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social media sites are stealing your website visitors

Are You Letting Social Media Sites Steal Your Website Visitors?

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Are you losing visitors from your website to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter + the like?
I’m guessing you are. And here’s how I know.Social media sites icons

You know those social media buttons you insist on having front + centre on your website? The one’s that take your visitors to your Facebook page, Twitter Page + what ever else you’re promoting? Yeah, those ones. They’re hijacking visitors from your site.

Now answer this real quick…

If you were to remove those buttons, would you be losing or missing out on anything?
I’m guessing no. You wouldn’t miss out on anything. But what you’re offering your visitors by leaving those links to social media sites is an opportunity to leave. And that’s a huge problem.

You see, I think we’ve got it all wrong. Here’s the thing…

You did all this work to get your website up so you could educate your visitors, promote your products + get them to sign up to your email list. The whole idea was supposed to be to get visitors to stay as long as possible + soak up all you have to offer.

And then you go + offer them a way “off” your site when they haven’t even read the first paragraph of that page yet?
Do you see just how “nuts” that is?

Here’s the problem with social media sites…

Once Jane Doe has clicked through to your Facebook page, she’s likely to be distracted by her own notifications, private messages + her own news feed. And with each distraction comes the probability that you’ve lost her…for good.

And another thing, those buttons aren’t promoting your business + they’re taking up prime real estate when you can be using it better to promote your own stuff because, lets face it; Facebook + Twitter don’t really need our help with their promotional efforts do they? They’re already everywhere!

Here’s Phillipas’ take on her use of Social Media Links:

I got my website up + thought I’d add Facebook + Twitter links so people can go + like me on Facebook + follow me on Twitter. At no point did I think they were gonna go off my site + not sign up to my stuff! You really twisted my arm on this.

~Phillipa Kiripatea

I’m gonna go out on a limb + say your take is similar to hers.

Here’s what you should be doing instead…

You should be getting leads via social media sites + at the very least, getting them on your email list. Period. At the end of the day, we want them on our website because this is where transactions are going to take place. On your website not on Facebook.

Today I’m going to challenge you

I believe we’ve got it all backwards but it’s not entirely your fault. Like almost everyone, you’ve been caught up in the hype of one of the largest phenomenon to ever take place, Social Networking.

But I’m here to steer you in the right direction by challenging you to remove those buttons + links to social media sites (especially from your homepage). If you must keep them, move them to a less prominent place like in the footer.
Then leave me a comment below letting me know that you took action.

Caution: Don’t mistake Social Media buttons for the Social Share buttons. Those are the ones responsible for helping your content get spread to the masses + we all look forward to that right? So please do use the share buttons below to like, tweet + plus this post!

Join the conversation

{ 30 comments… add one }

  • I concur (: The point is to indeed keep visitors on your site, not send them away into the social circus. My site was published in Jan. 2014. From then till now, I’ve steadily had at least 450 unique visitors and at least 5000 hits. Showing their engagement. All off of giving out 50 CDs in one day of Feb 2014! From countries all around the world. Of course, I have engaging content that helps. Imagine what will happen when I give out a 1000 more! Combined with other marketing strategies. I let my visitors promote me…

  • You nicely explained the facts, Theressa. The reason I’m here is because of the same thinking and how those social network sites distract us and we lose the reason we reached there.

    You clearly described them and I got some good points, thank you. I agree that the only important point here is to get them in your subscription list which is direct relation with you and visitor.

    – Zeeshan

    • Thanks a bunch Zeeshan! Thanks for your comment 😉

  • What a great point, I had never thought of it like this – maybe I will remove my social icons now. Thanks

  • I set up my biz FB page several months ago to start building a fan base and have practice with interacting with my future blog readers, asking them what they want, etc.. When I launched my blog last week I was up to 600 FB likes. I gave my website a big shout out to everyone there and I’m convinced it’s why my blog got such great traffic during launch week. Over 100 more people liked my FB page and my email sign ups were nearly 300 in the first week. Every day I post a link to one of my blog posts and Google Analytics show that this drives direct traffic to that post. I’ve been feeling really good about the way social media has helped me launched my biz, but I can also see your point about it potentially driving people away. At the moment FB is driving more people TO my site from FB, rather than the other way around. I will keep an eye on this long term though. Thanks for the great food for thought! :)

    • Hey Kelly, sounds like you have FB sussed! That’s the way it should be, drive traffic from social media to your website. Not the other way around.

  • OMG – I couldn’t concentrate on the whole article because your website is so GORGEOUS!!!! LOL… This is definitely a hot topic. I will need to sit with this. Thanks for sharing!

  • An absolutely great point! Thank you for sharing this useful information, it sure makes sense. :)

  • Totally agree. If social media is not building my brand and driving people toward what I do, it’s probably just an exercise in ego.

    • Absolutely Arthur! Glad we’re on the same page 😉

  • Jessica Sweet

    Wowza. Talk about a bold move. . . I feel the inner resistance now. But still, I know you’re right. I’m going to chip away at my resistance or test this out and see if I can deal with the anxiety of it!

    • Haha! I hear you Jessica + I can guarantee many people have seen this post but couldn’t bear to read the whole thing because of the massive resistance they have. So I commend you for taking action x

  • Great post Theressa, I’ve been berated before for not having social media buttons on my site and put them on, I’m now heading over there to remove them completely. I’ll keep the share buttons at the end of my blog posts though.

  • Excellent post and I completely agree!

  • Yeah awesome post! I will be telling all my clients to stop putting social media buttons front and centre on their websites now.

  • Fascinating! Yes, I’ve been struggling with this question. Currently, I just have the option to “like” my blog articles from my website… and I have a single link to “like” my Facebook page at the bottom of my newsletter (but not on my website). Your advice really resonated with me and affirmed my decision to keep it simple… so thank you!

  • Wow. That’s a VERY good point! I’m prominently displaying my social media sites on my website. maybe its time to do a test, take it down for a week and see what my bounce rate is!

    • I know you’re not the only one to let them take up prime real estate. It’s almost become the norm. The other thing you could do is use the “In-page analytics in Google Analytics to see the percentage of clicks those links get. But regardless of a tests outcome, by keeping them you are still offering a choice that’s counter-productive to the purpose of your website.

  • Theressa, You have given my something to think about here. Thank you for sharing your incite.

    • Hi Fred, if all this post does is bring these leaks into ones awareness, then I’m pleased. Thanks for stopping in.

  • Pam

    Great post that presents a perspective that runs counter to prevailing wisdom, yet is really right on when you think about it. Love that! My website is currently undergoing a redesign, and I’m going to take action based on this post. Thank you!

    • I’m glad to hear you’re gonna take action Pam! Thank you x

  • YES! I’m glad to see someone else preaching this! People often ask me why I don’t have social sharing buttons on my site and this is why. If you’re on my site and you’re looking for something to do, I want you to either comment or sign up for my email list! Tweets are nice, but I’d much rather your email address!

    More people need to think about the actions they want their readers to take and how they can facilitate that!

    • I think a lot of the time we’re afraid to ask + be direct about what we want them to do. Which is why we give so many options. Unfortunately, that’s often just plain confusing for your visitors. Thanks for your input Cassandra!

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