My last post was answering a question: should website strategy be driven by social media?
I wrote no, it should be considered as part of an overall marketing plan. However, if you’ve done your research as Terri suggested in her post Social Media: How Much of it is Hype? and found that your target audience is huge into it, then yes, it should be one of the stronger factors in web strategy. With the Rapport Marketing Map, we talk about the journey people take moving from one marketing tool to the next (ie: when they look at your business card then go to your website, do they see the same colours and logo?) and how to keep them moving along that path, towards your pre-sale action step. If you think about going from, say Twitter to your website, there may be opportunities top make that transition more meaningful.
What happens when people go from your Twitter page to your website?
Imagine that the first place someone finds you is LinkedIn and read your profile. They liked your style and click-through to your website. What’s the experience like? What opportunities are there to create a continuation and encourage they travel further through your marketing map? For example, some people create special landing or squeeze pages, depending on where they come from that ties the two together. I saw one that said ‘welcome fellow Tweeters… here’s how I want to use Twitter… etc.’ One Twitter user sends a very friendly ‘thanks for the follow message’ to new followers that invites them to take a fun, interesting, no strings attached quiz, getting people to her website.
Depending on how your target audience uses social media may change the approach to content writing for your website, or the bells and whistles you add. Those big into it appreciate brevity, a more casual and human approach to writing. They also expect lots of interaction, like blogs and polls, etc.
Don’t forget that the website’s main function will always be a place prospects come to learn more about your company and it’s services, so I wouldn’t rush to turn it into it’s own social media platform. I’ve been to sites that look like the home page of LinkedIn or Facebook. Though fun that they let people post things on their home page (like a notice board), it was major overload and it took me way too long to find out what they did and who their customers were. Visitors should always be able to find out basic information about you there, which will also make the site good for visitors who don’t use social media or didn’t find you that way.