Social Media is everywhere! If you turn on CNN, the pundits mention their Twitter account. Television commercials and print advertisements are starting to point people to Facebook pages instead of websites. More and more businesses are setting up Facebook pages every day. Professionals in every type of business are creating LinkedIn profiles and sharing information with their peers. If you have a static website that reads like a brochure, it might be time to consider going social.
Should you socialize?
Lot's of marketing firms, consultants and big brands agree that social media can be a powerful marketing tool for business and non-profit organizations.
Realtors often tell their clients it is better to own than rent. If you are renting your home, you're probably not going to spend a ton of money renovating it because you are just building value for the owner - when your lease expires your investment vanishes with it. If you own your home you can invest in the property knowing that it is ultimately going to benefit you when you are ready to sell, right?
You can add a ton of value to your own website by incorporating social media tools and content.
Here are a few great ways to add social media to your existing website
Add Links To Your Social Media Sites
If you have a Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn company profile or other social media profile that you want to promote you should include links to each profile somewhere on your site. When people connect with you on one of the various social media sites you have the opportunity to continue communicating with them long after they have left your site.
We recommend incorporating icons for each site. The icons should match the look and feel of your site, but be obvious so users know what they do. If your site has a natural, earthy feel you might not want to pick shiny glossy icons. These should be an extension of your current design and should not be visually jarring to the user.
Connect Your Blog And Website
We generally recommend building your website and blog on the same platform (with the same primary domain name) so the search engine optimization benefits of blogging benefit your primary site too. If your blog is on a separate domain, we still recommend incorporating your latest blog posts on your primary site. Marci Anderson's website incorporates the blog into the main navigation and she shows a list of her recent posts on the homepage.
Tumblr, Posterous, Blogger and Wordpress.com are inexpensive services that let you setup a blog pretty easily, but we prefer for your blog to be hosted on the same domain as your main site. If abc.com is your main website domain, we think your blog address should be abc.com/blog not abc.blogspot.com.
Make It Easy To Share Your Content
Incorporate Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn sharing buttons on every page of your site. You can also incorporate multiple services with tools like ShareThis or AddThis. These services provide you with a snippet of code that can be embedded on any webpage. When the user clicks on the button they are provided with an easy way to share your content on a variety of sites.
We recommend including social sharing tools on every page of your site.
These three methods are easy ways to make your website more social without recreating the wheel. What do you think? Share your ideas in the comments.