I had a great conversation with a new client today. She called to ask me some things about Facebook and then we got into the broader conversation about search engine optimization, social media and building a sustainable online business.
We talked about having her Facebook “like” button on her website vs. just a button that links to her Facebook page. I helped her to see that your goal should not be to drive people to Facebook from your website but to drive people to your website from Facebook! When you drive people to your Facebook page you are building Facebook’s business not yours. Basically, when you tell people to be your friend on Facebook you are saying “Hey sign up at Facebook so my competitor with a lot more money than me can buy advertising on my Fan page and get you to do business with them instead of me.”
I have said it before and I’ll say it again, Facebook is not there for your benefit, they are a business that needs to make money. What better way to make a buck than selling ads on your Facebook page to your competitor?
Spend the energy you would spend “posting on Facebook” posting on your own website! Instead of having your Facebook posts and Twitter tweets feeding to your website, have your website posts feed to your Facebook and Twitter pages – don’t drive people away from your website to your Facebook page, use your Facebook page to drive them to your website silly!
To leverage “social media” you need to think of your website like the “social hub” of your business. In the old days people would have events in their stores such as open houses or signing events. Do this on your website now! The greatest part is people don’t have to drive there to take part. With today’s technology it is possible to host a “virtual” event and make it just as much fun as those you used to throw at the office.
If you have a blog, post community building questions and ideas. Invite your visitors to see you as a human being – just like you would on Facebook – help them “get to know each other” by communicating on your blog. Use your website to get into your website visitors’ heads by using polls and offering a way for them to ask you questions.
If you don’t have a blog, talk to your webmaster about how you can get one or how you can have some other way to put your own voice on your website.
My Mom gets more compliments on her website http://www.joannmorgan.com than some of my larger customers – but I assure you it’s not because I designed it! I have much prettier websites in my portfolio. But Mom has made her website “personal”. She has a picture of herself and her sewing room at the top. She posts her thoughts, shares progress on her projects and has a place for frequently asked questions that she answers in a timely fashion.
This personalization combined with easy navigation is what her customers email her saying “I love your website” about.
What would make you stay on a website longer and come back to it more often?
I’m reading a new book that is helping me put words to my own experience as a search engine marketing expert and I’m excited about sharing the information with you. The book is titled: The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, 2nd Edition. I picked this book up because I already “know” what he means and am familiar with the information he is sharing but I’ve been struggling with how to communicate this knowledge to you.
So far my favorite phrase is “interruption advertising”. That is his term for those awful, loud, obnoxious TV ads that we have all grown to hate so much. He talks about how those big companies (and the PR companies they are paying the big bucks to) are trying to stick with those old rules of advertising in this new world of web marketing and why it doesn’t work!
I agree 100% !- Interruption ads are those God awful ads you get on your Yahoo Mail and Facebook – you’re not there to buy anything but the big companies with bottomless budgets are there SHOUTING at you – “Buy Me and you will be special!”
This is the first time in history that the little guy (you and I) get to thumb our noses at the Madison Avenue crowd and win by doing what is right instead of what is expensive. Wahoo! I’m in are you ready to come along?
If so, watch this blog for more tidbits and guidelines.