What's the Hub of Your Online Presence?

SueCockburn
Sue Cockburn Entrepreneur, Growing Social Biz

Posted on June 13th 2014

What's the Hub of Your Online Presence?

With all of the talk about social media, it’s important not to ignore the key role a website plays in building your business.

Social media, done well, can help send more traffic to your website. And that’s the point ... to get visitors to your website. But, will what they see and experience when they arrive at your site support or undermine your business?

Social Media Needs to be Part of an Overall Strategy, Not the Hub

Social media needs to be part of an overall sales and marketing strategy that includes your website, not something that is isolated from everything else you do to promote your business. It isn’t a one hit wonder that will magically drive people to your business. It requires an investment of time and energy, planning and thought, strategic activities and follow-up.

And the result of your hard work, assuming you’re delivering on what you are selling to begin with, can help build brand name recognition and a solid reputation for your business, and send traffic to your website!

But, if you look great on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and/or LinkedIn but have neglected your website, your business will suffer for it!

Your website, not social media, should be the hub of your online presence. It's the only network you actually control!

The Hub of Your Business Online

Most people today go online to find, or to find out about, a business and their products and/or services. This may be because they've seen your name somewhere; because a friend or family member mentioned your name; or because your business appeared in a search result. And, what they find will determine whether or not they stay on your website and dig deeper, or whether they leave (bounce off) right away.

If they discover you on a social network, chances are, if they’re thinking of doing business with you, the next step for them will be your website, to find out a bit more about you. And, with so many people using their smart phones to check things out online, they may decide to do this on their mobile device.

Thus the importance of having a website that looks good on devices of all sizes, and why 'responsive' websites have become a 'must have'.

The impression visitors have, conscious or not, when they arrive on your website will make a big difference in their decision to call you and give you a chance to earn their business, or not. It is much more than having just an attractive website, although this is good. But, if you hope to have visitors return again from time to time, make it a place they'll think of as a helpful resource and not simply a place they'll drop by once, but never again.

SueCockburn

Sue Cockburn

Entrepreneur, Growing Social Biz

Sue is the founder and CEO of GrowingSocialBizGrowingSocialBiz provides website and social media services to micro and small business. Sue also writes on topics related to branding, customer service, employee engagement, online presence and social media on the GrowingSocialBiz blog and on LinkedIn


Connect wtih Sue on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/SueCockburn, on Twitter at twitter.com/SueCockburn or on Google+ at plus.google.com/+SueCockburn

See Full Profile >

Comments

gdecugis
Posted on June 16th 2014 at 9:29PM

Great point Sue and one that I've often seen underestimated (as I highlighted myself in a talk last week: http://sco.lt/8cXY81).

As you pointed out, one of the reasons for this is certainly the hype on social media (and its apparent simplicity). At Scoop.it (I'm one of the founders), we've been trying to identify the other reasons explaining that by observing how many companies - small or large - were considering their content strategy:

- small businesses are often finding it difficult to integrate their social media publishing efforts with their own website in a simple way (hence our own efforts to integrate with Wordpress, offer embeds and make website integration super easy);

- larger companies can also face that (even when they have IT departments, they're not always reactive and available for marketing-driven projects) but there's another factor: very often, social media publishing was initially defined as a standalone role (and even if it's a cliché, sometimes to the millenial in the team who "got it"). This meant it grew in a silo alongside other marketing activities such as SEO, content marketing or building up the WebSite to modern standards.

I'm curious to what other factors/bottlenecks you' ve identified with your clients?

SueCockburn
Posted on June 17th 2014 at 7:52AM

Thanks for your comment Guillaume!

A quick observation would be that, as Steven Covey identified, we often don't begin, or continue to work, with the end in mind. A good sense of what we are hoping and planning to achieve through our business and then seeing how all the various pieces fit together and work together in helping us achieve it. 

You mention silos, and the silo mindset, whether between departments in an organization or in the way we compartmentalize various marketing activities/functions, works against us in moving us towards  the end or vision we have for our business.