Consistently, I hear my clients say, “I don’t need a website, I get all my leads from social.” I will admit, social media is a great short term solution if you don’t have the capability to build a website. It’s a free platform that allows you to grow your business and showcase your work. However, there is so much more opportunity when you can combine social media with a website.
Your 24/7 Sales Tool
With a proper marketing campaign, your website acts as a 24/7 sales tool for your customers. You don’t need to make a post, create a story, or engage on a platform to make a sale. It just happens naturally if everything is set up correctly. Additionally, if you have a good system behind it all it saves you time handling everything because the system will take care of it for you! Social media doesn’t have this capability, it takes constant management and time to maintain properly.
A website that’s easy to navigate and provides the answers that your clients are looking for is essential. You can send your social media users to your site rather than answers questions personally and routinely. This helps reduce the amount of tire-kickers you have to deal with and the ones that reach out tend to be pre-qualified by this.
You can even have resources available to existing clients on your own website. For example, anybody that works with me gets access to a password protected page on my website to give them more than what I’m offering to the casual visitor. There’s no capability of this on social unless you want to make a separate private page or group for your clients to follow.
You Own Your Website Traffic, Social Media Owns Your Users
The digital age is a relatively new thing, consistently we have seen social media platforms come and go. But what happens if the platform you’ve made a career out of disappears or becomes unpopular? Would you rebuild from scratch to create the same following you had before? This is why I consistently tell my clients who have a large following on their social to send traffic to their website as much as possible to collect names and email addressees at the very least. A potential client list is better than no list whatsoever.
This is why I prioritize systems before I start working on marketing with my clients. Creating a list of all existing, past, and potential clients is something that you own. You can store it a variety of ways to make sure it never gets lost. Additionally, you can email these users whenever you have big news or need to boost sales.
Websites and social media are a symbiotic relationship when it comes to an effective remarketing campaign. Whether its paid or unpaid they work together in a lot of ways. We can say the goal on social media is to follow your account, and eventually make a purchase. Additionally, the goal with a website is to make a sale. Retargeting is one of the most underutilized methods to help boost sales on your website. Trust me when I say it’s also the most effective way to convert clients AND grow your social media.
The reality is users spend very little time on a website, they get distracted easily or leave almost immediately. Most businesses will just see those users as a lost cause but the data doesn’t lie! I have seen the best results setting up remarketing campaigns paired with hyper-targeted ads to users.
I have to say social media is important for free remarketing. At the moment, I’m shooting myself in the foot by not having an account for you to follow. Not all users are going to find your website through social media, especially if you’re utilizing a variety of marketing efforts. By giving the user the option to follow you on social media, instead of make a sale immediately. This creates a free remarketing opportunity for you. You can constantly remind that user you exist whenever they see your posts in their feeds. At a later point in time, they might convert to a legitimate customer instead of just being a follower.
Email is another “free” remarketing method, depending on how you have your systems set up. A perfect example of this is live on my very own site, there’s the option to sign up for notifications in my header and footer. Whenever I need to boost my sales or send out a notification, I send it to all these signups. Additionally, I have an automation set up so that potential clients who don’t end up purchasing a service get these notifications as well.
If you have a visitor to your site, that doesn’t complete the desired goal there are two alternatives. The leave and forget about you, or they complete a secondary desired goal like following on social/signing up for notifications. Realistically, the majority of your website traffic is just leaving and forgetting about you. Paid remarketing is how you can increase the likelihood of them coming back for a purchase. Personally, I think remarketing works best when it’s done through social media instead of the display network because it allows for that secondary goal as an option. Meaning, users will see ads targeted specially for them from your page. This is why I say remarketing can boost sales and your following on social media.
I’m in the business of web design because almost everyone can recognize that having a website is more professional compared to not having one at all. A fun fact about small business websites is that a majority of their website traffic comes from people searching their business specifically compared to any other channel. It looks a lot more credible when a website pulls up instead of having to find a business on social media. Everyone knows that social media is free, having a website tells your potential clients that you’re invested in your business. Especially if the site is up to date and responsive for all devices.
Another perfect example of professional appearances is having a personalized email. This is (your name)@(your url).com for example, my clients can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the kind of stuff that can set you apart from the competition. It might be minor but in the grand scheme of things it speaks volumes to your potential clients.
Local Businesses On Social
The thing I’ve noticed working with creative individuals is that few of them are working on a national and global scale, which social media is perfect for. Most of these entrepreneurs are locally based and trying to get clients in their immediate area. Yet, their only focus is getting likes and followers to their platform. Most of these users are coming from everywhere but where they service! Here’s a few tips for growing your local following:
- Foster word-of-mouth and buzz building from your existing clients on social media. Referrals are the most powerful networking tool and there’s a variety of ways to go about this on social to create local engagements.
- Boost your posts to your ideal target audience by hyper-targeting. If your primary clients are males that are 25-30 in specific areas, boosting posts allows you to reach these individuals who haven’t come across your page yet.
- Use geographic specific hashtags related to your industry. For example, if you’re a tattoo artist in Austin, Texas, you should be using #texas, #austintx, #texastattooer, #texastats, #txtattoos, #texasartist, #austintxartist. Another reality is that your target audience isn’t specifically browsing hashtags but what it does is create a network of local interactions. The algorithm will pick up on this and recommend your profile alongside other similar profiles!
If you use social media effectively for you local following, and pair it with a website. I guarantee that you’ll get more clients knocking at your door.
Social Media Has Been My Life Until Recently
I have been on social media ever since I was about 11 or 12 back on the good ol’ Myspace days. Fun fact, if you still remember your Myspace link you can look at your old profile through this: archive.org/web/
For more than half my life, I’ve been on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, and more. I’ve gone viral playing Blink 182’s “All The Small Things” on my waterproof ukulele while floating on my back in the ocean. I made some money doing tutorial videos when YouTube first introduced advertising on its platform. Most importantly, I’ve been able to share my life with my friends across the globe and experience theirs as well. I’ve even met some amazing people through the power of social media.
A Blessing & A Curse
My Addictive Personality
As someone who has an addictive personality, I can’t get enough of the dopamine fix when I’m on social platforms. Once I went viral, I had to do it again and again. I needed the constant stream of likes and attention that came with making a good post. Additionally, I couldn’t miss a single post from my friends. What if I missed something amazing? This constant need to post and scroll became my obsession and it wasn’t good for me. So about a year ago, I made the decision to stop posting altogether and limit my time on these platforms.
The Algorithm Is Too Good
Social media is designed to keep you on the site and engaged as long as possible. The main reason for this, is that the longer you can spend scrolling through it, the more potential ads you will be able to see. This is how they create money. It’s in social media’s best interest to create an echo-chamber of what you want to see and hear as a user.
Additionally, I found myself consistently getting distracted by the stupidest videos anytime I had to go on FB/IG for work. It would be a simple task like responding to page messages, or doing some research for a client and BAM! 15 minutes wasted from me losing track of my original task and being sucked into the platform.
This is why a few months ago I deleted all my personal accounts. I have a few burner accounts on all the various platforms so I can browse content when I need to for my clients.
I know that by not having any social media for my business or personally, it is reducing my potential reach for clients. However, how many people are going to follow an account dedicated to digital systems and marketing? It’s not the most engaging content you want to see on social media. Unless you’re Gary V, there really isn’t a tremendous opportunity for being on social as a marketing agency. The reason for me creating a social media account for DOS-M would be for social proof to build trust and credibility.
In the near future, I plan to launch a podcast dedicated to interviewing successful creative individuals specifically talking about their systems and marketing. This is a similar strategy I came up with when I was the director of my previous agency. I can utilize my interviewees work to create that initial engagement, and then go from there to help get more visitors to my site!