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Why Your Business Needs an Integrated Online Presence

John Waghorn

by John Waghorn on 23rd September 2013

Social blogIn the modern digital age, businesses need to harness the power of an up-to-date website, as well as regularly maintained social platforms. More can be gained from using both of these platforms together, compared to a single entity alone – so long as they are both being used properly of course.

If your business also spends time learning and understanding how the two can be integrated, then you will get added value from both of these platforms.

With so many businesses fighting for online space, as a minimum requirement you need to make sure you are matching what your competitors are doing. Whilst you can’t rely on direct search traffic to your site alone, you also can’t count on your social channels to bring in sales and create brand awareness if you don’t have a website.

Businesses can’t afford to only focus their attention on just their website or their social accounts. To become more successful, businesses need an integrated online approach to push for conversions and establish greater connections with their customers.

So, with an integrated approach being far more effective, here’s a look at how the two (both your website and social media) can coexist in harmony.

Extra Marketing Channels

Integrated Marketing

Your website is the heartbeat of your online presence. If a customer is interested in your business then it’s likely that they will find you in the search engines, before clicking through to your site. Alternatively, they might visit your site by typing in the URL.

Whilst this linear process is great for your business, there are other methods of funnelling traffic smoothly through to your site. Social platforms are a prime example of this.

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest are just four of the dominant networks among a wide range that can help your business to:

  • Draw in new custom
  • Create additional brand exposure
  • Build your followers and online reputation
  • Guide your customers to your site
  • Interact and respond directly to customer enquiries

With social channels feeding traffic to your site, your business has a better chance of gaining more custom and generating more sales, as opposed to solely relying on your website.

Social Isn’t A Substitute For Your Website

Plenty of businesses have a website. In the majority of cases, it’s likely that they had a site before getting to grips with social media, given that social channels aren’t as old.

However, if your company is only using social media, this shouldn’t be viewed as a substitute for your site.

In truth, the two platforms are very different. Social is great for customer interaction, whilst your website is equally important for stating who you are, what you offer, and why potential customers should invest time and money in you. Your site also allows you to detail your products and services in-depth and acts as the portal where customers can buy into your brand.

Not all of your customers will be on social media, so you need to make your business accessible to the widest audience possible. If you are only using social, then refrain from using this approach. Instead, setup a website and use it alongside your social accounts. Give your audience the opportunity to access your business through the channel of their choice.

Combined together, a website and social will give your company more marketing power and allow you to create, build, and sustain a much larger and diverse following.

Effective Content Distribution

We know that content is extremely powerful for helping to bring in traffic, improve rankings, and aid conversions. Once you have a website and social media in place, content can act as the glue that holds the two together and helps to create a cohesive and sustainable marketing strategy. This strategy can work across both elements.

For example, on-page content such as videos and blog posts are a welcome addition to your site. However, if they can also be shared on social, you will be working with an effective marketing strategy binding the two together. This in itself has its own advantages as you are once again reaching a wider audience and making your brand more dispersed across multiple channels.

For those who are relatively new to social media, using content in this way will also allow you to have a regular stream of activity on your profiles.

As a brand it’s important to focus on building an online community, and with plenty of content at hand you can drip feed this onto social and start engaging with your followers.

The content you share doesn’t need to be comprehensive either. For example, if you own a restaurant, you could share pictures of the day’s specials. This may cause people to click through to your site, get in contact and then reserve a table.

This simple but effective method allows you to connect both channels with the content that you’ve created.

Greater User Experience

The online user experience doesn’t take place on one single channel alone. Users move between channels, and as a result businesses need to provide a consistent experience across them.

Social platforms are great for pointing traffic in the direction of your website, although this needs to apply both ways. In other words, your website should also drive traffic to your social accounts.

In doing so, you can improve rates of engagement, as well as the amount of content that’s shared, whilst showing that you have a seamless connection between the two channels.

If your site needs to be more social, then think about where your social sharing buttons are displayed, whether they’re placed on all of the pages where good content exists, and if it’s easy to inspire engagement.

Cohesive Campaign For The Future

If you’ve started learning about social media and using it more frequently, then this means you will be building a stronger brand for the future.

In truth, if you still aren’t setup on social, then at some point you will probably have to make the transition anyway. Getting on social and integrating all that you do with your site and vice-versa will ensure that you have a more sustainable campaign for the coming months and years ahead.

The world of online marketing can be hard to predict, but it’s better to be prepared and ready now, rather than lagging behind your competition and missing out on custom. So, if you’re not working with both channels at this stage, make sure you are as soon as possible.

Integrate Your Site And Social Profiles

If you’ve only been using just a website or social profiles without integrating the two, then you are limiting your chances of greater success.

Whilst there are distinctions between each channel, using them together with an integrated strategy will allow you to target more customers and ensure that they can find you through their preferred method.

However, this approach will only work effectively if both your website and social media networks are regularly maintained and a clear strategy is being implemented. Using both of these platforms to optimum effect will give you more power as a business in the digital world.

Image credits:

Social Media Marketing Tree from Bigstock
Social Blog from BigStock

John Waghorn

John Waghorn

John works as a Content Marketing Executive at Koozai. With previous experience in PR, he helps the team by writing a range of client content including press releases, guest blog posts and website copy. He is also a regular contributor to the Koozai blog.

4 Comments

  • Anupam Tiwari 24th September 2013

    Hey John,

    Great info about brand exposure I liked the way you have demonstrated. Keep writing such informative stuff for the industry :)

    Thanks!
    Anupam

    Reply to this comment

    • John Waghorn

      John Waghorn 30th September 2013

      Thanks for the feedback Anupam, glad you enjoyed the post, there certainly will be more posts on the way shortly :)

      Reply to this comment

  • Eddie 30th September 2013

    Some really great info here about the importance of integrating online platforms. I will certainly be reassessing our online presence, as well as assuring our website and social sites are well maintained! Being in such a competitive industry, we have to harness the power of the web and make sure our online presence is as strong as possible! Cheers John!

    Reply to this comment

    • John Waghorn

      John Waghorn 30th September 2013

      Thanks for the feedback Eddie. Exactly, brands have to make their online identity as strong as possible across multiple platforms and if they fail to act on this, they run the risk of falling behind their competitors.

      Reply to this comment

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