the audience which means in LinkedIN it has to be about business.
Similar to Facebook in LinkedIN you can build a company page which can highlight your company away from your individual LinkedIN profile. This has some definite advantages to investigate such as the ability for people to follow the company without a LinkedIN invite exchange. Your business can push out content and again work to become a knowledge source and stay top of mind for purchase opportunities.
Pinterest and Instagram parties
Okay these are the newer parties in the neighbourhood. Although different in technology approaches both platforms provide a way to highlight what interests you and to gather an audience around that, like a show and tell party. Yet another opportunity to become the source of topical knowledge.
Pinterest is much easier to share as you are more of a curator who is gathering up common interesting content along with your own. Instagram is much more of a visual content creation delivery platform but you also gather interested parties around your content.
Although much more visual in nature these two platforms are similar to the other social media platforms in that you must provide consistent interesting content or content curation in order to maintain your audience focus for the right moment when a purchase opportunity arises.
Invite the interested people back to your place
Your goal from any social party (in this context) is to invite people back to your place. In this instance that is your business website. On your business website you can talk more directly about what you have to offer. This is where you have the opportunity to move people along your sales process towards a sale.
Your website better be ready with clear information and multiple calls to action.
Perhaps your people are not ready to buy just yet but you want to get their number (email) so that you can call them again. Also, perhaps provide them with some interesting content on your website to keep them around longer and to even come back to just your website from time to time rather than going to the other parties all the time.
Make your content on your website inherently shareable so the people on your website can tell their friends where some interesting stuff is. The idea here is to build your own little party with a captive audience ready to listen to what you have to say. So be interesting! Have fantastic layout and captivating graphics. Have enough content for people to linger with and fresh enough content for people to return on a regular basis.
Remember to always remove obstacles to a purchase when your audience is ready to take the next step. Your website has to be ready for a sale in some form even if that is the phone number to call you.
The bottom line is to BUILD THE BEST WEBSITE POSSIBLE AS YOUR FIRST STEP.
Have fun but remember…
As at all parties, have fun but remember you are representing your business at all times. This means being extra careful and responsible while you are in public (online). You have to always present your business in the best of light and build trust through your content and interactions with your audience.
Social media can be a great place to gather audience but your business website is where business gets done. Make sure you have the best website possible then work on social.