If you’ve spent any time looking at how social media works, you’ll hear, “It’s a conversation.” What that means is that your marketing should be a give and take, an interaction with your customers and potential customers. You listen when they tell you their problems and you have the opportunity to propose solutions based on your expertise.
So why aren’t most people applying this idea to the marketing messages on their websites?
Think of your website as the center of your online marketing wheel. You have spokes that include social media, search engines and paid advertising. All of those things should point back to your site, where you show proof that you can provide the answers to your potential customers’ questions.
A website that does this well includes testimonials from clients, case studies, project information, how-to articles or blog posts and other examples.
But a lot of websites are nothing more than lists – lists of things the company does, lists of products, lists of employees. What’s missing is the conversation – the idea that a customer has a problem and is looking for someone who can solve it.
If you’ve been in business for a while, you are probably familiar with some of the main problems your customers have. Make a list of a half-dozen of these problems and what your solutions are. This is the first step to creating a marketing message on your website (and in your print marketing materials) that is solution-focused.
Your customers aren’t really that interested about “you.” The conversation they want to have is how you can help them. So when your website says “I do this,” and “we do that,” it’s much less interesting. Go through your website copy and see how many times you use “I” or “we” and where that can be rephrased to address the customer.
The benefit to moving a customer to your website is the ability to measure your success. Are people coming to your website and buying something? Are they signing up for your newsletter or a free e-book? Are they giving you their contact information or contacting you in some way? Those are all measurable, and you can tell if your efforts to direct visitors toward a specific goal are working.
Use social media to make friends and to start conversations. Continue the conversations on your website. Work to fix any disconnect between how you interact with customers using social media and how you interact with them on your website and you’ll stand out from your competition.