Websites Still Have A Role In The Digital Age
You might have the biggest, best social media empire ever conceived by humanity, but it’s likely not doing you much good all by itself. This is the lesson being learned by celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga as look for ways to leverage the power of the tens of millions of social media fans.
And what is the best tool for deriving revenue from the Internet? A web site, of course. Web sites might seem like yesterday’s tech, but they remain the backbone of the Internet and an integral part of any online marketing campaign. Social media is for interaction, but a web site is where people go to spend their money.
It’s one thing to have a Facebook Fan Page with millions of fans which you can use to promote your books, videos, albums or whatever. It is another thing altogether to have a dedicated space on the web where these folks can go to spend their time, their money and linger for as long as they like. (The longer, the better.)
This is why more and more celebrities are looking to create branded web sites for their fans to flock. Lady Gaga is creating her own social media network, “LittleMonsters.com” which will be a place for her millions of fans to gather, recollect their favorite ‘fan’ moments or share whatever thoughts they have about–whatever it is they think about. In this way Gaga is trying to leverage her social media stardom into something more substantial than “Likes” and “Followers”. Through her web site she can provide an abundance of content, promote products or test new ideas. She has a direct connection to her fans in a way which is more lasting than through her social media network.
Does all of this mean social media is not the marketing tool we once thought it was? Of course not. But social media is not the end, in and of itself. It is not the tool you use for converting visitors into paying customers. It is more like a road map, leading them to your squeeze page where you can (hopefully) convert them. All I am saying is that a web site is no less important to your social media network than a Fan Page. In fact, when it comes to closing the deal, it is perhaps even more important.
With posts about nail art, ’80s movies, kittens and things made of yarn, HelloGiggles perfectly embodies the cute-girl hipster lifestyle for which Zooey Deschanel has become mascot. But since Ms. Deschanel, now star of Fox’s “New Girl” sitcom, introduced the website last May, it’s also become the latest example of celebrity-led, socially driven media properties seeking the attention of marketers.
Celebrities are typically more visible in digital media through Facebook and Twitter. Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber have more than 20 million followers and 18 million followers on Twitter, respectively, and more than twice those numbers on Facebook.
But it hasn’t been easy for advertisers to leverage the presence of stars on Facebook and Twitter, no matter how vast the following. So celebrities are increasingly looking to convert those followings into audiences for media properties that they actually own.