With each new advancement in communication technology, so too has communication between businesses and their (potential) customers. We’ve seen the evolution of marketing develop from newspaper, to radio, to television, and now onto the internet. Each stage of this evolution comes with new challenges and tools, and that’s especially true today. The question is, with so many tools, which do you choose and why?
Should I use Twitter / Facebook, or a website to promote my business?
My answer is both. The simple answer is because any channel through which you can connect with your potential customers is worth using. That being said, there are some more specific reasons as well…
Most websites are static, which means that they usually display the same information to all visitors. Similar to handing out a printed brochure to customers or clients, a static website will generally provide consistent, standard information for an extended period of time. Although the website owner may make updates periodically, most pages present pre-defined, static information to the user. This may include information about a company and its products and services through text, photos, animations, audio/video, and navigation menus.
While this form of information delivery is acceptable, it can also be very limiting in its ability to deliver current information and maintain communication with a business’ customers. Websites do commonly have comment forms or contact pages that customers can use to contact the website’s owner, but they are most often only used for one-way communication; delivering information from the business owner to the consumer.
Social media is much more dynamic, ever-changing, up-to-date, and available immediately in consumers’ social feeds. When information needs to be communicated from the business owner to the consumer, the fastest, easiest, and most convenient method to do so is via social media. This is especially helpful is cases such as:
- Short-notice closures
- Surprise sales
- PR nightmares
- Customer feedback
In addition, a fundamental component of a business’ marketing is getting feedback. The cornerstone of any social media platform is two-way communication. Any celebrity, company, or civilian on Facebook or Twitter can instantly communicate with the people that matter most to them; their fans, customers, or friends.
Today, with advancements in targeted advertisements and search engine optimization (SEO), it is getting easier for websites to track down your potential customers online. That said, in most cases, those customers need to know what they’re looking for and search online for your type of business in order to come across your website.
Social media does a very good job of tracking down those consumers for you. There are social media advertisements that can target specific people if you’d like to pay for it, but even the free functionality of Likes, Retweets, and Favourites are extremely helpful in getting your business noticed online.
On sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, the things that your friends Like, Share, Retweet, and comment on show up in your social feeds. This means that if someone on Facebook Likes your business page, or Retweets a status update, their friends are notified of it, and then their friends are given the opportunity to do the same. This is a new form of word-of-mouth recommendations.
At the end of the day, websites are fantastic for storing and presenting information that people want to know and care about. A website holds down the fort and informs new visitors to your site. However, a social media account has a kind of reach and level of connection that a website simply cannot achieve.
“Which tool should I use?” All of them. Your user base and the people that care about you, you need to connect to them any way you can, everywhere you can, as often as you can. That is essential.
How you use them is important, but that you use them is even more important.