By Holly Buchanan
Everybody’s talking about Social Media. Almost every brand is jumping on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Brands are exploring new ways to create relationships with bloggers. But there’s another platform that should really be the bedrock of your social media strategy – your brand website.
Speaking at a recent conference, Nielsen executive, book author and Ad Age columnist Pete Blackshaw addressed a question about how to handle negative blog posts. One of his suggestions was to make sure your brand website is getting out your side of the story. Your brand website is a crucial hub of your social media strategy. He advises that you first focus on “what can you do in your own brand backyard.”
I’m often amazed that brand sites are nothing more than brochures with fancy flash intros and pretty pictures. Your website is your side of the story, your part in the conversation, your chance to communicate with your customers and answer her questions. And yes, this is especially important for women since nearly 80% of women research products online before they buy.
Does your brand website pass the social media test?
Take a look at your brand website and see if it includes the following:
- Answers to your customers questions
- Easy ways to contact you and receive a prompt response
- A site search engine
- Easy access to press releases and the latest news/product info
- Ways to interact with you
- Access to customer reviews/testimonials
- A simple way to provide you with feedback
- Updated content so visitors have a reason to return
If you want an example of a brand website that understands how to be a social media powerhouse, look no further than Ben & Jerry’s.
The site constantly promotes new flavors and products. Customers can stay up-to-date on all their social causes. You can even sign up to be a Chunk Spelunker:
|Are you a ChunkSpelunker? If you’re a fan of Ben & Jerry’s who wants to be the first to know about anything new, receive invitations to special scoop shop events, and have the chance to become an honorary flavor developer (just to name a few of the perks), this is for you! Here’s a taste of what you can look forward to by being a ChunkSpelunker|
And they do a terrific job with their Contact Us page:
If your customers are women, you need to have a total social media strategy. Women are looking to social media and their peers for product information and reviews. But the conversation often starts at your brand website. Make sure you’re engaging her in a meaningful way there first.
Holly Buchanan is the co-author of The Soccer Mom Myth – Today’s Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys. You can read more at her blog Marketing to Women Online.