Are You Driving People Away From Your Website?

September 09 2010

problem solution200pxAfter visiting and observing a variety of real estate industry websites, one thing stuck with me that has raised a large concern. In my understanding of being successful online driving traffic to the website is just the first step. The next and probably the most important step is making sure people drive deep into the website and ultimately convert to either a web form, or a phone call.

But, I have found an alarming number of organizations placing their social media links like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, dealership blog, Digg and a host of additional social media connection points on their homepage. These invitations are linking shoppers away from the website they are visiting. I know some people will say that all this is doing is launching another browser, which preserves your website beneath but is it really? Let’s be honest and call a spade a spade. It drives people away from the website. If the you are lucky this will only be temporarily but it may be permanently.

Is this counter-intuitive? The more thought I put into it I realized a couple of things.

First, people who come to your website are in most cases looking for a home, trying to get directions or looking to schedule a visit. Placing social media icons on the homepage in the manner in which it is being done currently only potentially drives people away from the site at a critical time during the consumer click path.

Second, is this the right time and place to try to socially connect with a shopper? They just landed on your front door and now you are potentially driving them away from your online store.

With this entire buzz around social media I found myself questioning the merits of using such tactics to increase our fans or subscribers or whatever is the latest and greatest next generation gobbly gook. I know it’s so important to build a large social media following, but not at the cost of a potential sales opportunity. I really think there has to be a better and different way to engage shoppers, whether it is button location or something else to build your social networks without driving people off the your website.

Social Media is moving so fast through our industry that we seem to be trying anything and everything to make sense of it. There are more opinions than facts and even more dark corners that have yet to be explored. Anything that drives someone away from the sales process is potentially dangerous. This includes linking shoppers to social media sites through embedded icons from the homepage. I fully understand the potential brand alignments referred to in some of the comments and I agree that these sites can lend credibility to the dealership. But at what cost?

Finally a way to connect…

  • Have your social media connections on every page on your site making connecting with you as easy as 1 click, while never leaving your website.
  • Have chat available to shoppers whenever they want it without being intrusive.

Anything is possible. My company, activSalesAgent will be adding many more integrations for the toolbar with your suggestions so you will be able to pick and chose what features you want.

This new service will help redefine connectivity for those looking to leverage Social Media and quick connections points. I am wildly anticipating your feedback and thoughts. Take your Sneak Peek Here and leave a comment below to let me know what you think.