Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing’ Category

Choppy copy part 2

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

This is the second part of the excerpt from one of our free Wednesday Webinars series. Presented by our Director of Project Management William Lindus.  In our previous blog post we talked about the difference about writing for print material versus for the web.  In this second part we go into more details about how to make your web copy work.

Let’s talk about how to make your web copy work.  The first, and probably most important piece of advice I can give is to avoid technical jargon.  This is particularly difficult for veterinarians, as you have built your education and your careers on highly technical terms, phrases, and acronyms.  For example, you should use phrases like ‘chronic kidney disease’ instead of ‘chronic renal failure.’  It can be okay in some cases to use more technical terms… but make sure you back these technical terms up with phrases anyone can understand. Example:  If you are writing a web page about your staff cardiologist, make sure your copy prominently discusses ‘heart health’ or similar phrases.  Your web copy should be written at the same level that US Today writes, which is at about an 9th grade reading level.  Be specific with the points that you make on your site.  Superlatives (phrases like ‘we are the best’ are often over-used in writing), but if you can back your superlative up with a specific, your statement is no longer just fluff.  Instead of saying, ‘we are the best,’ imagine how much more powerful it would sound if you said, ‘we have been voted the best veterinary practice in Anytown, USA.’

Also, remember that this copy is for your clients, and should be tailored to what they want.  Make it about them!  You don’t need to include your mission statement on your website.  I’m sure your mission statement is great, and I’m sure it reflects who you are as a practice, but think about this:  Every mission statement a veterinary practice has ever created says something about providing, ‘high quality veterinary care,’ and such phrases become meaningless to the consumer on the go. Instead, get to the point with what services you can provide your client.  This next point terrifies most veterinarians:  don’t be afraid to use your web copy to upsell.  Most of the time when I bring up the concept of upselling to veterinarians, I’m greeted with either looks of shock or looks of fear.  After all, marketing isn’t something that most veterinarians are used to.  However, your website is as much a web marketing tool as it is an information source.  Use this to your advantage!  For example, if one of your pages is about pet vaccinations, it is a great idea to discuss the benefits of purchasing pet medications from your clinic (or through an affiliate that you trust) as opposed to through other sources.  Not only are you driving revenue for your business, but you are also providing a service by keeping your clients from purchasing pet medications from risky sources.

There are a few guidelines that a good web copy writer will follow when writing for your site.  These can actually be quite nuanced, but here are a few to get your feet wet.  A website’s home page should have less than 100 words of content, and this content should contain the ‘value proposition’ for the site.  The value proposition is your brand promise, or what your customers can expect from you.  What is the end benefit that you are offering?  What service do you offer?  Who do you offer it to?  Why is this useful?  Your home page content should answer these questions in 100 words or less.

Internal pages on your website (anything that isn’t the home page, basically) have a bit more leeway.  You can comfortably fit between 250-500 words of copy on a web page, although much more than this and your client’s eyes will start to gloss over.  Bullet points are your friend here, as is a ‘choppy,’ easy to scan layout.  Internal pages should drive your customers to some sort of action.  This may be as general as turning the reader into a new client for your practice, or it may be more specific. Think back to the example from earlier about the pet medication link on a vaccination page.  Headlines should be short and efficient.  Stick to headlines that are less than 80 characters, and make sure your headline uses the key phrases that users may be scanning for.

Choppy copy

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

​This is an excerpt from one of our latest free Wednesday Webinar series.  Presented by our Director of Project Management William Lindus.

As a veterinarians, office manager and/or other veterinary professional you have quite a bit of experience with writing.  You probably have written for print media all of the time, from reports, to articles, to client handouts.  However, you can’t apply the same principles that you use for print writing to web copy writing because your audience is different.  With print materials, your audience is trained to read word-for-word, start to finish. With an article or a handout, you are expecting your reader to read the entire body of work as a complete entity. Otherwise, key points may be missed!

 

But why is this?  Well, for starters, the web is a user-driven medium.  Visitors to a website feel as though they have to click on things to ‘engage’ with a page.  Long copy makes users feel as though they are being inactive or that they ‘doing it wrong.’  Remember also that the web has millions of web pages, all competing for the attention of your visitor.  If a client can’t get the information they need at a glance, they are very likely to bounce to another site.  With the rise in popularity of smart phones, this becomes even important.  Currently, 10% of all Google searches are made using mobile devices, and studies show that by 2014, mobile users will actually exceed desktop users.  To keep up with this ‘on the go’ lifestyle, a website should have very mobile-friendly content.

We know how web copy is different from print copy… but how do we evaluate whether or not web copy is effective?  On a well-written website, the copy may appear ‘choppy’ or repetitive.  This is where you need to throw away everything you thought you knew about writing and look to web writing as its own entity.  Your website copy may appear ‘choppy’ with lots of bullet points, effective headlines, and short content, but this is useful for the 79% of web users that we discussed earlier.  Choppy can be good!

Keep in mind also that many users will never see the home page of your website; because of links from social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, etc) or through Google search returns, they may enter your website through one of your service pages.  This is why some information may be repeated throughout your website.  I said it before, but it bears repeating:  most users will not read your web page word for word, start to finish.

​To be continued…

Got Serenity?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

by Fritz Wood, CPA, CFP

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. At the Central Veterinary Conference, one of my presentations focused on the Serenity Prayer, and specifically its application to product sales in veterinary practices. The quality of your life may improve dramatically if you let go of those things over which you have no control. Examples of things you cannot change include:

  • The fact that popular parasite control products are sold online
  • The fact that popular parasite control products are sold by Big Box stores
  • The fact that some of your clients will choose to buy those products outside your practice
  • The fact that many rational consumers are motivated by low cost, convenience and wide selection
  • The fact that you lack a multimillion dollar advertising budget and the ability to buy product by the train load

Yeah, yeah…life’s not always fair. Now stop complaining and compete! Have the courage to change the things you can. Things you control include:

  • Price (price matching? price competitively? display price per month or dose? etc.)
  • Promotion/signage/merchandising
  • Reminding clients to refill (phone, text, email, postcard, etc.)
  • The value the client gets when buying from you (e.g. doctor/client/patient relationship, time, attention, advice, counsel, expertise, professional opinion, education, questions asked and answered, demonstration on how to apply product, peace of mind, manufacturer guarantee or warranty, etc.
  • If you want to provide complete product selection and total convenience, opt for a veterinary friendly online pharmacy that carries every product, never closes, and delivers to you clients’ home tomorrow
  • Doses dispensed (e.g. single-dose dispensing versus larger-dose dispensing)

I find myself silently reciting the Serenity Prayer several times each day. Now, when something hits me over the head, my learned instinct is to ask myself, ‘Can I change this?’ It’s proven amazingly helpful in my life. I enjoy much more peace and calm than ever before!

About Fritz Wood: Fritz is the former Personal Finance Editor for Veterinary Economics, the monthly business authority for practicing veterinarians. He has authored more than 100 articles related to the business of veterinary medicine and personal finance. He has also contributed content to several books and on-line educational experiences, including the Veterinary Nutritional AdvocateSM and VetMedTeam.com. Fritz conducts 50 to 75 seminars each year, each very well-received and highly evaluated by attendees. He teaches annually at most veterinary medical schools, as well as local, state, regional, national and international venues. Fritz has presented in nearly every state and in more than a dozen countries. His presentations have positively impacted thousands of individuals and practices worldwide. To learn more about Fritz Wood please go to www.fritzwood.com.

Positive Based Marketing – It’s Here!

Friday, August 10th, 2012
Positive Based Marketing Logo

Positive Based Marketing

Hello! This is Kelly, the CEO of Beyond Indigo. We have taken our focus on Positive Based Marketing a step further and putting our research and knowledge into a blog as well as a Facebook page. This week we are focusing a post from this new blog. We look forward to your liking our Facebook Page as well as following our new blog on Positive Based Marketing vs. Fear Based Marketing. 

The idea seems “cool” to be positive, but really what is Positive-Based Marketing vs. Fear-Based Marketing? When a business uses Positive Marketing, what they are doing is creating and empowering relationships between themselves and their current/future clients. This creates a whole and a oneness with all parties that are involved. Ideally, the business creating the marketing is trying to improve the value and quality of the life of the person using that business’ services. In return, the person using the services is enabling that company to stay in business through his or her engagement and interaction with the business. It is a win–win and creates a positive atmosphere. Plus, people are encouraged to think whether this particular product or service is a good fit for them. People tend to be happier and more fulfilled with Positive-Based Marketing.

Now, think of the negative marketing campaigns that you have seen. Fear is used in Fear-Based Marketing to sever relationships or isolate people from their relationships. It backs people into a corner and makes them panic thinking they will no longer be accepted by the group/society if they don’t use the product or service being marketed. Fear-Based Marketing also encourages people to react — and not to think. For example, if a female watches a cosmetic commercial, she is usually told that she will not be beautiful or accepted by society unless she wears that exact shade of red. She will be “kicked” out of the group, so to speak. To be included in the whole, she needs to wear that shade of red and, therefore, she must immediately go buy that shade of red. She is not empowered to think: This shade is great for me; therefore, I will purchase it. People tend to be more fearful and anxious with this type of marketing.

To read other posts on this blog please click here.

Veterinarian vs. Pet Owner Thinking

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

What Do Pet Owners Want?

Note from Kelly Baltzell CEO Beyond Indigo Pets: We are going to take a few weeks to review what has happened on the Internet the past year. We will be posting pieces that I have written from AAHAMarketlink through MWI to catch hospitals up to speed and to review what we have learned. Thank you for joining us!

This first piece covers one of the basis of marketing – Know Thy Self. If we do not know how we think and how our market thinks then it is much harder to engage and interact with our clients.

How Do Pet Owners Think?

After speaking to more than a thousand veterinarians and their staffs this past year, I have recognized several general concepts regarding how veterinarians view the world versus how their pet-owner clients view it. Talk about a cultural divide! Following is a list of ways in which vets think and what pet owners actually expect.

1. Vets are check-the-box type of people. “I have a website. (Check!) Does it work? I have no idea, but I have one! The Yellow Pages rep came around, and I handed him a check. Are my clients finding me in the Yellow Pages? Who knows? But I am done with my marketing, right?” When speaking to vets and their staffs, I ask them how many still use the local Yellow Pages to find information. Maybe 5–10% of the people raise their hands. Then I ask how many businesses in the rooms still advertise in the Yellow Pages. About 95% of the people raise their hands. Even among veterinarians, there is a disconnect on ad placement versus use.

On the other hand, pet owners want ongoing interaction and engagement with the veterinarian, who is their credible source of information about animal health. The majority of people shopping online today consult from 2 to 10 sources before making a purchasing decision (Google, ZMOT). This search tends to follow the path of starting on Google, going to online reviews, and then going to a website. Or, people start their search on Facebook, go to websites, and then to online reviews. Other sources include blogs, YouTube, e-newsletters, next-door neighbors, a business sign, and a few look at court reports for criminal records on a prospective
vendor.

2. Vets have said to me: “My medicine stands for itself so why should I ask?” Veterinarians have been trained not to ask for reviews or accolades. They believe that they either practice good medicine or they don’t.
Now 70% of people, per Google, research online reviews before making a purchasing decision.

To read the rest of this article please download the PDF of the original AAHAMarketlink publication:  Veternarian vs. Pet Owner Thinking

Content – Treat It Like Royalty

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Yawn—content is so boring, right? Why should we care about content? Throw a few words up on the page, call it good, and move on. Hold on! Not so fast. Content is the star player in any online marketing program. Key functions of content are:

  1. Search Engine Optimization Placement: Content plays a major role in how/where your website is placed on Google. In February 2011, Google made a change to its algorithm, emphasizing high-quality content as a key search engine optimization requirement. This change was called Panda. Bottom line—template content is out and original content is now “in.” (For tips about search engine optimization and content, please visit www.beyondindigopets.com/blog/.
  2. Education: As consumers, we know about cars, food products, cleaning products, and beer because of the amount of advertising we have seen on these subjects. However, we know minuscule amounts of information about veterinary health care and why we should pay for it. We just know as pet owners that we “sorta need it.” The job of content is to educate people about what the service is, why their pet needs it, and, frankly, why people should pay to have that service conducted.
  3. Engagement: If the content on your Internet marketing platforms is stale, boring, flat, and so on, then why should the consumer read it? The content needs to be written correctly in the proper style for the platform (website, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, eNewsletter, YouTube, newsletters, and so on) where it is placed, and it needs to ENGAGE the reader. If the content is not compelling, why should the consumer read it and, more importantly, why should they come back?

Placement for Engagement

Multiple times I have been asked: “Can I write the content once and copy and paste it across all my platforms?” No. Resist this urge to write material once, check the box, and just plaster it out there willy-nilly. You will lose your audience. Each platform has its own style and guidelines for the way content should be displayed, the length, and the tone of how it is delivered. Sure, the message across all the platforms can and should be the same, but the exact content in each place needs to be avoided. General guidelines are as follows:

  1. Online Review Areas: Everywhere people can leave you reviews online must be managed and monitored. The content on these pages needs to be accurate and updated on a regular basis. Once a review is left, then a thank you note needs to be given for positive reviews and an educational note placed for a crabby review. Each thank you/educational note needs to be unique to the post and should not be a standard reply.
  2. Website: Most veterinarian websites I see fall down on the job when explaining the services they offer and why people should use them. Website content needs to be 400 to 500 words per page, needs to educate the pet owner on what the hospital does and why they provide those services, and it needs to be optimized (coded) to be found in Google. The content style needs to be informative and educational in nature. Because protocols do not change every week in the hospital, do not expect to change content about what services you provide on a constant basis. Instead, a blog should be used for weekly educational updates. 
  3. Blog: Confusion reigns over what in the heck a blog is. Think of it as an online magazine that is educational in nature. Resist putting cute updates about the office pet on a blog (those type of updates go on Facebook/social media). Focus on short paragraphs, bullet points, and easy to understand educational topics that are timely. For example, in the spring a good topic would be flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.
  4. Social Media Platforms: A good framework for the tone and style of social media is a coffee shop. Conversations on social media areas are fun, chit chatty, ongoing conversations with a hint of education thrown in for flavor. Numerous times I have heard doctors say they wrote a beautiful article that is educational in nature and are disappointment nobody thought it was useful on Facebook. However, the picture of the office cat doing something cute went viral. The educational piece is great but needs to be placed on a blog. Correct placement is everything with content. (For tips on content for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+, check our blog each week during the month of May at www.beyondindigopets.com/blog/).

Monitor Its Success

Marketing needs to be monitored to make sure it is generating the results that are desired. Are people engaging with the content? Are they reading it? Is the post/page/tweet being passed to other people? To find out, monitor the statistics. Each platform mentioned above has its own statistics program that is included or can be added to determine the success of the created content. Monitoring, adjusting, and changing the content based on results is an ongoing process—but a necessary one.

Writing Effectively for Social Media Platforms

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Social Media ContentWriting for Facebook and Twitter is not the same as writing for your website or blog. If you are using the same writing style in all places you may notice that your engagement rates are not where you had hoped they would be. That’s because you’re not talking to people in the appropriate voice for the channel that you’re using.

Writing for Facebook

Facebook no longer imposes a character limit on their status updates, at least not one that anyone is ever likely to hit, but that doesn’t mean you should start using your status updates as your new blog space. The most engaging Facebook posts are under 80 characters – that’s even shorter than uber-limited 140-characters that Twitter allows you! Does this mean you have to keep your posts to 80 characters or less? No, of course not. But it does serve as a reminder as to what people are looking for on Facebook.

First and foremost, people are looking for “you” on Facebook. They want to know that the pages they’re interacting with are run by real people with real personalities. Work hard to avoid being overly stuffy or formal. Facebook is a fun, informal, and conversational platform, and that’s how people expect you to act. That’s not to say you should be unprofessional, but it is possible to be professional and fun at the same time.

So what should you be writing on Facebook? A good start is asking questions to spark dialogue. Posts that contain questions generate twice as many comments as posts that do not.

Along the same lines as question posts are Fill in the Blanks. Both types of updates are asking your followers to provide information. The first is by directly asking for it. The second is more playful. You might post, “I can’t believe my dog ate my ______” and then sit back and see what your fans come up with.

When creating a standard status update it’s best to keep it to no more than 4 lines, and 1-2 is better. People will be seeing your updates in the news feed on their home pages more often than they’ll see them on your Timeline. It’s helpful to keep them short enough that people will be able to see the entire update without having to click the “more” link to reveal the whole thing.

Be sure to stay positive whenever possible as well. Phrase your updates in a way that will make them “like”-able. There is no dislike button yet, so even if people agree with what you’re saying, they will likely not intereact with the post if it is written in a more negative tone.

Finally, keep in mind that not all of your content needs to be unique. Include links to photos, articles, and videos that your fans might want to share with their friends. If you see a photo or video that you think is funny, or an article that you think is interesting, chances are your fans will feel the same way about it. Share it on your page and give them the chance to do the same.

Writing for Twitter

Twitter has become the place for sharing links to great content. But, what you share on Twitter is not just about the value of the content that you’re sharing, but whether or not your tweets are getting noticed in the first place. So what gets a tweet noticed? A really great headline.

There is an old rule about headlines called the 80/20 rule. This rule says that 8 out of 10 people will read a headline, but only 2 out of 10 will actually go on to read the content that the headline is describing. This rule applies to traditional headline environments like newspapers, magazines, and web pages. Once you move to email inboxes and Twitter feeds, the numbers get even worse due to the amount of competing headlines and the nature of the environment.

So how do you make sure your headlines are getting noticed and your content is getting clicked on? A good way to make sure your headlines offer a compelling reward to those who click them is by using the 4U approach which is taught in the American Writers & Artists accelerated copywriting  program.

  1. Be USEFUL to the reader
  2. Provide the reader with a sense of URGENCY
  3. Convey the idea that the content is UNIQUE
  4. Do the above in an ULTRA-SPECIFIC way

It’s also important to ensure that your headlines are as short as possible. This is not only because of Twitter’s 140-character limit, but also because you want to leave room for people to retweet your content with their own comments.

To learn more come to our webinar Social Media Content IS Different: What to Know.

Facebook Timeline for Business Pages: What does it mean for your brand?

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

TimelineFacebook is making a major change to brand pages with the introduction of Timeline for Pages. The new layout is available immediately to all businesses with Pages on Facebook, but there is no need to rush in just yet. You have some time to preview and make edits to your Timeline to make sure you get it looking just right before you publish. Then on March 30, all brand pages will automatically be published as Timelines.

On its surface, Timeline is a new, more image-centered look. But one of the best features is that it allows you to backfill your Timeline with earlier events, so you can easily tell the story of your business online. It’s like a virtual online scrapbook for your business.

Five changes to look for:

  1. Your page will look very different. Your cover image will be front and center, like a billboard for your business. It’s a great place for promotions, or to tie in your website. If you don’t add one, you’ll just have a blank space, so take advantage of this new opportunity.
  2. Profile pictures dimensions will change to be smaller and perfectly square. Make sure yours looks great.
  3. You can “pin” a post to the top of the timeline which allows you to highlight a special event, a coupon or a contest.
  4. Custom landing pages will disappear and everyone will be directed to your wall. This may change the way you market your page.
  5. Your fans can contact you directly. Now people can contact you privately using messages rather than having to post on your wall. Notifications about new messages will appear right in your admin panel.

Join Beyond Indigo’s Social Media Specialist, Melanie Burger, for our customer-only webinar on Friday, March 16, 2012. You will learn the ins and outs of the new Timeline layout including all of these new features and many more. The transition to Timeline doesn’t have to be painful. Let us help you through it.

No time for your Timeline?

Let us do the work for you! For only $299, we’ll make sure your Timeline looks great. We’ll adjust your logos, create a great cover photo and make sure all of your tabs and custom features are in place for the switch. Already a Beyond Indigo customer? Bonus! We’ll do yours for $199. Contact Melissa Neff at melissa@beyondindigo.com or 877-244-9322 x 100 for more information.

Social Media Pitfalls to Avoid

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Like us on FacebookMany people don’t start a social media campaign for their business because they don’t even know what NOT to do. We are here to help. As long as some of these basic rules are followed, you should be “safe” to venture out into the world of social media.

  1.  Don’t ignore your fans. If you’ve set up a Facebook page, Twitter, or Google+, be sure to check it daily so that you can respond to any fan questions or comments that may have been left there.
  2.  Keep the negative. If someone says something negative, don’t delete it. Doing so will sometimes prompt the person to come back onto your page and complain about it, which never looks good to other fans. It is possible to “hide” posts rather than deleting them, which is preferable but should still be used sparingly.
  3.  Don’t panic. Remember that the majority of the people who are on your page are fans because they like you. Most of them have already formed their own opinions of you based on their own personal interactions, and a stranger’s negative comment on your Facebook page will not likely be enough to sway them.
  4. Use negative interactions as an opportunity. Keep in mind that if someone has something negative to say about you, they will say it. By having a Facebook page, you’re providing them with a way to say it directly to you, in an area where you can listen and respond, rather than somewhere else where you may never even know about it.
  5.  Don’t feel like you need to be perfect. If you or a member of your staff messed up, apologize. People are human and they make mistakes. A sincere apology can diffuse a bad situation pretty quickly. If no one messed up but the customer is upset anyway, you can still apologize for the situation, but then offer your side of the story.
  6.  Keep content focused on the business. With this being an election year, it is important to keep the content of your social media focused on the topics that relate to veterinary medicine—and not politics and religion. Discussing content that is not related to your Facebook page can confuse people and turn them away from reading future posts.
  7. Seek professional help. When creating your social media marketing, if an overwhelming feeling descends, it is time to throw up the white flag and call in professional help. Seek out a company to either create your platforms or manage them—or both. If you just need a little help, check into online classes to teach you or your team the basics of social media.

Having your business on a social media platform used to be a fun thing to do for your practice. Today, it is a must have. How your business is found in search engines and where people are searching and engaging are now intertwined with social media. Make a commitment to yourself to get started. Give us a call, we can help!

5 Reasons Why Facebook is NOT a Replacement for Your Website

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Facebook or Website?We’ve heard several clients ask us in recent months, “Why do I even need a website anymore? Can’t I just use my Facebook page?” While this may seem like a logical thought on the surface, when you dig down into what this will mean for your business’s online presence you’ll realize that Facebook alone is not enough.

First, let’s take a look at why some people may think that a Facebook-only approach is the way to go:

  • Facebook does have more than 845 million active users as of this month. By putting your page within the realm of this monster of a network, it follows that you may be more likely to gain some traffic, which will then build on itself as people ‘like’ your page.
  • It’s also very true that Facebook is a great place to start building your identity if you need to have something up and running while you’re website is in the works. Having an identity on Facebook as well as Twitter, Google+, and any of the other Social Media sites that are out there today does increase the SEO of your website and will help people to find your business. Though ‘OF YOUR WEBSITE’ is really the operative phrase there. If you don’t have a website, then your business could be on the cutting edge of all of the Social Media sites and still not see any SEO benefit.
  • Facebook pages are also much easier to maintain than a website. Clicking the ‘edit page’ button on your page will allow you to change anything and everything that you could want to change. Everything is presented as WYSIWYG, or ‘What You See Is What You Get,’ so there is no confusing code to contend with. It’s simple.

So Facebook is good, right? Absolutely! Facebook is a wonderful tool to have in your online marketing toolbox. However, making it your only tool is a really bad idea. Why? Keep reading…

  1. We’ve already mentioned SEO, but I want to expand on what was said a little bit. It is true that your Facebook page may turn up in some search results, but only if a user is searching for your business name. If you are the type of business that relies on keyword searches to find new clients, and as a veterinarian you are, then you will likely not be found without a website. Why? Because on your website you control what search terms and keywords will help people to find your page. Your website content can (and should!) be written with search engines in mind. Your Facebook page, on the other hand, can not be as easily optimized. Your search results are at the mercy of Facebook.
  2. Functionality is another problem with Facebook. Sure, Facebook will allow you to add tabs, photos, and video to your page. You can post content to your wall, or use the Notes app to create a mini-blog within Facebook. The drawback is that Facebook decides how all of these things will be displayed once you’ve posted them. You have very little control over the look and feel of your page. Yes, you can design 3rd party tabs to install onto your page to help reflect your brand, but those tabs all need to meet Facebook’s requirements. And if, as it has recently with FBML Tabs, Facebook decides to no longer support a format that you’ve installed on your page, you will lose all of work that you put into it.
  3. Now let’s talk about analytics. You can add Google Analytics to your website and get a wealth of information about the visitors to your site. How many visits have you gotten? What page has the most views? What links get clicked the most? Which pages tend to lead people into your online store to make purchases? Age, gender, location, what browser they’re using, what search term they used to find you, how long they stayed on each page… The list goes on and on. Facebook has a similar offering with its Insights tool, which has generally improved in recent months, however it is still nowhere near as robust as the options that you have to track site traffic and conversion rates on your own website.
  4. On to paid advertising. Your website provides your customers and potential customers a place to learn all about you without being distracted by paid advertisements. And if you do choose to allow advertisements on your website, you also get to choose who will be allowed to place their name and logo on your site. That same choice is not available to you with Facebook. On your Facebook page your information will be sharing the screen with paid advertisements selected by Facebook. And because of the way Facebook ads can be targeted to people with certain interests in a certain geographic area, chances are good that your page may be sharing space with your competitors’ advertisements. This would never happen on your own website.
  5. Last of all, remember that Facebook is still just Facebook. It is a Social Networking site that happens to be the largest in the world right now. But the same could have been said about Friendster and MySpace at one point in time. Oddly enough, we do not hear many clients asking whether or not it makes sense to replace their website with a MySpace profile. There are more and more social media sites being introduced all the time, and the chances of Facebook staying on top forever are pretty slim.

So should you steer clear of Facebook for your business? Absolutely not. Again, it’s a fantastic tool for your online marketing toolbox. It’s a great way to help find and engage with your customers and potential customers online. The point of Facebook, as is true with all social media sites, is to help share content that you’ve created and are hosting on your own website.

On your website you have total control of your content. You can decide when, where, and how it is being displayed. You can optimize it for whatever search terms you decide are best. And when you have great content, you can share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and on any other site where you have a presence to ensure that it reaches the maximum number of people possible, and steers them back to your website. Because your website is where the party is. Social Media just provides people with an invitation to come over and join in.

If you’d like help with your online presence, contact us for a free consultation.