BackgroundA question that comes up a lot during my discussions with clients that have worked for years to design, build, populate, test, refine and measure their website is understandably, 'why do I even need all these social media platforms when I finally have a good looking, modern, fully functional website that is as good or better than most of my rivals in my chosen market space? Frankly it's a great question. The answer to the question is yes do need the other social media platforms as well as a current, functional and fully responsive website. Let me try to explain why.
AttitudesTo fully understand the reasons why you need both a modern website as well as a strategic array of relevant and mutually supportive social media platforms as part of a combined digital media system, you need to fully appreciate the prevailing attitudes people have. Basically they view websites as corporate which they are. They are owned, run and populated by the business and there function is largely if not in some cases, exclusively to sell products and services.
That's actually not an issue. People know this and they are becoming increasingly more comfortable to go there to make their various purchases at the right time. Social media on the other hand is largely seen as the opposite to a website. People don't want to be sold on social media and in fact a recent report showed that over 80% of people on Facebook resented being sold to by businesses. It's simply not about business or selling. It's all about engagement, discussion, community building, problem sharing, insight generation and so on. As the name says: Social Media. Both very valid reasons for being but both very different. Now over time things may change but for now at least as marketers, we need to be aware of this and respect these views.
BehavioursSo how does this translate into action when the average person on the web is concerned? Put simply individuals get their information from social media and discuss it with and through their respective networks (with the average internet user belongs to three separate networks with around 140 to 170 users per network), until they have made a decision about what they are going to do with respect to that issue, challenge, required purchase or necessary action in general. Once they have made that decision they will then go to the website of the business they have identified as the best option for their needs. It is now believed that around 85% of consumers adhere to this principle.
Final AnalysisIn the final analysis what all this really means is that the majority of people will make their minds up away from corporate website and only when they are confident that they have made the right decision will they then approach the site and transact online. I am sure that in some case some individuals may even go the website earlier to pull off some key information that they will use as part of their decision making process but it will rarely be a case of show me something on the site with a 20% off tag on it that will get the job done anymore. Customers and prospects alike are becoming much savvier, well informed and equipped to find and leverage the best deals online and with the ongoing success of aggregator, are perfectly placed to find and receive the best value with each purchase. As marketers it is a simple matter then of setting up these external social media sites and engaging with people there to ultimately have them come to your site to buy. That is why you need both a good website and social media to succeed in today's multimedia market space.
As always if you'd like to learn more about any aspect of social media just sign up for a free Digital Enterprise Workshop here on: www.vecci.org.au/dep/workshops
and sign up for any of the seven free workshops which will also qualify you for a free four hour coaching session specifically focused on your business needs.
So until next time, good luck and good marketing.