The Social Media Landing Page Phenomenon

northernlightsAs social media channels become outposts for companies, their websites need to keep up.  The big challenge: the two concepts are diametrically opposed.  Build a compelling, optimized website to bring customers (and potential customers) to you, versus establish social media outposts to go where your customers are.  Enter the new art and technique of the Social Media Landing Page (SMLP for short).  The SMLP is a bridge between the two, both to add legitimacy to social channels like a Twitter account but also risking pulling customers away from your website.  Companies who establish these pages are trying to give the subtle hint of “Nah, doesn’t bother me if you leave our domain” with “We want to hear from you.”  Here are three examples of big companies who have integrated their social media presence into their websites.  How do you think they do?

AT&T

Tagline: “Continue the Conversation”

AT&T is in the midst of more press than you can quantify lately for many reasons. Many might not understand the breadth of which AT&T is reaching out to connect with customers via social channels.  Enter the AT&T SMLP.  AT&T is using Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, Blogs and even Posterous to build a footprint.  Intregrated into the “About AT&T” page on their domain, it’s easy to find as “Social Media” in the 2nd level navigation.

AT&T Social Media Landing Page

Best Buy

Tagline: “Everyone’s talking”

Best Buy took a slightly different approach.  Their recently launched (still says “new!”) SMLP is called “Community” and can be found at the bottom of their home page.  They showcase how they are leveraging forums, ratings & reviews, Twitter (also via their Twelpforce), blogs and other social media channels throughout.  I like that BestBuy is showcasing their IdeaX community where customers can collaborate on ideas for the company.

bestbuy

Microsoft

Tagline: “What people are saying about Windows 7″

For the recent Windows 7 launch, Microsoft built in conversations directly into the Windows home page on their domain.  Their clicking through to “See what everyone’s saying” brings you to an innovative SMLP that not only shows links to follow the brand’s presence elsewhere but actually aggregates the conversations on Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, and other social networks.  A customer has to leave the site to participate, just like the others, but right on the page loading in relative real time are actual comments.  This is a great technique but requires a lot of confidence in the product, to say the least.  I’m curious if Microsoft has any automated filtering on the feeds it brings in.  They aren’t filtering for negative comments – one in the screenshot I took was a comment on how “Windows 7 killed my laptop.”

Windows 7 Social Media Landing Page

Of the three here, I like Microsoft’s approach the best – it’s more innovative and interactive to bring conversations and topics directly into the site.  It’s also very easy to find and has a simple URL.  What other SMLPs have you come across?  Are these signs that social media is here to stay?  So many other questions open up for me, including how companies will optimize the pages – to drive followers? To engage in more conversations?  At least they are embracing social media channels head on in their web strategy.

Photo credit: studiolit via Flickr

Gargi also expressed, reluctantly, a lack of

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  • http://www.keithburtis.com Keith Burtis

    Adam, this is a great article and something I employ with all of my clients. Landing pages are crucial to be able to measure what traffic is coming from where and then what actions are taken on that traffic. Landing pages can be instrumental in collection of data and better understanding your customer. In the day and age of the social web it is not enough to leave a static brochure like website and expect interaction and conversion. Companies must understand the importance that search and social play in the conversion of traffic. Especially when traffic to social sites is increasing.

    I have been working with a web design group recently that builds amazing and beautifully designed websites. Unfortunately, they are no more than a brochure and great design. I have told them that the distinction here is what the website owner wants to get from the site. They are either creating a web presence for basic information or they are creating an active web presence that engages and informs potential customers. In saying this, it is important to know where your potential customers are searching for those products or services. Data clearly tells us that the shift from walk-in brick and mortar traffic is shifting to the online space. Even more importantly the customers that are in the brick and mortars have the ability to price check and get peer reviews on products from their mobile devices!

    I heard recently a large company owner say that the social media space is 'Chaotic' and for the most part it is. However, my rebuttal to that is this:

    If you own a Best Buy Store and there are 100-200 customers in that store at any time and you leave only one employee to take care of them that space will look chaotic too!!! Most companies are trying to save their ass in the offline space by laying off and downsizing when they really need to reallocate investments.

    The web is shifting from metal boxes and wires to a human driven platform. Companies must employ landing pages, search, and social to create a holistic approach. THIS IS WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE!

    That's right! The customers didn't die, dissipate, or fall off a cliff. They moved! Better learn to move with them!

    Thanks for the inspiration.
    Keith

  • buzzbishop

    Thanks so much for the explanation. I hear so many people starting out in social media pushing clients out of their own sandbox and onto twitter and facebook. Sure, you want to play and engage on those sites, but you still want traffic to monetize for yourself! Be engaged in the offsite conversations, but do your best to bring them back onsite. love it.

  • http://adamhcohen.com adamcohen

    Approved

  • mpeesel

    The MS site is definitely interesting, but it keeps loading tweets and status updates and scrolling them down, which makes it very difficult to read. The problem probably has more to do with the ENORMOUS number of people mentioning Windows 7 and how to display it all, but it might be better if they would load a certain number with a refresh button to reload all of them. Then it would be easier to read them.

    Another good SMLP is Crispin's at http://www.cpbgroup.com/ It's pretty cool!

  • Chuck

    Approved?

  • http://adamhcohen.com adamcohen

    Whoops – disqus comment approval via email didn't work.

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  • jasongooey

    Great article! Very relevant to a number of projects I am involved with.

  • jasongooey

    Great article! Very relevant to a number of projects I am involved with.

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