Do Social Media Icons Drive Traffic Away from Your Website?

A person scrolling through social media on a smartphone.

January 23, 2012

Written by John Centofanti

John’s background spans the creative side of business, including content writing, branding, graphic design, and more. In 2006, John founded Creative Stream Marketing, serving national retailers, tech companies, and B2B companies across the US.

A client once shared that he did not want social media icons like Facebook and LinkedIn on his new website. He felt they were distracting and would only drive visitor traffic away from his business website.

To those engaged in social media marketing, his idea might sound terrible. That’s because it is. On the surface, keeping prospects on your website sounds right.

Should You Add External Links to Social Sites?

You definitely want to keep your target audience focused on the content in front of them. You worked hard to get them to your site from a search engine or other social networking platforms in the first place. So why include popular social network links on your website?

The point of any social media platform for marketing is to connect with people in the way they prefer. It allows your prospects to form the relationship on their own terms. That means you should share information, video content, and other marketing materials on various social media sites to boost your engagement rate.

It’s simply showing up where your customers and prospects can get to know you before they become your customer. This is especially true in B2B marketing where good customer service and a high user experience are not only important but expected.

A website is designed to increase your business. Long before prospects answer your call to, “Buy from us,” they will more likely answer your call to, “Get to know us.”

The Verdict on Social Icons

So, yes, social media icons and links on your website will drive visitor traffic away from your website. But you should have a strong presence on your social accounts already. If you haven’t shared a post in over a year, maybe your priorities should shift. If your current profiles are up to date with engaging content, site visitors will like what they see. Then, they will be sure to return your site for more and eventually buy from you.

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