With every major revolution in the technology we use, there is also a revolution in the way that we communicate with one another. There has hardly been a time in history when that’s truer than it is today. With the rise of the Internet, cell phones, and now smart phones that combine the two, it’s easier than ever to stay completely plugged in all the time. As a result, new methods of communicating have cropped up. The biggest and most obvious one is social media. Social networking has become a huge commonplace where we all can relate to one another in one way or other. You can’t ignore its continued presence and the ongoing effect it has on life and even business.
That’s why, when you’re building a website, you need to decide how much of a part social media is going to play. Will your site be completely separate from all the popular networking sites? Or will you decide to include some links, or maybe even more content? These are important decisions to make. Below, you’ll find some questions you can ask yourself as well as some topics to consider. These should help you figure out what place social media has on your site.
When you decide to tie social media into your business, you can’t just rush off and do it all willy-nilly. If you do that, you’re going to end up with a mess that hardly works. People will come to visit your site and simply be confused by all the half-finished social networking features. Figure out how much of a presence you really need on your website. If your company is all about making connections and getting its brand out there, a bigger presence is going to be your best bet. If you’re just a regular small business, like a restaurant then you’re not going to need to go all out. You’ll be able to get by with a minor social media presence, and a more toned down approach on your website. What type of business you’re doing is going to have a pretty big effect on your website’s design. Remember to think about that!
Have you got social networking accounts for your business set up and going good already? Maybe you tried to launch a social media campaign recently, or maybe you’ve just been getting the hang of things for a while. If you’ve already got a bunch of accounts set up then it’s going to be much easier to get them integrated into your site. Most of your networks will have special pages set up to show you how to add their content to your site. Sign up for the sites that you know you’ll be connecting with your website. For convenience, be sure to register through your domain’s email address. That way you can keep everything going to one place.
When you decide to kick off a full-fledged social media campaign, you’ve got to decide if your website is going to be a part of it. Will you be using your site simply to display announcements syndicated over from your pages? Or will you be involving it in a more involved way? For example, you might actually be using a social media campaign to drive users to your website. There, they’ll be able to sign up for your newsletter, view information about your business, or sign up for a contest. Those are just a few of the things you could do if you want your site to be the centerpiece. Using social pages and other people to drive more content to your site is a quick and easy way to boost your numbers. You could have tons more people consuming your content and learning about your business in no time.
Once you’ve figured how your main site is going to interact with all of your other social pages, it’s time to figure out how much site real estate you’re willing to give up for it. If you want, you could make it so that large parts of your site duplicate your social media pages. That way you’ll get people using both your site and your social page at the same time. It’s killing two birds with one stone! That’s not always the best decision from a cosmetic or usability point of view, though. Users might not like feeling like they’re being bombarded with all that info. If you aren’t careful, you could even end up drowning out the real content on your page. It’s a careful balancing act. Try to find the amount that feels right and stick with that. If you feel like it’s not working well after trying it out, don’t be afraid to change it! Remember, a big part of having a successful website is experimentation.
You don’t want to deploy a new site that’s based mostly on your social networking presence without thinking about how your users will react. You might even want to try to find a people who you know visit your site to question them. Ask how they would feel about the changes that you’re thinking about putting into place. Some people will react very negatively to feeling like social media is being pushed upon them. If you discover that a majority of your users aren’t going to be interested in getting on board with your new social push, it’s not going to work. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never attract enough new users to replace the old ones you drive away. Look to strike a balance between modernizing your site and pleasing your audience.
Once you’ve actually folded everything into your site and launched your new campaign, pay close attention to how it is received. You don’t want a failing campaign to damage the good reputation of your website. If your pages aren’t getting much attention, don’t ignore that. If you aren’t seeing your numbers improving despite your efforts, it might be time to kill the campaign. Social media isn’t going to work for everyone, and in truth, not every business needs it. That’s why you need to make a careful assessment when you’re approaching a big shift like this. If things aren’t working, don’t be afraid to pull the plug! Keep an eye on your progress, make adjustments accordingly, and you’ll be fine.