Your website is more important than social networking

Social networking is one of many buzzwords that has recently risen to fad proportions. It seems that any time the subject of marketing arises, the topic quickly turns to importance of social networking.

The power of social networking lies in the creation of personal relationships. We’ve mentioned before that you should use social networking to increase the social surface area of you, not that of your company or organization. The quickest way to get us to unfollow or leave your group is if you start trying to promote your business instead of simply relating things about you. Solely to illustrate this point, we created our sister site AuctioneerTweet with the only requirement being that the auctioneer accounts must be operated by the auctioneer and the content must not be exclusively about business.

Social Media Landscape
Image by fredcavazza via Flickr

Social networking is powerful. It’s a powerful business tool not because you directly advertise your business, but because you can increase your personal touch. Social networking is dangerous because of its sensationalism. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that it’s the be-all and end-all to the next generation of marketing.

Social networking may indeed be an important business tool, but it’s not the only business tool that should be used in marketing. We see many auctioneers investing an enormous amount of time in social networking. Some of these auctioneers have bad websites with one or more of the following.

  • clashing or obnoxious colors
  • fonts of inappropriate sizes
  • fonts of inappropriate colors
  • difficult-to-find auction calendars that aren’t on the front page
  • inappropriate or unprofessional information
  • inappropriate Flash elements

We’re not picking on anyone, but your website is the most important marketing tool you have. Your site is more important than social networking by an order of magnitude. One of the benefits of social networking is that essentially every service allows you to enter your website in your profile. If you’re successful in creating a possible business relationship using social networking and that prospective client clicks the link in your profile to a website that isn’t in order, you’re likely to fail in converting that prospect into a client.

Expanding social networking when you have a poor website is a misuse of your resources. It’s like conducting an auction without having a clerking staff in place. We’re not advocating that you stop using social networking until you get a website or get it fixed, but we are pointing out that it’s important to not get caught up in the hype of social networking and place it above other, more obvious priorities.

Have different thoughts about the importance of social networking? Is it ok to have a bad website? Let us know in the comments.

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Aaron Traffas, CAI, ATS, CES

twitter.com/traffas | aarontraffas.com | aarontraffasband.com

Aaron Traffas, CAI, AMM, CES, is an auctioneer from Medicine Lodge, Kansas. He is currently community evangelist for Purple Wave in Manhattan, Kansas. Aaron serves as the current president of the Kansas Auctioneers Association and in the past has served on the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute Board of Trustees. He is a past instructor at CAI and co-wrote and instructed the ATS designation course from NAA. He currently instructs the Internet Auction Methods course offered by the NAA. An active contract bid caller, he has competed in multiple state auctioneer contests including placing twice within the top 5 in Kansas. During the summer, Aaron operates a farm in south central Kansas. Aaron is an active singer and songwriter and the Aaron Traffas Band's latest release, Enter: The Wind, can be found at iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
  • Brilliant. My one point of difference is while you are absolutely on target re: Facebook, LinkedIn etc., Twitter seems to have evolved into a different animal for two reasons: (1) It doesn't do as good a job of enabling interactive conversations that other people can easily follow, and (b) It can reach a much broader audience — far beyond your followers. (I now see Twitter followers as almost irrelevant and don't do anything to add them.)

    Those two Twitter traits are making it less personal by its nature, so people there now follow topics/hashes more than people, and that makes outright business promotion (e.g. auction announcements) more acceptable. If somebody's got a search set on #duluth, they don't much care about the poster, just whether it interests them.

  • Brilliant. My one point of difference is while you are absolutely on target re: Facebook, LinkedIn etc., Twitter seems to have evolved into a different animal for two reasons: (1) It doesn't do as good a job of enabling interactive conversations that other people can easily follow, and (b) It can reach a much broader audience — far beyond your followers. (I now see Twitter followers as almost irrelevant and don't do anything to add them.)

    Those two Twitter traits are making it less personal by its nature, so people there now follow topics/hashes more than people, and that makes outright business promotion (e.g. auction announcements) more acceptable. If somebody's got a search set on #duluth, they don't much care about the poster, just whether it interests them.

  • Brilliant. My one point of difference is while you are absolutely on target re: Facebook, LinkedIn etc., Twitter seems to have evolved into a different animal for two reasons: (1) It doesn't do as good a job of enabling interactive conversations that other people can easily follow, and (b) It can reach a much broader audience — far beyond your followers. (I now see Twitter followers as almost irrelevant and don't do anything to add them.)

    Those two Twitter traits are making it less personal by its nature, so people there now follow topics/hashes more than people, and that makes outright business promotion (e.g. auction announcements) more acceptable. If somebody's got a search set on #duluth, they don't much care about the poster, just whether it interests them.