Integrating Social Media into Website Strategy - Part I
How do we successfully integrate social media into website strategy? How should a company go about developing their website strategy – from participating in social media or does the updated/new website lead to social media participation?
Back To Basic Marketing
Offline marketing questions are still important when developing a website strategy:
- What do we want to accomplish with this site?
- What is our position in the marketplace?
- Who are my ideal clients?
- What do they want from a website, what is important to them?
- What can I build-in to make it useful and engaging?
- Where else are they spending time (coffee shops or on Facebook)?
Website Strategy for Web 3.0
Social media participation shouldn’t drive your website strategy, but the core of it has had a positive influence on “Web 3.0″ sites in the way it fosters building communities based on common interests, generously sharing information and creating two-way dialogue with customers.
All companies can integrate this idea through creating interesting and meaningful elements in their website – whether built right in like a blog or polls, or making use of Twitter and Facebook.
In fact, Google recently changed the way they rank websites to be heavily swayed by social relevancy. They want to see a blog, a conversion form, a Twitter account related to the company, etc.
Integrating Social Media Into Your Site
- Add useful and interactive devices to your website - use blogs, forums, polls.
- Use dynamic content to keep it fresh. Be the site to go to for info in your industry.
- Add multi-media like recorded teleseminars, webinars and videos.
- Use outside platforms and communities. Use MailChimp and Google maps.
- Participate in existing communities like LinkedIn. Include links to follow you. Use YouTube and FlickR to host videos and photos. Add ’social share’ buttons to make it easy for people to share your brilliance.
Developing your website strategy and then managing your participation in social media should be part of your overall marketing plan and budget. Think of how often you blog, how much time you spend on LinkedIn, etc. If you incorporate elements right into your website, you should commit to keeping it up-to-date or there’s no point. Create a plan around it, like regular blog posts, checking all the dynamic links are still working properly, etc.
Above all, remember...
All websites and social media participation should be a carefully considered part of your brand.