We’ve all been to corporate websites that are boring and do little to engage prospects and customers. Sites like these often end up costing the company time and money, without delivering any value to current and future customers. Luckily, the addition of social elements can drive engagement and save a website from snooze-ville. So, what can you do to make a website more social? Here are 5 suggestions.
Whether you sell a product or a service, offer consumers the opportunity to share their thoughts on what they recently purchased. It’s a great way to let your customers help promote your brand or your products by having them share their first-hand experience right next to the product listing on your site.
Change It Up
A socially friendly site is one that is constantly changing. People don’t want to visit a static site that is the same each visit. Of course, we don’t mean to radically re-design your website each week. What we mean is to add specific dynamic elements to your site; such as a blog, news or events section, polls, and other widgets. Routinely updating banner artwork can also keep your website visually interesting, plus it gives you a chance to test the effectiveness of different designs.
Sharing is human nature. People love to share new, cool, and exciting content they find online, so why not allow your visitors to easily share your content? Blogs and micro-blogs, like Twitter, are the perfect place to start dropping little breadcrumbs for your visitors to pick up and share. Look to integrate your Twitter feed, or if you’re using WordPress for your blog, find the best plug-ins to make your site more shareable across the number of available social networks. Also, be sure to include social icons on your website, like Google+1 (check out our Google+1 article for more information), Facebook, and LinkedIn, so it’s simple for your visitors to share interesting information with their network of friends and colleagues.
Allowing your customers to comment and share ideas gives them a sense of ownership – and can generate great insight on how to improve your offering. You can accomplish this through your blog or a forum on your site. Consider including an idea hub or feature request form to allow your customers to provide feedback and ideas for future product development.
Mix It Up
Don’t be afraid to give your audience the opportunity to re-purpose your content. One example is to encourage users to upload re-mixed versions of your commercials to your YouTube channel, challenging them to create a humorous or personalized adaptation. Another idea is to have them record their experience with your product in the real world. You can encourage these efforts by offering to send out an inexpensive Flip camera on loan to help create the video. By giving your customers the opportunity to interact with your brand this way, you’ll be bringing them into your community and increasing their loyalty.
As the search engines change their method of indexing websites and social media takes a leading role in the marketing world, companies who incorporate social elements into their corporate website will find themselves ranking better in the SERPs, increasing their site traffic, and creating new leads.
What have you done to make your business website more social? Let us know in the comments!