Are Websites Still Where Your PR Focus Should Be?
[By Jason Mollica]
When it comes to strategy, public relations pros often get asked where should we be driving “eyes.” Should it be the brand’s popular Facebook page or YouTube channel? Should it be the Twitter account for a spokesperson or communications pro? While all of these channels are terrific, a brand or company website is still the place where you should be sending people.
There are going to be plenty of pros that believe a Facebook page replaces the website. Sure, the cost of a Facebook page is far cheaper than the cost of developing and hosting a website. However, having a website and a Facebook business page, in addition to other social channels, gives prospects and customers an opportunity to find your business and interact in a variety of different ways. Your Facebook page can play to the strengths of that network, while your website can play to the strengths of whatever environment it is in.
Social networks, while a great addition to the marketing mix, are just that: additions. They are things that help enhance your brand. They are not the place you should be having new and returning eyes go to. If your social channels are easily reached from your brand website, then you’ll have a seamless avenue for people to reach your voice.
Remember that brands could be considered fragmented in today’s world. They maintain many channels. Each of those channels is set up for engaging with the consumer at various stages in the purchase, loyalty or advocacy cycle.
A great website feeds and refreshes your social channels. It is the anchor for a brand and sets the tone and standard for the brand’s attitude about feedback, expression and service. It is, essentially, the initial “touch point” for a customer or potential investor. A great website also smartly syndicates, re-circulates and curates social content. A blog is a perfect example of how you can drive people to your website. But, you also use your social channels to help drive them there.
Another way your website should be the hub is when you are doing advertising. Sure, it’s great to see that Facebook logo or Twitter bird, but you can’t always share your long Facebook page name on an ad or even website banner. You can, though, use your brand’s website, which is very shareable.
So, don’t ask “why” your PR focus should be on the website. It should be “why not?”