We have a great website and our Google analytics say we have traffic. Why are we still struggling to generate referral business?
Unless you have an e-commerce business, the whole idea of having a website is to have a “place” online for people to learn about you. However, learning about you and buying something from you are two different things. In order to buy from you, we must first trust you, which is why social media has become so valuable.
The whole nature of social media is the SOCIAL part. If you aren’t willing to talk with people, on or offline, referrals are going to be hard to come by. People like to do business with who they know, like, and trust and they tend to ask friends, family, and coworkers first when they are in need of a product or service.
If your company has an active Facebook page, a person may not even need to ask about you because Facebook shows them which of their friends already likes your page! If they see even a few of their friends as fans of your product or service, they are more likely to look further into doing business with you. If all they find about you online is your website, it feels empty because there’s no immediate validation from friends. Doubt has more opportunity to creep in.
There are plenty of ways you can “socialize” your website by adding in your Twitter and Facebook feeds. That means you must first be actively participating in those social networks or they will look silly on your website with no tweets or posts. On the flipside, you don’t want to run spam campaigns where all your tweets and posts are automated with promotions. That will only make your website appear robotic, which is definitely NOT social.
Think of your website as your company’s location and social networks as the business and community events your company attends. If you never participate in your community, people aren’t going to remember your name. And if your name isn’t top of mind, they aren’t going to refer you either. That has nothing to do with your website. It has everything to do with how people buy.
We still want to see a professional website. We need to validate you are a real company and understand what you sell. However, we know you’re perfect on your website. You wrote it! We actually want to see what OTHER people say and think about you, beyond reviews, and your behavior on social networks has the ability to show us that. Are you in our circle? Do you “look” like people we want to do business with? Do our friends like you? Will care about us?
Now that we have social media, this is how people buy. Your website is only one part of the equation.
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