Most corporate websites are pretty boring, there’s not much incentive to return to them. However, by taking note of how consumer websites engage their customers, and by using some of their ideas, you can make your website more social – which comes with many benefits:
- Your customers can get involved with/interact you so you build better relationships with them and they become more loyal
- Your customers spread word about your business to their own networks – acting like a recommendation/referral source
- Your prospects can get to know you and engage with you – keeping them in your circle of influence until they’re ready to buy.
Here are five ways to make your website more social:
1. Add a ‘share this’ link on all your pages
Allow people to easily share your content with their own network. This should be simple and easy to use – no forms that take three minutes to fill out where you insist on collecting stacks of marketing data – no-one will use it! The best thing is just to use the various icons for social media sites and allow users to connect to their profiles easily. Including an email to a friend function is also a good idea.
2. Add Re-tweet This or Like This functionality
The two largest social networks are Twitter and Facebook and the most likely ones your customers are going to use to recommend content – my site visitors seem to prefer Twitter but add both and monitor results.
3. Allow comments or product reviews
Allowing comments is probably more appropriate where you have a corporate blog and product reviews for e-commerce but either way don’t shy away from allowing people to air their views. You get allsorts of useful insights and contrary to popular belief people don’t tend to leave undesirable stuff. If they do leave a complaint then see it as an opportunity to put it right. I read the other day that a person will tell one other person about you if you get everything right, five other people if you get it wrong but 10 other people if you get it wrong and then fix it… food for thought!
4. Let people rate your stuff
By stuff I mean both your content and your products – many people are still shy about leaving comments/reviews so let them dip their toe in the water anonymously to begin with.
5. Add links to your own social media profiles
As a business you ought to at least have a LinkedIn profile and a Twitter account so publicise them on your website and let people join up with you. They might not be ready to buy but want to get to know you a bit better first. If you’re publishing a blog, make sure you announce your latest posts on Twitter and LinkedIn so you reach the maximum number of people with each piece of new content. This doesn’t work so well where you’re just regurgitating press releases so make sure you include plenty of useful content that your competitors probably won’t provide – if it feels like your exposing ‘secrets’ then you’re probably on the right track to content that ‘will go social’.