Social Media Icons: What Are You Really Promoting?

You see them everywhere. On websites, blogs, direct mail pieces, TV commercials, email signatures…even on business cards. I’m talking about social media icons, particularly Facebook and Twitter icons. Companies have taken to including social media icons on all of their marketing materials, with the intent of showing their customers that they’re part of the social movement and to encourage them to connect with their company online.

And you know what? I’m sick of seeing it!

I mean, what are these companies really doing when they place social media icons on their marketing materials? Most times, the icons are just there on their own…no call to action…and on print materials, no URL to their profile pages. Do they honestly expect customers to take the time to search and find their Facebook and Twitter pages? You must be kidding me.

Look, I’m a big believer in social media marketing. I think Facebook and Twitter have given companies the chance to connect with their customers on a deeper level than ever before. Social media is great for building relationships, generating valuable feedback from your target audience, studying the competition, general brand positioning, and so much more. But there comes a point where you have to ask yourself, “What am I really promoting?”

It seems to me like too many companies are promoting the Facebook and Twitter brands rather than their own brands. It’s totally backwards!

I’m especially confused by companies who give large chunks of real estate on their website to their Facebook and Twitter icons, driving traffic away from their websites rather than to their websites. Shouldn’t you be focusing on getting your friends and followers to come to your website to do business with your company? Why would you want to drive them away?

And then there are the companies who slap Facebook and Twitter logos on their direct marketing materials with no URL and no call to action explaining why people should look them up on these sites. If you insist on including these things on your ads, at least tell people what you want them to do and why you want them to do it (e.g. “Follow us on Facebook to get special deals you can’t find anywhere else!”).

What do you think? Am I missing something here?

Leave a comment to share your thoughts on the matter

About The Author

Brian Waraksa

Brian Waraksa, founder of Raxa Design in Houston, Texas has been in marketing and small business branding since 2002. He writes the Raxa Design blog on issues affecting small business marketing and corporate brands.

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