When determining the recipe for a social media strategy, one of the most interesting recurring themes has been the importance of having a top-notch Web site. It’s not something many professionals think about when they’re getting into social media. They are more focused on deciding whether a blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn make the most sense.
The importance of having a strong Web site to support a social media efforts is frequently overlooked, if not ignored. This approach has increasingly struck me as wrong because social media and a professional Web site are a powerful and complementary one-two punch.
At the end of the day, social media is, among other things, is a way to drive in-bound traffic. If traffic is being driven to your Web site, it better meet expectations. It needs to do a good job of telling visitors what you do and why they should care. It should deliver well-articulated, clear and great stories. And it should encourage people who have been attracted by social media to do something – be it asking for more information, buy a product or service, or more importantly having your name “dropped” in conversation.
If your Web site isn’t up to the task, if it’s boring, difficult to navigate, or fails to quickly tell visitors why they are there, it doesn’t matter how good or engaging your social media efforts are because you have failed to follow through on expectations. It’s like having great advertising for a terrible product.
For clients, it means I’m an advocate that their Web sites are an asset that can support social media rather than cutting it off at the knees. A high-quality Web site is the fact many professionals have ignored. Why spend money on a Web site when business is booming. It’s the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage. Now, however, many Web sites are several years old, making them dated in terms of content, features and design. Unfortunately, many websites looked tired when they were new!
So while social media is new and sexy, it should not distract professionals from making sure their Web sites do their job so Facebook, Twitter, et al can do their jobs effectively as well.