Myth: Facebook and Twitter work as well as a Website

Cyberspace is not unlike the dating scene. Nobody really knows how to effectively navigate it, everyone else seems to be a pro, and we all try little things to get noticed.

We at General Proximity have gotten a pretty good grasp on how things work (with the internet, not the ladies). We’ve cleared up a few myths surrounding Al Gore’s playland. Consider us your personal Mythbusters for the cyberspace world. We’ll be updating this blog pretty frequently with our findings, so check back often.

Today’s Myth: Is a Cool Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr Page really as Good as a Website?

Designing a company Facebook page and frequently Tweeting is the cyberspace equivalent of going to a trendy bar and hiding in the corner booth. You look great, your friends will come by so you can update them, and if you’re lucky they’ll bring somebody with them. But that stud at the bar (your consumer) is never going to buy you a drink (your product) because they’re never going to find you.

But everyone’s on Facebook! Doesn’t it receive massive amounts of traffic?

It’s the second most trafficked site on the web actually, and Twitter ranks at a respectable 8th. This is because your social media page, though aesthetically delicious and brimming with helpful information, is not search engine optimized. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other popular social media sites don’t use traditional CSS templates, so when Google (the #1 trafficked site) collects data from sites to rank search results, social media pages and updates rank extremely low. You’ll be lucky to be ranked on the 5th page of results, where less than 1 percent of searchers ever look. This means when your potential customers search for your product or even your exact company name, they’ll see your competitors’ sites, browse around, and maybe buy some product. All the while never knowing you, or your gorgeous, trendy Facebook page, ever existed.

Now, does that mean social media pages are useless? Should I forget about my page and focus on just website creation?

Designing a company Facebook page and frequently Tweeting is the cyberspace equivalent of going to a trendy bar and hiding in the corner booth.

No. The idea is to have both. A beautiful, fully-functioning site working in tandem with an active social media presence is a well-oiled marketing machine.

The objective of maximizing your company’s exposure online is to fish your consumer out of their natural habitat: Google and Bing search results.

Let’s say you’re running a trendy burger shop in Nashville called Burger Dude and you’re looking to leverage cyberspace to get more business.

Your first step is to make a net to catch consumers looking for you. After all, somebody searches for a place to eat in Nashville every 6 seconds, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t try a burger at Burger Dude. This is accomplished through creating a solid, optimized website with pictures, directions, testimonials, etc., and gives your consumers somewhere to learn a little about what you’re putting on the table (literally) and be convinced you deserve their appetite’s attention.

A well-designed website will have a low bounce rate, meaning users who land there will take some time to browse around. But they’ll leave eventually, and you don’t want them to forget about you.

That’s where social media comes in.

Now, when consumers land on your website, they’ll be prompted with a call to action to “like” your page on Facebook and follow you on Twitter. This way you’re saying “Hey, let’s keep in touch after you leave.” Now, when the average Facebook and Twitter user checks their news feed 1.1 times per day, you’ll be there to advertise a new addition to the menu, or offer a discount. And the cost for all this advertising? Nothing but your time (or that of a Generation Y intern).

If you do your posting and Tweeting properly, your users will spend more time liking and commenting, and their friends will take notice. They may have never heard of Burger Dude, and will then check out your full profile. There, you’ll have a call to action to check out the website. They’ll go to the website, and since it’s well-made, they’ll check out the menu, pictures, testimonials, and some of them will bring you their business.

They’ll recommend you to their friends, who will Google you, and in rare cases, directly search for your page on a social media site. Either way, you’ll be there waiting to welcome them.

It’s a brilliant cycle, really.

With social media alone, you’re the proverbial girl hiding in the corner of the bar, refusing to talk to anyone but her friends and puzzled why she’s not getting more attention. With a marriage of a well-developed website AND active social media presence, you’ll become the cyberspace equivalent of the bombshell at the center of the bar. Anyone not talking to you is talking about you, and everyone wants to check you out. You’re the belle of the ball and nobody coming in or out doesn’t know your name.

We at General Proximity want to make you a cyberspace bombshell.

What myths would you like to see busted next?

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