Before internet-savvy customers even think about buying a product or service they go online to look for suppliers. The quality of a provider's website design, the type of content provided and the ease with which they can access the content and information are the three main factors that entice them to dig deeper and perhaps make a purchase.
Without a good web presence, you will never be able to attract your prospective customers to dig deeper, find out more about your products and services and ultimately to contact you or buy directly from your website. Without a well planned out website and online presence you're going to lose business to your competitors, and all around the world in some cases.
The Case For Social Media
The advent of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Google-Plus have changed the way that consumers and suppliers interact. For instance, by the end of last year alone, Facebook had added 170 million users to surpass 1.23 billion users worldwide. Imagine the captive audience that businesses can tap into using just that one social media network. In today's mobile world, social media plays a growing role in keeping existing customers, potential clients and casual guests in constant touch with what's happening in and around them.
Intelligent website design plays a vital part in the communications war. When it comes to staying connected with existing customers and potential customers, social media augments the work and success of the website. Without a robust social media presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google-Plus businesses can lose a key competitive advantage over their competitors.
Linking The Two Together
As we know, good web design and planning plays a vital role in attracting and retaining customers, and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google-Plus work well in communicating and engaging with that audience. Individually, they are both powerful tools in creating brand awareness for a company, but working together, their ability to 'convert' a sales prospect can be a potential game changer for your business.
While a website delivers important content to its visitors, social media is used to provide a more interactive and personal experience. Through social media engagement, businesses are able to know their customers much better than most non social media enhanced websites.
Building links from a website to Social media accounts begins by setting up those accounts on the social media platforms of your choice e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn. Almost every social media networking site and every website content management system provides webmasters and website owners the ability to build the links between the two online presences. These include links from one to the other, social media feeds on the website, website content and pages being highlighted and talked about on the social media platforms etc.
How To Best Link Your Site and Social Media
Tools like Google Webmaster and Bing Webmaster, as well as add-ons and applets from Social Networking sites can then be used to seamlessly create the necessary links, both from a website to the social media account, and vice versa. Here are some best practices that help to link the two online presences together to super-charge your company's brand on the web:
1) High visibility Social Media buttons: Website design best practices recommend that a website should provide clear and visible social media buttons on a page, through which visitors can link to the relevant social media site.
2) Frequency of updates: Good website content management requires a system of continuous updates to the social media accounts – but make the content unique on the website and social media accounts. If you intend to simply mirror content from your static website onto your social media sites, then you are not likely to gain the benefits of having a social presence.
3) Stay current with your social media practises: the fast-paced social media world is continually evolving. If you want to tap into the power of social media in general through your static site, it is important to ensure your web design stays current and for that you need to keep abreast of the changes in social media e.g. what new social media sites could be of interest to your business? What type of content is popular on social media with your target market right now?.
4) The power of sharing: The most obvious benefit from linking a website to social networks comes from the website visitors use of "Share" buttons. Make sure that your website design gives visitors the ability to "Share" links to key pages on your site within their social circles.
5) The power of "feeding": Networks like Twitter and Facebook allow their "feeds" to be integrated into a page on your website. To do this, you can use both free as well as third-party plug-ins to display dynamic content from your social media account into your web pages.
6) Make sure your branding, colours, logo, imagery etc is consistent on both your website and your social media accounts.
About Website/Social-Media Links
Remember, "linking" a page on your website to your Social Media account does not translate to "redirecting" a web page visitor to your social media site. For instance, placing a Facebook "like" button on a web page doesn't let page visitors "jump" to your social media account page - it just lets them "Like" the page.
What it also does is allow them to "Share" the content on that page within their facebook circle - a great feature to have in place on your site. The same is true about including a Google-Plus (+1) button on a web page.
Most search engines and social media networking sites also provide tool sets like Google Analytics and FB Analytics which help website owners and webmasters to analyse the efficiency of their website as well as social media presence. Get used to these tools so you can 'see' what's actually happening on your website and social media accounts.
As part of your website management, you must continually monitor and measure how well your linking strategy is performing, and fine tune it regularly. If you need some help or advice give us a call on 01-6216866 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org