If your business is looking to make a bigger impact and target a larger share of the market, here’s a question you might want to ask yourself.
What will bring the greatest return – a good social media presence or a great website? Well, the answer isn’t all that clear-cut, but in Search and More’s experience we’d have to say that a good website will probably serve your interests best. Facebook and Twitter are great marketing platforms and ideal for building community engagement, but it has to be said that they’re not as valuable as a great website.
So how do we come to that conclusion?
Well, even though the combined audience of Facebook and Twitter currently stands at around 1.5 billion, the number of adults with access to the internet currently stands at twice that figure, and that number is growing all the time. To put that into perspective it’s estimated that around 50% of the adults in the UK are registered Twitter and Facebook users, but around 85% of the population have access to the internet. If a business puts all its eggs into the social media basket, then theoretically they could be failing to reach 35% of the adult population – which is potentially 35% of your target market. That’s a considerable number of potential conversions to miss out on.
Besides by focusing solely on social media marketing your business could be restricting its options: Facebook and Twitter users only communicate with fellow Facebook and Twitter users.
What’s more a good quality optimised website won’t carry advertisements for potential competitors, but Facebook and Twitter might. Few would argue that social media platforms are invaluable for building a sense of community and engagement, but they can also be distracting. Often a brand message can get lost amongst the myriad of friend requests, news feed updates, instant messages and game requests. Websites have none of those distractions. Great websites might not feature pictures of cats doing improbable things, but through great and stimulating content they can help to build a brand and engage a community.
A recent survey conducted in partnership between marketing technology company, Demandbase, and online business network, Focus, found that social media marketing may not be all it’s cracked up to be. It found that a company’s corporate website was the second top source of new sales leads online; the top source being personal referrals. In statistical terms corporate websites were over seven times more effective than social media marketing at generating sales: websites generated 23% of sales leads, email 14%, online advertising 7%, whereas poor old social media generated a lowly 3%. According to Chris Golec, CEO of Demandbase, these statistics aren’t necessarily a failing on the part of the social media, more a testament to the strength of websites and their ability to turn leads into sales:
“Social media may be heralded as the silver bullet to bring B2B marketing up to snuff but, despite its increasing influence, it’s important to keep in mind that no business sale is made without the buyer going to the corporate website first. Regardless of its origin — social media or e-mail, banners or search — traffic driven from online-marketing initiatives always intersects at the website.”