Remember the traditional power of word of mouth referrals? In the past a successful business owner understood the power of creating a positive customer experience that would be shared in coffee shops and conversations throughout the community. The referral of a friend or business associate remains more powerful than any other possible promotion even today.
Social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn are the new community and the new coffee shop. Online relationships take word of mouth referrals to a new level. A positive experience spreads quickly through thousands of contacts. Unfortunately a negative experience spreads just as quickly.
People love to share content from websites on their social media accounts. When you post helpful information, interesting videos, and attractive images on your site you encourage sharing. Not only is this free advertising for your business, it draws the attention of search engines and increases your rankings through back links and increased traffic to your site.
So, how can you integrate social media into your web design? Here are some simple tips.
- Connect Buttons on Each Page: Provide a link to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest directly from each page on your site. Make it easy for your visitors to comment on their experience in social media and to post links to your site.
- Use Share-able Images: Use high quality images on your site and allow them to be shared freely in Pinterest or other social media sites. Don’t underestimate the power of appealing images in telling your story. When a visitor shares an image of your products in social media they create powerful interest in your business.
- Blog: A well written blog post that is informative, funny, or controversial is often shared on social media sites. When a visitor reads a post on your site and decides to post it online you’ve just gained visibility for your business. People will click the link and visit your site just to read that post. No search is necessary!
- Videos: Can you create a video to represent your business? Can you share a customer testimonial or a short instructional or advice piece in video format? What about advertising? If you have a television advertisement you’re especially proud of consider posting it on your website. Videos, just like blogs, are frequently posted on social media sites with sometimes viral results.
Social media marketing requires a certain amount of encouragement to be successful. You can integrate your website with social media by promoting engagement on your website. Offering a coupon or promotional item in return for a Facebook “Like” or LinkedIn connection can create a buzz about your business and your products and services.
Consider offering ways for visitors to engage both your site and social media. Features like a brief quiz or survey or a question and fields for comment give your website an engaging “social media like” feel that encourages visitor interaction.
This is the age of social media. While not every method of interaction is appropriate for every business, some level of engagement is an integral part of any internet marketing plan. Select the form of social media most appropriate for your business, for instance LinkedIn if your customers are other businesses or Facebook if your customers are individuals and learn more about how you can leverage social media to drive traffic to your website.