Social media has provided business owners various platforms to promote their products and services. We now have Twitter, Facebook pages, Pinterest and Google Plus to promote messages and even campaigns. The majority of businesses today have profiles on all the major social media platforms. That is not the problem; in fact, it is a recommended practice. The problem is when companies rely on social media platforms to build their brands and their business instead of having their own central platform: their own websites and blogs.
I believe as a business owner, you must make your websites and blogs the heart of your brand building and growth efforts. Social media should be viewed as the arteries and veins that spreads your message. As the saying goes, "never put all your eggs in one basket". Yes social media is a great tool, but it is also continually evolving. Changes and updates will impact how your messages reach and interpreted by your audience. It can especially hurt businesses that have limited funds to pay for promoted tweets or posts to effectively compete with larger companies which can spend much more. It is not advisable to rely only on social media to grow your business if it comes at the expense of your website or blog.
But if you are still not convinced of the value of having your own central platform, you might want to reconsider.
Improve Your Search Ranking
For businesses, achieving a high search ranking is key in generating more customer leads and converting those leads into paying customers. Majority of the consumers, especially for high end products and services, use search engines to find the best products through articles and recommendations of people and brands they view as experts. They may also check social sites for recommendations by their friends and followers, but those recommendations usually involve links to sites that influencers share. Imagine your potential client stumbles on your competitor's site and finds valuable information they need to make the buying decision instead of finding your site. You just lost a potential sale and a possible long term customer.Steps you can take:
- People like stories. Create stories around your brand, your passion for your business, your quality of service or products, and your attention to customer service.
- Research what your customers are looking for and provide content relevant to what they are searching for.
- Listen to the conversation around your brand and even about your competitor's brand on social sites. Use the information to create content that people will want to share. The more shares you get, the more potential customer see your message.
Build Your Thought Leadership Further
If you argue that most businesses already share content through their websites and blog and that it's impossible to resonate above the noise of the flood of content already being shared, then you may want to rethink that strategy. Take this fear and do something about it -- share quality content. Sharing quality content will build your thought leadership. Being social alone will not cut it. It is hard to be successful without creating a central hub to anchor your message. The content from your site should be the fuel that will generate conversation around your product or service. Your content will encourage a deeper level of engagement with your audience.Steps you can take:
- Monitor the conversations generated by your content you share on your social platforms. Use your site to provide content that will address questions and topics that interest your target audience and your prospective clients.
- Identify any obstacles your customers face when buying your product or service. Dig into how you can provide useful information that will allow them to make their buying decisions easier.
You Own Your Content
The most important benefit of creating your own central platform is that you own your content. Building a brand and growing your business takes a lot of time and hard work. Owning your content will allow you to continue communicating with your audience even if any of the social media platforms you use cease to exist or decline in popularity. Technology will change, and users will move on. Remember MySpace, Friendster or even Digg? Who would have thought that those once popular social networking sites would be footnotes today.
Creating your own site and content may take a little bit of extra effort, but the value of creating a central platform is huge. The key here is to create an effective plan that includes content and social strategies that work together. It's really not that complicated. Use your site as a central hub, promote your content and continue to encourage conversation through social media channels. Are you a business owner? What strategy are you implementing right now to get your brand noticed? Please share your thoughts with us. We would love to hear from you.