Why your website needs a social media integration strategy
By: Ryan Mehaffey
Over the past few months I have had the same conversation with several clients. When we discuss how to integrate social media into their current web marketing strategy, the very first topic is having social media icons placed throughout the website. Nearly every website has a phone number, an address, or some other sort of contact information. The problem is that with the social generation of consumers, the amount of potential customers that are picking up the phone and calling a business is much lower than before. There are niche groups of customers who will conduct their own research online before purchasing something from a company.
Knowing this information, it makes sense that the first topic we discuss is placing social media icons throughout the site near contact information. Think about the last time you visited a company website for a local business. For an example how about we say that you are reading about Mountain Biking in your city and see a link for a local bike shop. You open up the local bike shop web page, but at that moment you aren’t looking to purchase anything. Then you see they are on Facebook and choose to click that link. It opens in a new tab in your browser and you “Like” their page. Nine out of ten times this is where the customer will lose interest and move to another web page or topic in their browser. Most of the time this is a red flag to business owners, but in this case, it is good.
Don’t freak out here. Yes, this does bring down your average page or website length of stay, but you just received the eternal attention of a customer on Facebook. The likelihood that the customer would have bookmarked your website in their browser and visited your page once or twice a week is extremely unlikely. Instead, they have now liked you on Facebook, meaning that once or twice a week they will log into Facebook and see your posts. Essentially this is the same result as them bookmarking your page, but instead of relying on them to come to you, now you can go to them on Facebook. So in the long run you sacrifice your average site length of stay, but you increase the number of touches your brand or business name has with that potential customer in the digital world.
Lets go back to our Mountain Bike example. The previous interaction may have happened in January. Now it is March and that same customer is planning to purchase a bike. Over the past two months they have come in contact with your name on their Facebook news feed maybe once every other week. They see your posts and respect your shop as a knowledgeable place to purchase a bike. The result is that you accidentally built rapport with that customer without ever actually introducing yourself to them. Now that they are ready to purchase a bike, you are top of mind. All because of your social media icon being available front and center on your web page the first time they visited your website.
The true benefit here is that you aren’t in the minds of just that one customer on Facebook. If you get an average of 30 unique, first time visitors to your website each week, and five of those customers likes your Facebook page, then over a three month period you will attract fifteen Facebook Likes. Over the next few months you will have one single conversation on Facebook, but you will be able to have it with all fifteen of those individuals. There isn’t a single mass marketing technique that allows your business to have the same level of engagement with your potential customer base.
If you currently have a site that does not have a link to your Facebook page then make it a number one priority for your internet marketing team. The value and level of efficiency here is well worth the initial time investment of adding this to your website. If you have had success with this please tell us about it in the comment below. Testimonials of individuals or businesses who have had success with this will help others see the value.
About the Author
Ryan Mehaffey joined the Keystone Click team back in August 2011. According to his Marquette University degree he is some sort of a specialist in Marketing and International Business. When he isn't exploring the world of internet marketing he is most likely playing basketball, mountain biking, golfing, or going to punk rock shows.