Can Using Social Media for Your Business Be a Waste of Time?

Many organizations have all kinds of social media links on their WordPress website. But is that wise? If you use social media incorrectly, they are counter-productive. In this article, we explain what you as an organization need to do to prevent that. And we call a social medium that is often forgotten.

Pick up or send away?

Imagine: You have just finished a new blog and you share it on your Facebook page. An interested follower clicks on the link and arrives on your WordPress website. As he starts to read your article, his eye falls on the sidebar with a Facebook and Twitter feed. He stops reading and scrolls through your Twitter feed. He clicks on one of the conversations and ends up on Twitter.

What is happening here? You have successfully grabbed the attention of a visitor on Facebook, but when it is finally on your WordPress website, you make it very easy to leave again. Wrong move!

Social media on your website

We see that many organizations choose to embed all kinds of social media feeds on their website. You will then see the latest messages from for example Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. in the sidebar next to an article. Embedding such a feed is so simple that you almost forget to ask why you would actually do that. Very often such a feed does not serve your objectives at all.

I often get to hear that such feeds are placed to keep the website ‘lively’, or to show that you as an organization are interactive and up-to-date. However, these are not good arguments for a sound online marketing plan. You are visitors to the ping pong: on social media, you tempt them to go to your website, but once on your website you put your social media in the shop window again.

Do not make it too difficult for your visitors; limit the choices you give them. Ask yourself for your organization where the most conversion of online activities takes place. Are sales and quotation requests mainly handled on your website or on your social media channels?

Marketing funnel

You can view your online activities as a funnel: by being visible on all sorts of platforms, you attract as many visitors as possible to one place. Often, that one place is your website, but in some cases, it can be a social medium (for example, a vlogger has the goal to ‘funnel’ as many followers as possible to its YouTube channel). Are you not sure what the marketing funnel should be for your organization? Then read our article about the preparation of online strategy.

Now suppose your website is the starting point for your marketing funnel. Do you not have to integrate social media into your website? You might think so, but that is too short because of the bend. If on social media the conversion does not take place in your company, they can serve another purpose: engagement.

Engagement: long-term relationship through social media

Even though the conversion for your organization does not take place on social media, they can work very well to build a ‘soft’ relationship with your visitors. Every visitor is different; one of them goes directly to action on your WordPress website, the other you might want to get to know a little better first. Social media are very good to use.

Here too, a well thought-out online strategy is important again; you choose to focus on a specific target group with social media: potential customers who want to get to know you a bit better. This means that you have to think about the image you want as an organization on social media; are you an informal club with a wink, or a serious group of professionals?

Such choices affect the type of content you place on social media; Do you cultivate trust by showing that it is very pleasant with you, or especially by sharing professional knowledge? To answer that question, it helps to ask a number of new customers what the decisive factor was to become your customer. You can allow those decisive choices to be reflected in the content on social media.

If you have that strategy in order, then you can now think again about the role of social media on your website. And that is now clearly defined: You only bring social media to the attention to offer visitors an alternative to the direct action to purchase. Or social media are mainly to ask questions directly (and to answer them). Whatever the goal is, with a clear definition you also know how you can dress up that social media on your website. Consider, for example, a follow-up button for social media with an appropriate caption, or a prominent place on the contact page.

Which social media for which target groups?

Every social medium has a different user group. These groups are also constantly undergoing change. So you see that Facebook is widely used by adult consumers, Instagram and Snapchat are more popular among young people and Twitter attracts more men than women on average. Moreover, there is a clear difference between business and personal use. Few users have a Facebook account for business reasons. Conversely, almost no one is on LinkedIn to share photos of his afternoon walk. The distinction between ages, interests and the motives for use is important to include in the way you use social media. If you are in business services, then you should think carefully about how and how it is useful to approach your consumers on social media. A manufacturer of packaging materials will have little to do with a marketing campaign on Instagram.

The landscape of social media is constantly changing. Time and again other social media are popular. As a result, you would almost forget that there is one social medium that has been extremely successful in building engagement: e-mail for years. The great power of e-mail is in a small detail: messages on social media are fleeting; if you do not spend a day on Facebook, you will miss a large number of messages. You will not see it automatically in your timeline. However, an e-mail only disappears when you have read it (or marks it as read). E-mail has a more compelling character than a message on social media. That compelling character does require extra caution; not for nothing is a lot of e-mail not read or marked as spam. The law requires that you actually have permission from the recipient to send newsletters. And if you have that, you have to think carefully about the title of your e-mail, the length of the content, the time you are emailing and the frequency with which you mail.



Published by Lorelei

Lorelei is a full-time blogger since 2006, making a living by sharing her SEO, blogging, social marketing and web development tips.

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