Social Media Networking for Small Business: Part 5B Your Website

You’ve set your goals and have targeted, found and engaged your audience on their social media platforms of choice. You’ve directed them back to your own website to really promote your business.

Are you ready?

Here are some tips to engage visitors once they are on your website.

Continuing a series of blogs on Social Media Networking for Small Business! Recently, I presented a webinar for the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership. You can watch it here. In case you’d rather read than watch the webinar, I’ve broken it down into a series of blogs:

For Part 1 – Goals, click here.
For Part 2 – Target Your Audience, click here.
For Part 3 – Find Your Promoters, click here.
For Part 4 – Develop Your Strategy, click here.
For Part 5 – Engage Your Audience, click here.

Engage Your Audience Part B – Bringing it Back to Your Site

One of the main objectives for small businesses in social media is to direct your audience back to your home site. While your social networks are for informing and interacting, your website is where you can really promote.

Here’s a news flash: Businesses today need to have a website. The very basic would be considered a “brochure site,” which provides important information: About the company and/or product, location, hours, contact information, etc.

Some businesses do their business online, which is known as e-commerce. These sites offer shopping carts that allow a customer to purchase something online. Whether you have a brochure site or an e-commerce business, engaging your customers on your own website is essential.

The people already on your site have expressed interest in either you or your product. Right now, they may be considered a “passive” customer. If you want to turn them into a promoter, you need to engage them.

When I had my e-commerce business, I made sure the site offered all the important elements found on a typical brochure site; we had an “about Us” page, we listed our location with a google map link, we listed our hours and contact info. We also had a shopping cart that featured over 10,000 different products at any given time. While we had people visiting weekly to purchase – we had about 100 new products weekly – I wanted to give them a reason to visit the site when it wasn’t new product day.

So, I had areas to engage the customer:

Message Boards (also known as Forums) – This is where customers can chat on different topics with fellow enthusiasts. Let’s say you own a bicycle shop. Your message board topics could be “What to do when you have a flat,” where people can give advice. Another topic could be about upcoming events and races. Not only is it important you and your employees are engaging your customers but, more importantly, you are building a community where your customers are interacting with each other (and have more reasons to come back to your site).
Polls – This is just a fun, easy way to keep your visitor’s interest. Your audience has a chance to vote and see what others were saying. In the past, I would often tie in the poll to an arriving product to help bring awareness and drive interest.

Contests – This is an easy way to get people to enter their email and contact info. I normally ran about one contest every week, featuring a prize with perceived value but didn’t necessarily cost me a whole lot.

Reviews – This is another way to engage your customers on your site, and encourage them to make a purchase! On my e-commerce site, my staff and I would give our reviews on new products and customers could share their own opinions in response.

Maybe some of these ideas may work for your site.  The important key is, now that you’ve got them on your site, to engage your customers with content meaningful to them.

One of the absolute best ways to do this, is with a blog. Click here for Social Media Networking for Small Business: Part 5C Blogging.

 

 

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