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Companies rely on building and sustaining relationships. If you are in the DC-metro area or similar urban centers, these relationships are particularly important. Whether you rely on government contracts, donors, or private clients for your business, a good web presence can help facilitate those crucial relationships. You don’t need to be fluent in the language of the digital age, but all industries can benefit from a social media strategy.
What if you are a Reston-based security consultant without a social media strategy? You are surrounded by major security and international industries, and you want to be competitive in the chaotic DMV swamp. Or what if you are a small non-profit in Rosslyn seeking the fickle attention of donors and local stakeholders?
Here are four ways any company can enhance their web presence with social media:
1. Get leadership involved as part of your web presence
70% of Fortune 500 company CEOs are not using social media. The head/s of the company hold the vision for their organization. They can be an untapped source for expanding the brand online. Leadership can (and should) increase web visibility. Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of Virgin, is an unparalleled example of how a CEO can retain millions of followers on multiple social media accounts. He “brands” himself, not just his company. On a LinkedIn post, Branson stated “[…] Like all other areas of business, CEOs have the opportunity to set the bar. By ignoring social networks, they are potentially missing a trick.”
Your CEO’s Twitter account can interact with other brands, leaders, and your company’s Twitter. Your target audience will be more inclined to trust your brand if they have some idea about the living, breathing person leading your brand. This is a good way to develop and broaden the reach of your brand’s “voice”.
2. Integrate your social media with your website
Find out what social media structures are already in place in your company. Who is engaging your audience online and how? If you have social media accounts in addition to a website, a web developer can help you find ways to integrate your social media with your website. Web developers can curate social media buttons, Twitter feeds, and multimedia (video/pictures) to connect your web presences.
We partnered with the City of Alexandria to seamlessly integrate a unique and user-friendly social media menu into their redesigned website. As part of an overall City of Alexandria website redesign and development project, WDG was also tasked with connecting the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts for nearly 20 different entities to the city’s website.
3. Know your target audience
Another key part of a successful social media strategy is knowing your target audience. Research your target audience. Where are they online? Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? LinkedIn? What kinds of content are they interacting with? A web development partner can help you utilize online surveys or focus groups to learn more about what your audience wants. A good strategist can also find unexplored audiences.
There are a lot of ways to get to know your target audience, but the most effective is to…
4. Facilitate transparent and open communication
Encourage active and discerning engagement online. Check in with your audience. Be curious about what they have to say. Make your audience aware about how and where they can contact you. Use multiple venues: email, snail-mail, social media, website contact forms. Specify contact information for different sections in your business, whether that’s marketing, press, customer service, etc. Web developers and designers can orient your website to make your contact information accessible and attractive.
WARNING: We’ve all seen the horrors of the Facebook comment section. Online customer service can go downhill quickly if not properly supervised. Digital strategists, like those with the WDG, can help you create consistent standards of online engagement. Governance plans can minimize any risks involved in open communication and social media engagement.
Most importantly, take time to invest in your social media development. WDG has seen increased brand visibility when companies make their web presence a priority.
If your company is looking to develop your overall web presence in addition to social media, WDG offers innovative, dependable website design (or redesign!) and tailored marketing strategies. We closely work with our clients to explore digital solutions that bolster their brands’ success.
Interested or want to learn more? Contact us!