Conventional wisdom says that every business in the modern age must have a website. But with the rise of social media, many companies choose to focus their efforts exclusively in that realm.
The fact that we even have a convention in establishing an online presence for your business speaks to how far we’ve come in this regard. The internet is integral to running a business today.
So how do you approach connecting with customers online? You know that content is crucial to effective engagement, but is it enough to cross-post and link back?
Understanding through an older context
Social media can be likened to a magazine. In the days before the internet, you’d take out an ad in a magazine to promote your business. You could design the ad itself and determine its contents, but how it fits in the overall publication would be subject to the magazine’s approval. You’d have no control over the container itself.
Still within the context of a pre-internet era, if social media posts are akin to a magazine ad, your website is like a company newsletter or brochure. You mail it to customers who’ve already given you their address. You hand out copies to people visiting your premises. It’s entirely your creation, and you have full say over how it looks.
Targeting different channels and audiences
Thus, the differences between these online channels are more easily understood. For all the potential of social media, you’re always going to be working within the rules and restrictions of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the like. And if you want to maximize the impact of a website’s bespoke nature, you need web design and development services to improve the user experience.
The question isn’t whether you should focus on your website over social media or vice versa. They speak to different audiences. And businesses succeed or fail based on how well they can connect to their consumers. You’ll need both to get the best results.
The real issue, then, is what sort of content is best suited to your website, and what works better on social media. By tailoring the content to the audience, you’ll be able to maximize your impact across these channels.
Optimizing content on social media
What type of content works best on social media? The answer will vary depending on the platform. Content on Instagram versus Twitter, for instance, one will be almost exclusively image-based, the other, highly condensed text.
Nonetheless, all social media platforms have common characteristics. They have massive potential reach; the percentage of your actual customers versus non-customers will be tiny. They are also inclined towards brevity and instant gratification. People share things on impulse, and they tend to have a limited attention span on social media.
If you want to create more compelling content on social media, you’ll have to maximize these attributes while minimizing any downsides. Share things that grab attention and have an immediate, emotional impact. Usually, that means something instantly likable and recognizable, but if your strategy is provocation, don’t be afraid to spark controversy and discussion.
At the same time, be wary of how non-customer interactions can skew your message. You don’t want legitimate customer concerns and reviews to be drowned out in the babble of general discussion, off-topic comments, or even fake reviews. Be prepared to manage these potential headaches on your social media profile.
Making the most of your website
Social media is a great marketing tool. It can rapidly bring exposure to your brand and reach audiences in places you’d never expect. But people come to your website for different reasons. They want official, in-depth information. Their minds might be half-made up on making a purchase.
You need to pack more juice, so to speak, on your website. This is where you get to showcase your products or services in all their glory. Write about all those cool and subtle design features. Upload behind-the-scenes clips of the manufacturing process. Highlight user reviews where real-life customers talk about how they’ve benefited from what you offer.
At the same time, you have to stay in control of the presentation. Users don’t like to be overwhelmed. They need to be guided through the experience. Making all the product details available is great, but it has to remain subservient to the ultimate goal of converting leads into sales. Make sure your content never detracts from the checkout function.
Every business will compete to be heard on the internet. Your competitors are doing the same thing. But the way you execute and tailor your content to the medium will help differentiate you from the rest.