Last week I combed through my Twitter feed to see what folks shared. I find a lot of good articles that way; people share what they think is valuable and that means learning some cool things!
One article grabbed my attention, so I went to the website. It was lovely. It had a nice big layout with beautiful, large type (FYI, most type is sized too small). But then I got completely distracted by the social icons in the header. I didn’t finish the article and I clicked away. They just lost me as an ongoing reader (no newsletter sign-up, etc.) and I was lost in social la la land.
Don’t Slam the Door if They Knock, Invite Them In
This is one of those times when design needs a clue. Something that looks great doesn’t necessarily work well for marketing. A website is like a house; it should welcome your visitors, not shove them out the door.
Many website themes are guilty of sticking social media icons in the header area. It looks great there, and it visually balances the logo in many design situations. But here’s why that’s problematic:
- Your site visitor just got there; do you want him/her to immediately leave?
- Your website is the final destination, that is where you sell. Most social media is a funnel towards your website for most marketing purposes.
- Social media will change the rules – your website is under your control. How often have you done a *headdesk* in frustration from yet another Facebook change, limiting the audience reach that liked your page?
Your website is your online home for your business. It is the go-to place to find out more about your business, engage prospects, and sell your services or products.
So Where Should Your Social Icons Go?
Go grab a piece of paper (or pull up a Word doc). Let’s get clear on marketing priorities.
- In order of priority, list what you would like your website visitors to accomplish on your website?
- Then look at your header, sidebar, footer, and any other places you are using for marketing elements. For example, a marketing element is a newsletter sign-up box, latest blog posts, promotion of a book or other sales item.
- List your marketing elements in order of priority.
Now that you see your marketing priorities, do your social media icons need to be in the header or the most prominent marketing element on the page? Probably not.
However, it’s good engagement to use social media where your audience hangs out to drive them to your website. You don’t want the placement of social media icon links to immediately send people packing! So be sure to evaluate its proper placement in alignment with your business marketing goals.
My advice, your website is your business home where prospects go to learn more about you. Once they arrive, invite them to stick around.
Where are your social media icons on your website?