The online community is a vast wonderland of social networks and websites that, for a brand, can sometimes make its presence disconnected. Of all the content you post, consider the number of networks you utilize. It’s easy for content to get scattered across the web, making your brand’s overall presence a little muddled as users try to keep up.
So where does it make most sense to engage with your audience online? Should certain conversations remain solely on social media, or is there a better place to ultimately funnel that conversation to?
There is a social media strategy known as the homeland-embassy approach. Steve Rubel came up with the concept, and the main idea is that “your website is your homeland and your social networking accounts are your embassies.”
To me, this concept identifies the importance of integrating social media on your website. Sure each social network presents the opportunity to tailor the conversation to a specific audience group, but your website is ultimately a place where you can control everything.
On your website, you don’t have to deal with competitors posting ads directly in your space. You make up the rules for how often content is posted and can plan out the layout of everything rather than abiding to the constraints of social media.
And especially in the digital world, control is usually not something that comes easy. It’s a comforting thought that your website is your story-telling space, and if you make a mistake, it’s a place to directly take ownership.
So at the end of the day, integrating social media on your website opens the opportunity for communication and listening to take place directly on your website, a place where people can learn the most about your brand. But, of course, you must keep up with posting on social media in order for that funnel to work.
Recounting the SA website redesign
When our digital, creative and programming teams at SA worked on our website redesign the latter part of 2013 and early 2014, the integration of social media on the site became an important asset to inform users about the company culture. After all, the SA social accounts are a summary of agency events and happenings, and give people a good idea of what it’s like to work with and work at SA. We took the homeland-embassy approach to the next level by developing a social feed that funnels the latest posts from our social media accounts into one place. Within this feed is the ability to filter by specific social platform and click directly to that platform for the original post. Just click on “Connect” to see the feed in action.
What’s also neat about our Connect feed is how employees at the agency can contribute content. We’re rolling out a functionality that will allow any SA employee to send along a photo to be posted. Once approved, the photo will go directly into the feed – an exclusive place to be seen. This is a nice way to make any employee a content contributor.
At the end of the day, keeping your website updated and relevant should be the main goal. Integrating social media onto the site can add more value to your web strategy and bring users back on a regular basis to check out the latest content you post.