Having a website has become something of a necessity for businesses these days, due to the global paradigm shift where more and more people are integrating online activities with their lives. Besides this fundamental reason of going where the market goes, there are also great benefits to having an official site for your business.
Starting a website is much cheaper than building and maintaining a brick-and-mortar store. There is no need to look for a good location, pay the lease, take into account overhead expenses, etc.
You can reach a much wider audience not limited by time or any borders, making market expansion much easier and opening up more room for growth. You also get to showcase your products, as well as important information about your business to customers, establishing your credibility while making it convenient for your target audience.
Social Media as a Conduit
Of course, there are still some truths in promoting an “offline” business that apply to the online world. Merely having a website does not guarantee profitability. You need to be able to show your expertise and uniqueness in the industry, and you need to establish a good relationship with your customers. The best way of pursuing these goals is through leveraging the power of social media.
Creating accounts for your business for social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is good, but these are just channels to your main website. Social media is simply a way for people to connect to your website to consume your content and eventually make purchases. You just have to make sure that your website has good social media integration.
Here are five ways to seamlessly incorporate both assets:
“Content is king” is a phrase that will never get old because content is exactly what people are looking for online, especially in social media. People are constantly sharing with their huge networks of family and friends all sorts of content that they deem interesting, whether it’s a news article, an opinion piece, a funny picture, or an inspiring video. Their connections, in turn, share it with their own networks, and so on. The number of people you can reach with killer content is astounding.
Therefore, you need to create content that will make the rounds within these social media channels through shares, retweets, pins, etc., and you need to be able to do it in a regular fashion. There is no guaranteed way to achieve this, but the best way is to simply create great content.
Social media platforms are built with connecting people in mind, but you can follow their template with your website by allowing for some level of interaction with your website’s visitors. This can be done through a blog with a comments section, a forum where they can discuss your products/services, or a customer review feature where you let people send in their critiques of your business’ offerings. You can even let visitors leave comments on your content using their Facebook accounts for fuller integration.
By giving your customers a way to express their opinions, you also give them a sense of belonging with your company. They will feel that you care about what your customers think, establishing a stronger relationship in the process.
Eye-Catching Titles and Images
Some truly great content doesn’t reach its full potential, because of poor titles that don’t immediately grab people’s attention when browsing through their feeds. Other great content that tackles technical and/or multiple subjects are not being read, because of the lack of compelling pictures that break up the monotony of text.
• For titles, you want something that addresses a concern while being straight to the point. It has to fix your target audience’s gaze when they’re quickly scanning on their Smartphones or computers.
• For images, you want something that explains your points in a clearer fashion while maintaining the tone of your content, and more importantly, your brand is known for. You can actually just focus on creating content that is purely image-based (e.g. infographics) to simplify complex concepts and highlight important facts.
Due to the fast-paced nature of today’s Information Age, people now expect a good level of convenience when surfing the Web. They want to be able to share things they like through their multiple social media accounts without having to deal with the relative hassle of opening up new windows or tabs and copying and pasting URLs. Social buttons are the answer to that problem, making it much easier for people to show their interest in a piece of content to the rest of the world.
These social buttons can also work in your favor, because they usually show the number of people who have expressed positive sentiments about particular content. Once these numbers climb, it can be even easier for people to take notice, because they will think the content is worth checking out, attributing it to the number of people who already did.
Rich Site Summary or RSS is nothing new, but it is a tool that has found even more use now that there is so much more content being produced and shared throughout the Internet. Use it to syndicate relevant content you have on your main website to microsites targeting more concentrated niches. This way, you don’t have to be publishing the same content on multiple sites.
While an official website serves as a foundation for creating an online presence, social media allows for even wider coverage for your business, and gets you even closer to your target audience. By integrating it with your website, you realize the full potential of doing business online.
Jillyan Scott works as a content strategist for SaleHoo an online community of more than 95,000 online sellers and retailers. Its product range consists of an online selling course, e-commerce software and their flagship product, a wholesale directory.