I think we can all be thankful that modern business webpages are generally a far cry from the single-page-with-everything-on-including-the-animated-under-construction-gif designs of the not too distant past. Now they are single pages with everything on BUT NOW animated with CSS.
Oh, how far we’ve come.
As part of our recent whitepaper How social are you?, we examined how businesses are using their websites to connect visitors with their various social media presences.
After all, adding a link to your Facebook page takes less than a minute and immediately gives visitors a way to keep in contact with your brand, even if they aren’t yet ready to purchase.
It was surprising, therefore, to discover that, despite every single company assessed having a presence on at least one social network, only 74% linked to a social media profile – and the number that failed to link to all of their social network presences was notably higher.
In response to our findings, we decided to compile a selection of tips and best practice advice to guide businesses in resolving this. The full range of advice can be found in the report, but highlights include:
Providing prominent links to networks on every page
Best practice would advise to place these on the top or right sidebar of the page, these being the most natural places for visitors to see them. But creative placement in other areas – as Coca Cola does here – shouldn’t be forgotten, so long as it is logical for visitors.
Explain what customers will be getting if they join your social network
At heart (or possibly just in general, you can never tell from behind a screen), most web users are a moody Harry Enfield character. “Follow me on Twitter” will just elicit the response “…why?”.
Try giving them a reason, like: “for regular service updates, follow us on Twitter” or maybe: “Like us on Facebook and party with Eyeball Paul”.
Feed in your latest tweets or status updates on your homepage
Many are put off from doing this by a perception that it’s a difficult feature to implement, but the reality is that the vast majority of social networks will create the embed code on your behalf. By doing this, your site is given a real-time and dynamic appearance, whilst demonstrating that your social network is active and worth visiting.
Of course, make sure you are actually active on the service; otherwise it might have the opposite effect.
Include links to your social media profiles on your contact page
This should be a basic step in 2013; linking to what is essentially basic contact information in this digital age. If you are advertising your phone number and email, why not your Twitter or Facebook details too?
For a complete list of best practice advice for this and other areas of social networking in business and the full findings from our research, click this link and download a copy of How social are you?