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Promoting your website address is not enough

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To ensure that the communication preference of every audience member is catered to, therefore reaching the maximum amount of people, all the addresses of a brand's online presence, such as its website, Twitter and Facebook page, should be publicised side by side, according to PR, search and social media agency, Punch Communications.

Most businesses with a website ensure the URL is carefully promoted and some large brands have started to widely advertise their social media pages but very few promote all of them together. Whatever the type of company, its website and social media spaces have important parts to play in communicating with customers or clients. Each channel has different strengths; for example, websites allow businesses to present more in-depth information in a fully controllable way whereas Facebook is a good platform for gauging a reaction through likes and comments on a topical post.

It is important for brands and the PR companies that are representing them to promote each of their online channels of communication appropriately so that consumers can choose the most fitting for their needs or preferences. Some people choose to keep abreast of a company's news through social media because it allows them to be reactive and have a two way conversation. The acquisition of followers and content that encourages interaction will result in new fans and therefore potential new customers because of the way users' communications are displayed to their friends or followers.

However, offering only a Twitter or Facebook URL can alienate those social media users who prefer to solely utilise those platforms for real-world relationships. Also it is important to consider, just as it is essential to remember that not every audience member has internet access, not everybody has an account on Facebook and Twitter.

Brands can also feed information to customers through a website by encouraging them to sign up to emails or to receive RSS feed notifications, but a website's primary purpose is to give the customer the information they require to take the next step towards making a purchase or choosing a service. Another benefit of promoting a website is that user behaviour can be tracked through analytics, which helps a business to understand its messaging, popular content and points of sale. With social media it is difficult to know how many times their page is being visited or its content being read and having no control over rules, aesthetics and functionality means a brand's hard work could go to waste at some point in time.

Pete Goold, MD of Punch Communications, said: "There are strong arguments for businesses with a website and a presence in one or more social media spaces to promote both channels of communication as each has different strengths. Advertisement placement and target audience are factors that must be considered but in the main brands should be promoting all points of online communication if they want to reach the maximum amount of people."

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