Sharing is caring. In this Valentine’s day edition of Charlotte Web Development I’ll take you through some ways to get some love for your website and your company through social sharing. Just remember that whatever you do, the Internet is forever. Whatever you post on-line, you can have no reasonable expectation of privacy despite the security levels you set.
Facebook is of course the 800lb gorilla in the room. With something like 1 out of every 9 people on the planet using Facebook in 2012, you should have your business on it.
Do This on Facebook:
- Create a separate Facebook business page for your company / website. Customize the page with your logos, pictures of your company being vibrant and active.
- Add Facebook ‘like’ buttons to your website.
- Post updates from more than just your website RSS feed. Think conversation with your fans rather than lecturing.
- Like your friend’s, family, clients, and supplier’s pages from your corporate Facebook Page. Chances are they’ll return the favor and it’s the right thing to do.
- Use your personal account for business. Do that too often and people will just de-friend you or hide your updates.
- Spam your friends and family with links to your business. If they like your corporate page, they’ll automatically get the updates.
- Neglect your website for your Facebook page. Yes you can get a ton of business from Facebook. But remember, you don’t own your account, Facebook does. What happens to your client list if Facebook terminates your account? Use it as a driver, not a vehicle.
- Consider automating your website updates to appear on your corporate Facebook Page. Handmade posts are still the best option to encourage conversations.
- Allow fans to post their own content on your page.
- Put a Facebook bar on your business website that displays your Facebook activity or fan’s profiles.
Was Twitter responsible for the Arab Spring? I don’t know. But I do know that it is a tremendous resource for engaging the world in a public format and a worthwhile place to investigate creating a presence for your business.
Do This on Twitter:
- Nearly all of the items I just mentioned above for Facebook apply to your Twitter accounts. Be a good social media citizen and separate your personal and private selves with different accounts.
- Add ‘Tweet this’ buttons to your website.
- Follow your customers, clients, & suppliers back.
- Re-tweet news sources that reinforce your core message.
- Follow hash tags related to your field.
- Troll your competitors.
- Follow people just so they will automatically follow you back.
- Consider linking your corporate Twitter account to your corporate Facebook account so updates in one place flow to the next.
- Automate your tweets with scheduling software.
- Display your Twitter feed on your website.
LinkedIn has matured beyond just being a place to keep your resume. It is a wonderful networking platform for businesses and professionals. There are so many new aspects to this website, it is worth your time to check it out.
Do This on LinkedIn:
- Again, nearly all of the items I just mentioned above for Facebook and Twitter accounts. Be a good social media citizen and separate your personal and business profiles.
- Add your RSS feed to both your personal and corporate LinkedIn profiles.
- Link to your customers, clients, & suppliers.
- Provide recommendations to the people you truly support and whom have truly helped you.
- Share interesting stories that relate to your field.
- Join industry-related groups.
- Fill out your profile completely.
- Use the LinkedIn Answers section to share your expertise or to recommend other professionals that could help.
- Log in with the mindset of getting. It’s best to seek out ways to help others first, then let the magic of Internet karma return the favor later on.
- Link to people on your personal account that you know absolutely nothing about.
- Consider linking your corporate Twitter account to your LinkedIn account so updates in one place flow to the next.
4-9. Google’s Properties
If Facebook is an 800lb gorilla, then Google is it’s massively bigger brother. Google is now a collection of applications that exists at scale that’s hard to fathom. Luckily they are currently linking the profiles of all of their disparate properties so it may soon come to pass that you’ll only ever have to enter your information once.
- Google Plus. They only allow personal pages last I checked but it’s important to remember that Google searches will now take how many ‘+1′s your website content gets. People still search for goods and services in droves so you’ll want to stay on top of this one by putting a +1 badge on your website.
- YouTube (Owned by Google). Make some videos. Start a channel. Brand it with your logo and share your message with the world.
- Google Webmaster. We spoke about this one earlier when discussing sitemaps. Essential technology for so many reasons.
- Feed Burner (Owned by Google). Google’s free RSS subscription service. No reason not to burn your feed. It’s like direct injection to their listings.
- Google Places / Maps. An absolute must for the Mobile Internet age. Get your company listed and share your website information there.
- Google Reader. An RSS aggregation engine. Add your feed as well as others in your industry to keep up with the news.
Ever wonder why some comments show a custom photo in website comments while others don’t? It’s because of Gravatar. Sign up, enter your information, add a profile pic and let all of the websites you comment on (like this one) build your brand. Also consider adding Gravatar support to your own comments if you don’t already have it. Enter a comment below this article to see it in action.
Others of Interest
Pintrest – Like an on-line bulletin board. Coming on strong in 2012 as it fills the need of organizing all of your million bookmarks with a beautiful interface while also allowing ease fo sharing and enabling social discovery. This will be a major source of traffic for businesses in no time flat.
These were some ideas to get you started. Remember, you don’t have to do everything. In fact, I’d argue if you were spending all of your time on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, I would ask how much time was really being spent on your business. Despite the social pressure, you can’t be everywhere at once.
The best advice I can extend is to focus on building your business and your brand. Keep your core data to yourself on an independent website and then find ways to share it on other platforms. Experiment with each of the places listed above. Find out what works for you & your audience. Also take note of what doesn’t and scale down from there.
As a final warning don’t put your data any place you can’t easily get it back from! Putting all of your company’s eggs in the basket of on any service that you yourself do not directly own is a recipe for disaster.