How Web sites fit into a customer conversation

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BtoB: How should a company balance its social media investments with its Web site?
Ramos: The Web site should be the hub of the social activity, and it should be driving the activity back to the Web site. If you have evidence your buyers are on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, than you should absolutely use those channels. But you should put the information there that is going to start a conversation. Then link that back to your Web site where you can continue the conversation.
BtoB: What kind of conversation should you have on the Web site?

Ramos: It needs to focus on how you provide industry-specific solutions. Videos of customer success stories and testimonials from people in your audience are better than you rewriting the case study in some fancy PDF that customers may or may not trust. Blogging is another example. Rather than having the corporate voice in the blog, give the people who actually work with clients and solve the problems a voice on your Web site's blog. That conversation on the edges of the company with the people who matter—the customers, prospects and partners—will attract them to explore your site further.
: What are the advantages of having the conversation on your Web site instead of in the social communities?
Ramos: On your Web site, you can start to profile the buyer's behavior because you can see what they're doing on your site. And you can engage them in conversation, and not from an inside sales direct standpoint, but by putting offers on your site and seeing what they respond to. Seeing if they will register for your webinar, how much info they will give you to get more in return—you can't do that on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. The real rich user experience needs to happen on your Web site.
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