Do you divide your online presence into two distinct categories, treating your website as your online store while using your social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) for engagement and relationship building?
We have a new way for you to look at them. Instead of treating them separately, use each platform to boost and support each other, increasing both sales and customer engagement.
Website and social networks working together
Both your website and social media platforms serve as a way to communicate and service your customers. Your website is your online home base and contains all of your information – your products and services, your value proposition, your mission, and so much more.
Looking at the other side of your online presence, social media is terrific for growing your brand recognition, building customer loyalty, and increasing engagement. However, if you’re isolating followers on your social networks they may have a great time engaging in your Friday Fun conversation, but that’s not getting you any sales.
The solution is simple: create a seamless integration between your website and your social networks. We have five strategic examples of how you can do this.
Bring your social networks to your website
You’ve probably seen those widgets on websites that show information from social network feeds. These are great ways to encourage customers to interact with your brand more conversationally. We love this example from Currey & Company’s connect page on their website.
When someone clicks the Like button they will like your business page without leaving your site. If they see a conversation they want to join they can click on the business page name and are taken right to your Facebook page.
You can do this with many of the major social networks including Pinterest and Twitter. Pick the most relevant social platforms and get them on your site!
Encourage sharing on social networks
Another way your website and social media sites can work together is to add social sharing buttons so people can easily share your content with friends. While this isn’t a direct link back to your social networking sites, each time your content is shared within another person’s network it’s an opportunity to expand your reach and increase traffic to your website.
It also gives you the opportunity to deepen your relationship with your customers. When people share your articles, products or information, thank them and start a conversation (ex: “Which color did you choose?” or “Was the white paper helpful?”) or follow their social network accounts.
Take advantage of your blog posts and other great content
Post a link to your latest blog post on each of your social network sites with some text to let people know why they should click on it. Each site has a different vibe and audience so adapt your text for each. For example, be more playful and fun on Twitter and more business-like on LinkedIn.
Sharing blog posts that offer valuable and helpful information builds credibility with your readers. When you have that trust with customers, there’s a good chance they’ll stay on your site to check out what else you offer after reading your blog post.
Another piece of content we like to use is customer testimonials. When you put a new testimonial on your website create a post for Google+ or Facebook that has a short quote from the testimonial, the customer’s name (or tag them if possible), a link to your testimonials page and something like “Read what more of our happy customers are saying”.
Finally, remember those social sharing buttons we mentioned in the last section? They should be visible and easily accessible from every blog post. The most common are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn so you can’t go wrong if you start with those.
Customize your landing pages from social media
Almost all social profiles have a place to enter your website. Rather than linking directly to your home page, consider creating a specific landing page to help capture that visitor’s pertinent information. For instance on your Twitter profile instead of your basic website URL, put the URL for a landing page where someone can download a white paper or coupon after inputting their email address.
Just make sure you include information on the page that talks about your business’s value proposition and gives them easy access to the rest of your website.
Social sign in
Make it easier for your customers to stay connected with you by allowing them to log in to their account with social sign in. If you’re not familiar with this concept, social sign in simply allows someone to log in to an account with already existing social networking credentials – the most popular being Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
If you have a site that relies on customers registering and logging in you may be losing business without social sign in. According to a Blue Research study, three out of every four Internet users leave a website rather than take the trouble to register a new account. Social sign in increases opt-in rates and your customers will appreciate not having to remember another userid and password.
A clear and consistent strategy that integrates both your website and social networking is key to a strong online presence. By engaging on your social networks and encouraging people to visit your site you will boost sales and deepen your relationship with your customers.