Websites vs. Social Media: What’s the Difference?

Although reaching customers through social media was once considered a flash-in-the-pan marketing tactic, industry leaders have changed their tune and now preach a common belief: social media marketing is absolutely a necessity. However, websites are still a healthy routine for brands to maintain.

So, what’s the difference?

Both websites and social media channels are sought after for information. The difference is in the type of information consumers expect to find on each platform.

Let’s start at the heart of the matter.

  • Google’s mission:to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” 
  • Facebook’s mission: “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

These missions share an ideal that information and connection are powerful, but the intended audiences are very different.

Google is about the world, as a whole; it was engineered to provide information, via robots (aka, an algorithm).

Facebook is about people, as individuals, and as human beings. Facebook utilizes algorithmic testing as well, but human response and emotion are the measurements, while Google’s uses robots.

These two core beliefs are the foundation of the Internet as we know it today.

More differences:

  • Websites convey a brand’s makeup, from specific products and services to mission statements and contact pages. On the other hand, social media offers smaller pieces of a brand’s story while creating conversations with consumers.
  • Websites could be, to some degree, considered static novels, waiting to be opened. Social media channels are short stories that are compiled in real time, to identify [and distinguish] a brand’s voice, culture, and place in the market.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two, is that social media platforms have the capacity to perform nearly every function a website can.

On the flip side, websites are not usually known for customer reviews, continued conversations, or even a warm body on the other side of the screen, so to speak. 

Maybe now the question is: what’s next? We’ll leave that one to the engineers; in the meantime, we’ll be moving steadily ahead with digital trends.

Human To Human Recommendations Are King

During a recent consulting session, we were having a great conversation with an attorney about the powerful value of social media marketing. Being the type of client who didn’t need convincing on why social is imperative, we mainly analyzed consumer behavior as well as what the future might hold for social, and the digital world beyond.

As the conversation went on, we dove into the H2H Social theory that social media is the new search, when it comes to hyperlocal marketing. The attorney looked a little bit puzzled, so we followed up the claim with a real-life example.

We gave the attorney this scenario (feel free to ask yourself the same questions): let’s say you’re out of town on business. You’re in San Francisco, for the first time ever. You have a black-tie event to attend, and need the best in the biz to style your hair for the occasion. What to do?

Question 1

Option A): Google it.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-8-57-39-am

Option B): Ask your Facebook community for a recommendation.

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Question 2

To break this down further, we posed this question: does Google have the ability to experience businesses as a human, and/or a scale to rate customer service, from a direct experience? No. Do other humans you know personally (via Facebook or other social channel)? Yes.

Question 3

Who do I want to take advice from, for a place that offers great service and good results? A robot, or a human I know and trust?

Going back to the H2H Social belief that as much as AI will soon be capable of, it will never fully replace the human condition; emotions, preferences, and nature/nurture responses based on each individuals life experience.

To conclude this post, we wanted to share an excerpt from human economy expert, Bryan Kramer. In his book Shareology, Kramer explores where we came from as humans who share, and where we might be headed. With it, Kramer explains that social media is at the top of the list for communication tools, especially for brands.

Kramer writes:

“As far as brands are concerned, one of the biggest shortcomings of the Digital Age is the disconnection between their (brands) own self-recognition as an entity and the individual humans they’re trying to serve. Brands most often turn to technology first to make quick connections at scale but forget what makes people want to interact with them in the first place- a human-to-human connection. This is especially true on social channels.”

 

Why Social Beats Search, When It Comes To Business

At the dawn of the Internet age, information was the most important form of content for businesses. For that reason, traditional search engines, like AOL, Google, and Yahoo!, flourished. However, as the digital world evolves, more and more content must be sorted through to find what’s real and what’s valuable. There are times, as a consumer, when I search for information on Google. But, when the results show up, I find myself being more and more skeptical and asking the question, “but is this ‘top-ranked’ business really the best option for what I need?”

Google’s ranking is based on an algorithm, or in another word, a robot. SEO (search engine optimization) companies have perfected the science of writing pages upon pages of optimized content in order to convince Google’s algorithm, that that particular brand is number one.

But, at the end of the day, are those brands who hire the SEO companies actually number one,when it comes to good business?

Sure, review sites like Yelp! are good because they usually showcase real people with real experiences. But, one of the first things any marketing agency will tell a client to do to get started, is have their employees and their employees’ family members go on those review sites, and create pseudo-consumer accounts, and then leave positive feedback.

Still, as consumers, we’re trusting robots.

What sets social media apart from traditional search engines and essentially, robots, is the fact that you’re dealing with real humans, and not only that, you know those humans, personally (most of the time). Instead of typing “best Italian food in __(insert city)__” into Google and searching, you’re probably more likely to post a status on Facebook to your local connections, and ask, “where’s the best place for Italian food in __(insert city)__?” I’m not sure about baby boomers, but for millennials and beyond, this is the new search, when it comes to discovering local businesses.

At the heart of the matter, as much as social media is looked at as a “digital trend,” it’s really more about human connection than any other form of digital communication. Social media is bringing back the value of being committed to good business. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are holding businesses accountable- because nobody wants a negative review showing up to one customer’s network of 500+ local, potential customers.

Good business and human connection are still the number one driving forces behind productivity, and revenue. With that, you can only get true human connection for business in one place on the Internet, and that’s social media.

Ultimately, here’s the difference between social and search: When you want a recommendation for a good business, who do you trust more? A robot, or a human that you know and trust?

Originally published on March 30, 2016

Social Media for Artists

H2H Social founder, here! My name’s Rachel Jolley and I was excited to join artists in St. Petersburg, Florida for a night of “socialize”-ing and conversations about social media.

Here’s a recap of my presentation:

 

Questions? Email me: Hello@H2H.social

 

4 Questions To Jumpstart Your Social Media Strategy

For brands, social media can be as daunting as it can be exciting. If you have questions or fears about getting started on social media, you are not alone! However, what a great incentive to get rolling! If others are missing the opportunity to grow a community in your industry, that’s all the more reason for you to maximize that empty space with your brand!

So, let’s dive in.

Here are four questions you need to answer to formulate a social media marketing strategy for your brand.

Part One: Audience

  • Who are you trying to reach? 

The most crucial part of your strategy is defining your target audience. Who are they? You’ll need to figure out things like age, gender, location, and interests. These answers will help you target your content to the right, potential customers.

  • Spurring from the first question, what are “they” into?

By “they,” we mean your audience. What are their hobbies? Where do they hang out? These answers will help you get creative with content campaigns and the ways you’ll deliver your awesome content!

Part Two: Platform Selection

  • What platform(s) should you utilize?

Long gone are the days of believing the myth: “we have to be on every social media site!” Now, with the information from Part One, you can decide which platform(s) is most suitable for your strategy. Each platform has its own strengths when it comes to different demographics and industries.

Part Three: Let’s Build It

  • Now, what?

There are a lot of sub-questions here, that you’ll need to answer to really launch your social media marketing strategy. Here they are:

  1. How often will you post?
  2. What will you post?
  3. Do you have a paid ads budget? (if so, what is it?)
  4. How will your campaigns run, in coordination with your day-to-day posts?
  5. When will you organize and schedule posts?
  6. How often will you monitor your platforms for consumer inquiries?

Now, from here, you’ll take ALL of the above information, and structure it to kick off your social media marketing efforts. And like anything in business, you are not going to have all the answers right up front. Since social media is a daily happening, your campaigns might need to be altered, and your scheduling might need to change once you rake in enough data to see when you audience is the most engaged.

Get in touch: Hello@H2H.social