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 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.