Does Social Media Presence Trump a Website?

I’ve been studying the web presence of Fortune 500 and INC 500 companies over the past few weeks and it is very encouraging to see a correlation between those at the top of the lists and adoption of social media.

During this same time I’ve seen several blog posts and articles suggesting that websites are a thing of the past and that Facebook and Twitter will dominate business communication online. There is some truth to that, but it is not the whole picture. Websites with no social features and no connection to the brand’s social presence are becoming irrelevant. Facebook,Twitter and YouTube are essential tools in your online strategy, but they need to be connected to a very robust and informational website.

Take a look at this research from Jeremiah Owyang, industry analyst at the Altimeter Group.   He calls 2011 The Year of Integration.

Keynote: Social Business Forecast: 2011 The Year of Integration

I wondered just how many of the  companies that are so avidly adopting social media – they have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed – are successfully integrating their social content with their website. Turns out not so many.

Social Media Adoption in the  Inc 500

Facebook                                               87%

Twitter                                                     71%

Blog                                                           35%

YouTube                                                  32%

Integrated with website           66%

Sharing tools on website                    14%

Integrated with newsroom    37%

Share this in news content                13%

So it’s not that you no longer need a website, it’s just that if you don’t integrate social features and connect your social content with your corporate website it will become irrelevant.   And looking at the stats for the Fortune 500 and the Inc 500 there is definitely room for improvement.

The biggest gap and missed opportunity is with sharing tools.

According to Pew Research when a visitor leaves news content the most frequently clicked link is the Share This button.

“Searching online for news was the one factor that impacted news the most in the last decade.Sharing news will be the one that impacts it the most in this one.”

Yet less than 15% use sharing tools on their website or their online  newsroom.

Your website and your online newsroom are very important tools in your online communication strategy. Connecting them to your social presence is vital.

Markets have become conversations. Find the right conversations and  create excellent content that adds value to those conversations.  Make it easy for people to find and share your content -whether it is on Facebook, Twitter or your own website.

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