Over the past few weeks as I've scrolled through news in the digital universe, I've come to an interesting realization. With the increase in popularity of numerical step-by-step How-To and improvement articles (ex: The 7 Ways to Improve X and the 5 Ways to Optimize Your Y) I've noticed that the majority of these articles focus on social media development and management. While there is certainly something to be said for focusing a certain amount of effort on social media, I strongly believe that the social media hype has become overinflated and obscured other, potentially more important endeavors.
First it's important to not lose sight of the purpose of social media and the ways in which it should be used. Social media is basically an extension of your brand into every corner of the digital universe that it can reach. It's a great way to establish contact with a community, feel for what's trending within that community, and disseminate news quickly and effectively. It's also a great way to communicate directly and develop a personable, familiar brand voice to which your network can come to identify with you and, through time, potentially become loyal to you.
However, I've been sensing that companies are beginning to put too much of an emphasis on their social media presence and ignoring more influential matters…namely their website design. While social media and connecting with customers is fun and exciting, you still must remember that you are a business, and your business is selling your product. Your social media presence should contribute directly to your revenues, and it can only do that if it's being used to sell your product or generate leads (if you're in B2B). And how do you sell your product? Through your website!
That means that as often as possible, your social media efforts should redirect your community back to your website. Once you've gotten them there, you need to make sure that your website clearly explains what you do, outlines your value proposition, and persuades your visitor to pursue you further.
In that sense, it's important to invest time and energy into your website as if it's your physical appearance. First impressions are everything in the physical as well as digital worlds, and just as you wouldn't go to a first meeting with a client not wearing pants, you also shouldn't allow your website appearance to suffer.
Your website should be as cool, fresh and cutting-edge as you have the technical capabilities to make it. You should also make a concerted effort to give your website a face-lift every once and a while to bring it up to speed with current digital trends. Website and digital design has become more and more similar to fashion in the tangible world in recent years…there are aesthetic and design trends that go in and out of style, and it's important to keep a finger on these developments!