How Good is Your Website at Building Long-Term Friendships?

Website Good Friends Header
Think about that spark. No, not the romantic kind–the friendship kind (which may be even rarer). Maybe you’re watching your kids at the playground, maybe you’re chatting after a pick-up game, maybe you’re unwinding at a happy hour. Wherever it is, you start up a conversation with someone you don’t know, you talk for a while, and at some point it hits you “I could be friends with this person”.

Chances are the feeling is mutual, chances are you exchange information with vague words about getting together sometime. The question is, what are the chances that this interaction becomes a real friendship? For websites, that’s the million-dollar(billion-dollar?) question. It’s not hard to make a connection–but how you nurture that spark defines your long-term relationship. And while making friends is hard, it’s almost always worth the work. The question is, what kind of friend are you–How good is your website and marketing strategy at building friendships?

Friend Type: The Comet

We’ve all had the Comet arch through our social sky. This person makes a beautiful first-impression–almost too good to be true. They’re funny, interesting, y’all have a bunch in common–you leave feeling like you’ve known them forever.

Then after that: Crickets. Texts go unanswered. Calls go unreturned. You know you made a real connection, but the Comet is content for it to live as a rosy but ultimately hollow memory. Who knows, they might turn up again someday and greet you like an old friend, but you won’t invest yourself knowing that reciprocation will never be their priority.

Plenty of websites are Comets. They dazzle at first glance with a spell-binding pitch and concept. But once they’ve reeled you in, you drop down their priority list. Their follow-up is minimal, their communication opaque. Maybe they throw you in an email drip, but it doesn’t feel authentic, it doesn’t feel personal. The fact is, there’s not much substance behind their initial charisma. And web visitors end up feeling let-down–maybe even a little hurt.

Friend Type: The Oversharer

We just want to be clear from the outset: we don’t dislike the Oversharer. Heck, no one truly dislikes the Oversharer. We just don’t have the time and/or emotional bandwidth for him.

Meeting the Oversharer can feel like an ambush. You think you’re in a pleasant conversation with someone new, then suddenly you’re neck deep in the swamp that is their personal turmoil. Before you know it they’re asking for your information and–for reasons you don’t fully understand–you’re giving it to them.

Then the texts start…and the calls…and the invitations. At first you respond politely–y’know, because you’re a nice person. But when they take your scant reciprocation as an invitation to get waaaaaay too serious, you have no choice but to cut them off. It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s inevitable–and it’s exactly how some websites and marketing strategies operate.

You make an initial connection, and suddenly you’re sucked into their communication funnel cloud. The emails bombard, the calls bury you, and ignoring them only makes them double down. Eventually you have to make a clean break with the company or school that simply refuses chill out.

Friend Type: The Snob

You’ll think the Snob is cool at first because you know that they’re supposed to be. They wear the right clothes, they know the right people, they’re probably tall and attractive. You’re in a hurry to get to know this person. You’re in a hurry to make them like you. So you initiate the conversation and do most of the talking. Meanwhile, the Snob probably listens politely, nods at the right times, and keeps things moving along–they might even smile.

But despite all that, they aren’t into it. They’re polite, but they aren’t enthusiastic. And you’re left feeling condescended to, rather than connected with. This attitude shades your communication afterwards. They may respond to your texts, but they rarely reach out. And when they do communicate, they sort of make you feel like they’re doing you a favor.

Plenty of websites are Snobs. They know they have strong brands or prestigious reputations or that they feel too big to fail, so they make you work for their attention. It’s hard to submit your information, to connect, to even find what you’re looking for. Then, if and when they do follow up, they expect you to feel graced by their attention–like they’re the ones doing you the favor, when it should be the other way around.

Friend Type: The Confidante

Needless to say, you don’t want to be any of the personalities described above. They might convert some clients or students–someone has to be their friend–but they struggle to maintain meaningful relationships. The Confidante, however, is a maven of relationship maintenance.

The Confidante makes a real connection through authentic interaction, then follows up with you in earnest, but unimposing ways. The Confidante looks for organic opportunities to communicate and reconnect. They’re available, but not unbearable. They listen to who you are, and find real ways to build a meaningful rapport.

You won’t get any late-night check-ins from the Confidante, unless it’s an actual emergency. But if you need them, they’ll always pick up that phone and provide the kind of support that comes from, well, a real friend.


Become a Confidante with Halda

Many websites–especially in higher ed–have so much information to communicate and communities to serve that it’s hard for them to be a Confidante. It’s just difficult to make a meaningful connection with a huge range visitors there for myriad purposes. Halda, however, offers software tools that facilitate that relationship.

Halda gives your website visitors the chance to tell you what they’re looking for. Then Halda’s tools build out a personalized web environment with tailored content and options to learn more about key topics. This personalized environment–called the Hub–greets visitors whenever they reengage with your site, and moves them toward meaningful action.

This is how Halda makes you a Confidante for your web visitors. Our tools listen to their needs, make a real connection, and reengage with them on their own terms. If you want to learn more about how Halda can help your company build meaningful friendships through your website, we suggest you check out our tools or even book a demo. Personalization has always been beneficial. Now Halda makes it possible to realize those benefits at scale.

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