If you check your analytics, you’ll find that an extremely small portion of your website visitors are pushing the buttons you worked so hard to position on your website’s homepage. A recent batch of data that I saw (that I, unfortunately, cannot reference yet) shows that those Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social buttons are being completely overlooked by most of your visitors.
By most, you might as well call it “all” of your visitors because it’s an activity that occurs normally after someone has already submitted a lead.
Moreover, it’s a sign of the “kiss of death” — once they click away, the chances of them visiting your site again drop dramatically.
Logic, not Alarms
Before anyone freaks out and starts removing those dreaded buttons, think about why this is happening and what it means. People who have purchased a product or submitted a lead are more likely to push those buttons than those who have not filled out a form simply because they have accomplished their mission. They found what they were looking for and are now wanting to see who they may be dealing with in the near future.
People who have not submitted a lead or bought something are still on their mission. They’ve moved on to a competitor’s website or back to search. They’re not in social-media-mode yet, so there is no reason to click on them.
Does this make the buttons worthless? Absolutely not.
Warm and Fuzzy
This data tells us that the people visiting your site and putting in a lead are looking for humanity. They’re looking for the warm and fuzzy that they hope to find on the other end of the click.
Social media is about driving traffic and forming engagements. The sheer fact that they are not going from your website to the social sites isn’t a bad thing. It simply means that the gut-instinct many of us have had for a while is correct, that social media happens away from your website and the value can be found there, not through buttons. People have seen the buttons so often on nearly every site they visit that they’ve become immune to them. The people who click on them are wanting to find them (and you) and as a result, they hope that they’re getting cuddly social stuff once they leave your site and go to the magical realms of Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.
Keep The Buttons, then Do More
When they want to find you on social media, they will. To be proactive, you have to give them a reason to go to your social presence, like/follow/subscribe to it, and still venture back to your site for more. Banners describing events or other benefits of liking/following/subscribing can be very effective – just make sure they open a new tab and do not take the visitors completely away from your site.
There is a book waiting to be written about the roles of social, search, and website marketing and specifically how they are an integrated function of each other rather than separate activities, but that book will not be written today. In lieu, think about how your buttons are positioned and think of new ways to be more aggressive with your social promotions on and OFF of your website.