A few months ago, we started our series on Five Easy Ways to Improve your Small Business Website. Then the holidays happened, the baby got sick and well, the blog got neglected. But now we’re BACK. And ready to advise. So, if you haven’t skipped ahead and read the whole book (THAT YOU CAN DOWNLOAD HERE) we’re at Step No. 2: Social Media and the Small Business Website or MAKE IT SOCIAL
MAKE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITE A SOCIAL SITE
These days most people have at least a basic understanding of social media and its marketing capabilities. You’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter and might have even created profiles for your business. I’d be even more impressed if you actually updated your profiles with relevant content that reflects your brand’s mission and voice.
Some of you haven’t gotten that far yet, and that’s OK. With a few simple additions to your website, you can freshen your site and make it relevant to today’s consumer.
USE SHARING ICONS
Now that you’ve implemented our strategies for improving your web content, you need to get people to read it. Even if you don’t have a social media presence yet, you NEED to add social media sharing icons to your website today.
By adding the icons, you can let people post your content to their social media page. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that they steal your content. They are providing their followers with a link to your site.
Let’s imagine I just wrote a blog post about the top 10 bicycle trails in the Kansas City-metro area. I gave directions, ranked them and even provided links to the trail maps. One of my clients at the store LOVED the article and knew some of her friends would too. She shared it on her Facebook page and suddenly her friends are all coming to MY site to read the blog post. Instant traffic and better SEO.
Let’s make it simple: If you are not using sharing buttons on your site, you are losing a great opportunity to build your customer base.
ADD FOLLOWING ICONS
Following icons are a bit different than sharing icons (even though the are technically the same icons visually), in that you have to have a social media presence to use them. You’ve all seen the “Follow Us on Facebook” prompt. Well, that’s a social media icon that enables the user to join your social media network.
Think about it this way, it gives you another opportunity to get your message out and reach your clients. Chances are your clients aren’t checking out your website on a daily basis. But they might be on Facebook every day. Reach them there!
ENGAGE YOUR USERS
So you’re connected. Now what?
Deepen the relationship with your followers a bit further.
Use your social media channels to ask questions. Poll them. Offer giveaways. Play fun games. Tell stories.
Don’t just sit there.
TRY AN OPT-IN OFFER
Include an opt-in offer on one of your social media platforms or home page to further engage your readers.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on a freebie and signed up for an e-newsletter in the process. Why? Businesses use this marketing tactic because it works. By offering your clients free information or a free gift (in return for their e-mail) it establishes you as an expert in the field and automatically gives you access to their inbox. Use it. Don’t abuse it.