…Facebook Page … LinkedIn Business Page… Pinterest following
It scares me how often I am asked this question. Typically when a start-up business or growing small business consults with us on creating a professional company brand we need to have ‘the talk’. We’ve had the ‘do I need a website talk’ here before. Social media updates, SEO and skewed business models beg for a review.
We’ve read the success stories; “Start up Yarn store sells volumes of skeins through their Facebook page’. Yes we’ve seen leads from LinkedIn turn into real live customers. But did those people who bought the yarn specifically go to Facebook looking for yarn? When your new found customer sought the service you offer on LinkedIn, were you the only company offering that service? No, no you were not. This alone should help you answer the do I need a website question, but I will keep going.
Possibly the positive results in social media were driven by purchasing ads, feeding captivating content in Facebook, or using the correct keywords on your LinkedIn company page… or maybe the stars and the moon were aligned at just the right angle… We have no control on what social media sites our target market visits. We have no control who sees our Facebook company page from post to post. We have no control over our competition claims on LinkedIn. How can we put our company success under somebody else’s control? Especially brands that also dictate what information we add to their websites and how it will be distributed?
Before I start sounding like LinkedIn and Facebook (and Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr …) are complete evil time-sucking novelties that are guided purely to monetize every move we make let me share sincere marketing advice: Using multiple distribution points gets your marketing message in front of your prospects multiple times. You want to be where your clients are and if there are millions of businesses on LinkedIn everyday and you are a business to business (B2B) company you’re darn right you should be there too! If your Pinterest and Facebook followers are engaging with your post and sharing it with their Aunt Susie, keep posting!
Long lasting success comes from consistent branding across multiple platforms. Facebook and LinkedIn and other social media sites are best served as outposts for your content. Your company website is the pitch, white paper, brochure, training, demo and closing table all in one. Your outposts should drive prospects to your brand website where you are in charge and can serve your customer best.
- A company website is available to people actively seeking a specific thing (product / service / education / research source).
- A company website markets your product and service only.
- Your product / service shines here, you decide what to share and visitors get their answers.
- Your company website is available to everyone. There’s no user agreement or need to be a member.
- Visitors contact information can be captured for follow up.
- Your website reflects your business personality and brand message.
- A clear call to action in the form you prefer (email, phone call, form, etc.) encourages connections.
- You own it.
Full disclosure: along with small business brand marketing, Connection Group builds websites. Yes, we would love to build a website for your small business. We also want to help small businesses succeed whether we provide purchased services or education via a free blog post or other or freebies.
Not all marketers agree. I recently read a post in a LinkedIn group where the author claimed all a B2B company needs is a LinkedIn company page. The author was shamed into silence from the over 100 threads from serious marketers explaining why all businesses need a website. Not all marketers offer website designs and the recommendation that small businesses need a website was not driven by sales. The advice was meant as a caution not to put all your marketing efforts into one portal. If you still feel a social media page is the best way to align business success there is somebody out there who will be happy to charge you to set up a MySpace account.
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