With all of the various avenues of social media available these days, many businesses wonder if they even need a website at all. “Why should I pay for a website when I can use Facebook or Twitter for free?”
It’s not only about marketing yourself on the web – you need to effectively manage your brand. While, yes, many social media sites are free; Facebook, Twitter and the handful of other social marketing websites that businesses are using were never meant to be used in lieu of a website. These tools, including a business’ own website, are all pieces of the marketing puzzle for your business; and when all working together they create a picture of great success.
An effective online marketing plan should include the following:
- Website – A website is the face of your businesses. It’s the foundation of your online marketing plan and your image. People are still going to search engines when looking for things and you want to be high up in the search results.
- Facebook Business Page – This will help your business create an ongoing database of customers that you can reach out to in other forms of online marketing.
- Twitter Page (if you blog and content is worth a link to on Twitter)
- LinkedIn Business Listing – It is important to cross promote by utilizing all forms of online marketing.
- Email Marketing Plan – With all of your social media outlets you’re now using, you’ve created a solid database of customers. Now you can utilize that to share additional information, and if executed properly, your e-mails, newsletters, etc. can route customers back to your website, thus creating more traffic.
- Blog – By creating a blog you will help to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Customers will come to you wanting to learn more which is, again, increasing your traffic and visibility.
According to the Facebook newsroom, it has 845 million users. If even a small fraction of those users like your business page, and you periodically post updates and links that relay back to your site, you will obviously generate traffic to your site. Think of how many potential customers you could gain. That is the idea. Social media marketing is meant to capture your audience’s attention with your human side enough to get them to your site to experience your business side. Now once they get to your website is another thing….