Remodelers and Custom Home Builders spend millions every year, driving prospective clients to their websites and landing pages.. doing everything in their power to get visitors to hit that “contact us” link or fill out a form to provide more information and request a meeting with you… Eureka… A Conversion! A Lead! A Potential New Client!
So why are so many websites (estimated at around 75%) potentially sending prospects away by adding social media buttons and links to the tops or footers of their respective websites? You are essentially inviting a prospect into your virtual showroom and then hanging large “EXIT” signs up for them to click on… If they click on any of these; Facebook, Instagram, Houzz, etc. there is a really big chance that they AREN’T coming back and in the case of Houzz you’ve sent them to a website where all of your competitors are.
Relevancy and Legitimacy
I have brought this up at several Roundtables meetings and other R/A Events and the push-back I get is “I want to connect with my potential clients” or “If they don’t see that we are on social media, we look less legitimate.” I totally understand that, my point is that we need to look more closely at how we present your social media on your website, and hopefully change the way you view how social can work for your business.
Social is vitally important
In 2015 Forbes estimated that 31% of all referral traffic was coming from social and that has only grown and become more important over the past 4 years. A vibrant and active social strategy is critical to a remodeling business; connecting with existing clients, showing project progress, videos and your activities and efforts in the community, etc. but social media is designed to SEND traffic to your website so you can convert, not a destination where a prospect is likely to convert to a lead.
So here are 6 things to keep in mind when integrating social media with your website
Share vs. Send: Whether it’s your gallery, an article or a blog post, giving your website visitors the ability to share your content on THEIR social media WITHOUT LEAVING your content can be a huge asset in driving traffic to specific areas of your website. Social sharing tools are very common plug-ins in WordPress and other content managements systems.
Video Leaks: Video is a fantastic way to present dynamic, engaging and compelling content, especially testimonials. Just be careful how you embed the video into your website. If your video window includes a YouTube logo in the lower right-hand corner or at the end of your video there is a collage of “other videos like this one” you just opened the exit door and invited your prospect to leave. We use YouTube here for our content channel but use Vimeo when embedding video into websites and landing pages.
Avoid Social Widgets: Another fairly popular way to present social content is to use one of the widgets (provided code) that social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram offer. I don’t recommend them because (1) they can affect load time on your website, (2) if they are broken or aren’t being served correctly they just show up as empty areas or weird error messages and (3) they will likely have the same exit links that the social buttons provide.
Location, Location: If you must include social media buttons, perhaps instead of a global element on the header or footer, you only present them on the “contact us” page of your website. They are there if needed for legitimacy, but they aren’t in the prospect’s face on every page, tempting them to leave.
Think Small, Monochromatic: If you MUST have them on your header or footer.. make them as small as possible and less noticeable. The colored, flashy sticker icons are not only a dated look aesthetically, they are also just begging your web visitors to click and leave. Small, outlined, subtle icons are best.
Open a Window: And last, but certainly not least, if you must have these links to social assets on your website, PLEASE code the link to open a new tab or window in your browser and not just navigate away… never to be seen again.
It’s not easy to let go
With so many websites out there doing it, it’s tough to buck the trend and do something different. Test it out for 2-3 months. Take these social icons off your website and take a look at your conversion rates, did they go up compared to this same time last year? In your analytics program, did the amount of time on your website improve? See what links were clicked on when exiting your website. Plenty of data to look at to see if this is a change you can live with and profit from.