I work a lot with small businesses. Some have websites that need work and have very little social media. Others have old sites that need replaced and no social media at all. As I talk with these folks, I often get this question: “Should we focus on our website first and then do social media, or should we go ahead with the social as we work on the website?”
Your company’s website is it’s home on the internet, just as your physical building is its home in the physical world. It will serve as the repository for all the information you want potential customers to see. It can also be a proactive site that helps you capture contact information of potential customers.
Your website should be your hub. All of your other online marketing activities work around it to move traffic to it. With those activities moving traffic to your site, you decide where to direct it and what content those visitors should see.
Therefore, your website needs to be ready to perform when that traffic begins to show up.
The Role of Social Media
Social media is a vital part of the mix. On the surface, social media builds awareness for your brand inside of that network. It also serves to establish your business as an expert in your industry.
But on a deeper level, social media can drive traffic back to your website. By creating compelling content on your site and promoting it on social, you can begin to move interested visitors there.
Social advertising also allows you to drive traffic back to your site but in a different way. By developing compelling ad copy, you can direct visitors from the ad to a landing page on your site that provides very specific information teased in the ad. Then with a strong call to action (CTA), you prompt visitors to call, complete a contact form, or send a message.
The drawback of social media is it can’t stand alone in place of a website. Social pages can’t provide in-depth content the way a website does.
While you can certainly make social media posts while your website is under construction, you are only taking advantage of part of its power. With your website being built, you can’t move traffic back to it and capture contact information. The fleeting nature of social posts also don’t allow for strong calls to action that prompt desired behaviors.
To make your online marketing work effectively and efficiently for your company, focus on your website first. Get it right, then begin social media and email programs to drive traffic back to it.
When you have all the online pieces working together to promote your website and capture contact information, you will have a strong, robust online marketing program that delivers results.
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Bob Turner is a Small Business Online Marketing Consultant with Social Flair in Cincinnati, Ohio.