It has been two years and the struggle has been on, and this morning we met up with our client and she opened the meeting with ‘I agree with you guys, we need to focus on our website.’
As our hearts sang hallelujah she added the icing to the cake, ‘And yes we need to re-focus on our Search rankings.’
In the 24 months that preceded the social media rage had got our nerves racking. Headlines that said ‘Do you need a website when you have Facebook’, had got completely sold out to this client. And as much as we saw the perils of this, we failed at convincing her.
So how did we finally make the pitch? We focused on some facts:
- People are on Facebook to Socialize, they get to know the updates of friends, family, acquaintances.
- They ‘like’ brands that give them good content and these may be brands they probably already like offline too.
- They engage with the brand too, by sharing, posting comments and it is true that your brand’s facebook page helps tremendously in conveying brand benefits, building brand recall and even loyalty.
- What’s more is that when friends and peers are liking and sharing content and info from your brand they become great influencers.
But equally and more so:
- People use the Google search bar when trying to seek any information or entertainment.
- This search leads them to various links where they can get more information.
- When making a choice people are likely to check 2-3 of these links:
- Your company or brand website
- A compare website – which may be a forum or blog that talks about others too in your category
- Probably your facebook page too to see how the conversations are around your brand and what is the tonality like.
- Your potential customer then visits your website expecting to get much more information than they did anywhere else. Your entire range, contact information, product related info, for instance. They want to see what other value adds you have for them. A club membership? Special offers? Store locators? Feedback form?
- These users know that Facebook is like a large department store in which you have your exclusive counter, but they expect that you will have your own corporate hub too.
- Failure to have your own website, or presentation of a poorly update one can actually result in them wondering if you are so big after all. Your credibility, worthiness, after sales, all can come to question.
Critical Add Ons: Information Sharing & Information Capture
Before posting this blog we shared it with our team heads and they point out other significant and strategic issues that should help you make your choice. Our IT-Head, Sanil Pradhan, points out: “Visitor detail capturing which is possible on a website by creating forms is not allowed on Facebook.” Indeed, let us add that at east 50 per cent of our business leads come from the form created on the bcwebwise.com website. We are still to get a single lead via our social media presence. Adds Varun Joshua, our creative director: “Facebook is structured/ designed to enhance conversation between people with limited options to communicate a brand message through visuals, experience, interaction – which a website does. It’s restrictive in that sense.”
Moral of the story:
- YES to Facebook – it is a reach and branding medium, you need it the audience is there.
- MUST to Website – It is a marketing and branding medium, a domain that your audience is going to visit when they are most likely to make a brand choice.
Most Imp: How did we convey the above to our client?
Not over one meeting (though we must confess we tried). We looked up blogs of top influencers in this space, people who really knew how digital works and who write well (like Pam Moore, Jeff Bullas) and shared some of their postings — so thank you to them
While we did this, we also prayed to the almighty forces to please help the client see the light. So yes, to tell you the truth, we don’t know if it was these posts, or someone from the top up who also thought like us that did the influencing, or it was our prayers. But something did give in.
So to all clients and peers
If you are a client sitting on the fence we hope that this post helps you make your decision. And if you are another agency like us, hope this helps you convert your client.