In the last few years, as everyone has seen, social media has really taken off and now is an important part of our daily Internet lives. In 2011, we saw social media start to take shape for businesses and the ways in which it can be used taken to full advantage. 2012 was the year when the people staying away from Social media could no longer afford to and any business that did would suffer massively.
Starting with social media
If you haven't already done so, register a business page with Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. These are the bare minimum that we would recommend. If you're a more professional orientated company, Linked- n is a must too. For companies providing a service to more consumer market, take a look at Pinterest. Using both options will also bring large benefits no matter what type of company you are or who you are targeting.
Now you've registered your website and business, start collecting likes and followers. You can do this in a number of ways. Firstly, if you know anyone who might be interested, you can ask your contact via Facebook or Email. Obviously this isn't going to get you enough and these contacts are already in your social circle.
Another great way is to place icons on your website that steer people to your social business profile. Again, this is not an ideal method as people are already looking for your market. You will need to reach out further to attract potential customers.
The first way is to ensure you update your profile and tweet as much as you can. These get noticed and the more you do it, the more your followers will increase. This is completely free and all it takes is some time and creativity.
The other way is paid advertising on sites like Facebook. It can really grow your likes massively. We would recommend this method as even a small amount of payment can be quite effective. You can even target a very specific set of users from region, gender, and much more.
All the main social sites now offer some advanced features for monitoring. Facebook offer both the Insights tool as well as their open graph API to allow for external applications to monitor stats.
Apps are an aspect of Facebook that is hugely gaining popularity. This is mainly due to the power and potential it offers. If you've got likes on your page in the thousands then certainly consider developing an application.
Imagine being able to offer booking and enquiry forms inside of Facebook without your customer ever leaving the page. It allows for targeted streaming without confusing the customer with visiting a new site. Most skilled web developers should have no problem in developing apps Facebook. PHP is the language used and it is the most popular development platform being used in multi-millions of websites. If your developer does not know this language or use it primarily, they are not worth the time.
No matter what type of website you have, be it an e-commerce site or standard Content Managed, Social media can and must not be overlooked.
When looking for a web design company you should ensure they have the skill-set to not only create your site, but to make the most of social media.
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