SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.
Our previous poll question asked the community, from a strategic point of view, how you are approaching the use of the social media platforms. Three approaches emerged that were helpful to consider, but we lacked data into how a corporate website fit into those approaches. Hence this week’s question: What role is your corporate website playing in your social media efforts? The results:
- Our website has “Follow/Fan Us” links to our social presences but with no strategy: 42.86%
- There is no integration between our website and our social presence: 22.08%
- Our website is a fully integrated component of our social activity, with the goal being to bring users from the social site: 18.18%
- Our website displays activity from our social presence and has “Follow/Fan Us” links: 12.99%
- Our website has “Follow/Fan Us” links that encourage users to promote our brand after following: 3.90%
Quickly, before I jump into my analysis, allow me to share something I’ve learned in my first few weeks as a columnist for SmartBrief on Social Media’s weekly reader poll. You see, there is a funny thing about informal, nonscientific polls. And that is that it is super simple to make a fool of yourself. How? By drawing inaccurate conclusions and making false assumptions. I’ve learned quite quickly that I need remind myself that this data are, in fact, unscientific and don’t have real relevance from a statistical point of view.
Why did I feel compelled to say that? This week’s results have me scratching my head. If I write what’s on my mind — which I plan to do — I think I might make a fool of myself. Actually, I hope I do, and those of you who responded to the poll will tell me so (and why) in the comments.
For instance, I think 43% of those who responded are clueless. Harsh? Yes, I know. But here is my reasoning. Those respondents have “Follow/Fan Us” links to their social presence but no strategy. Let me get this scenario straight: A potential customer has landed on your website, and you have given that user at least two links (Facebook and Twitter) off your website without any purpose (with no strategy).
Why would you do that? Tell me, please, what would possess you to send someone off a website you own to a social network that you don’t without a specific reason? Does that make good marketing sense? Does that make any sense at all?
Well, yes, maybe it does in a few scenarios. One such instance might be, “We are building our base of fans and followers while we develop our strategy.” But even that is a stretch. Your digital and social strategy should be clearly defined before you add any links to social networks to your website. Right?
Also, to add to my foolishness, I think that 22% of those who responded are confused. Harsh? Again, yes, I know. Here’s the reason: 22% of respondents have no integration between their website and social presence. Then what’s the point? Aren’t you attempting to attract individuals who might be interested in your company from social networks to your website — which is then designed to influence them to buy from you?
I’ll admit that with this one, it could be how I worded the response. The word “integration” might have led respondents to think a technical integration between the website and social site. But for those who didn’t interpret it that way, I am not sure of the reason you are involved in social media if it’s not to start relationships, generate interest and expand your business by bringing users from social media to your website. I truly thought that was the whole point.
Am I wrong? Have I completely made a fool of myself with this analysis? Tell me what you think.