Sure, this seems like an odd question for a web design company to pose- but really? Does your business even need a website?
With an unmanageable number of social media platforms and ways to connect online now, is a website even necessary?
Surely you are posting on Facebook, tweeting your days away and filling your Instagram feed with pictures of your business, right? And since 81% of Americans have at least one social media profile, maybe that’s enough for you.
If you think that social media is a solution for your online marketing- you need to read this article.
Social Media is for being social (and memes, let us not forget memes).
Social media can be a very effective tool- but it’s not the entire tool box.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat create some really unique ways of connecting with people we couldn’t have dreamed up 20 years ago. And it’s in your best interest to fully utilize any of these channels that fit your business model- but tell me, what is your conversion rate turning prospects into customers on social media?
Chances are, you don’t know.
And that’s a problem.
Social media isn’t built to make conversions. Social media is built to… well… be social. If you’re trying to use social media to convert customers, you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Social media is for your to interact with your customers and prospects, post articles that promote your business, or help solve problems your customers face. When was the last time you bought something on Facebook?
You might have seen something on Facebook, but chances are you clicked a link that took you to a website where you actually made the transaction.
This is exactly how social media should work.
What are conversions?
Conversion is a marketing term that you should become really familiar with. A conversion is the process of turning a browser into a buyer. If you think of it in terms of traditional retail environments- conversion is getting the person “just looking” in your store into a paying customer.
Conversions are how you can grow your business online.
You should be obsessed with conversions.
Why isn’t social media the right platform for conversions?
As I mentioned before- social media just isn’t built for conversions- that’s not their purpose.
In fact, companies like Facebook are making it even more difficult to make conversions with their platform (I wrote a little article, you can read more about that). Even if folks “like” your page, only a very small percentage of them will actually see your updates in their feed (this is on purpose due to Facebook’s algorithm).
First, most social media platforms do not have built-in e-commerce solutions. So even if someone IS interested in your product, the best you can hope for is they call you.
But today’s shopper is looking for the company that solves their problem with the least amount of effort.
Another big problem you will run into if you’re using social media as your only online platform is search engine optimization (or SEO).
This is a big one.
SEO is how your business gets found through search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. Today, this is how we find out almost anything we want to know about online- but social media is terrible at optimizing your page for search results.
Let’s say you’re a plumber with a Facebook page. Someone near you hops on Google and searches for “Plumber near me”. It’s unlikely your Facebook page will come up in the results. In fact, look at the picture, I did this exact search, and the entire first page had zero social media results.
This is because Facebook isn’t made for this.
Sure, if they searched for the exact name of your business, you profile would come up — but that means you’ll only be serving people who already know you.
That won’t help you grow your business.
Lastly, and this one comes with extreme importance– You Don’t Own Facebook (or any other social platform).
This means you don’t control anything about how it works. Sure, you can customize your profile, but no matter what you do, it’s always going to look like a Facebook page.
This also means these big companies can change anything about their platform any time they wish. That means you ultimately have very little control.
Remember MySpace? Well, anyone under 30 probably doesn’t- and it’s likely any platform you’re using today will ultimately be replaced by the next big thing. If all your marbles are in that basket, you’re going to have a huge problem.
Imagine having a retail store where your landlord could come in and make any changes they want without consulting you… That’s social media.
Lastly, I might mention that while a great number of people ARE on social media, what about those people who aren’t? By relying on a social media platform as your online presence- you are immediately alienating a segment of the population. Why?
What would be better for conversions?
Oh, I’m so glad you asked!
By now, you’re probably a little worried about how you are going to market your business effectively online. But no fear- I have the solution you’re looking for!
Your marketing efforts should be multi-faceted. Social media is part of that, but it’s not all of it.
Your marketing plan should include things like social media, SEO, advertising, email marketing on offline campaigns. But none of these things work on their own. All this traffic must be funneled somewhere.
But where? Where on earth could that be? Is there even an answer?
Okay, okay… you probably guessed it.
Your website can do everything your social media platform can- and more.
This is how successful companies are funneling their traffic. Why? Because it works!
Sales emails, social media and even offline marketing campaigns can funnel traffic to your website… where you control everything.
Websites should be a well thought out system that takes into consideration your customers problem and provides them with an easy solution. This is done with strategic UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) design.
Things like direct calls-to-action (like “Buy Now” or “Call us Today”, “What’s Your Home Worth” like the example snapshot of a landing page I built) that help point your visitors where you want them to go make turning prospects into paying customers much easier.
Not only can you have better conversion rates, a website can allow you to actually measure it’s value.
There are all kinds of tools that can measure traffic to your site, monitor how visitors interact and even track conversions. This makes analyzing and adjusting your website a much more effective way to increase conversions.
There’s a lot that goes into an effective website, and it’s more than this article can hold, but a website done right can help your company convert more.
Still not sure?
Then let me ask you one last question…
If website’s weren’t more effective, why would every successful company you know have one?