Your website needs social mediaI have some goals I set out for this year and one of them is meeting new people. Specifically business professionals and entrepreneurs. By now most of them have websites created which is great. If you’re in business you should have a website, period. Well I used to preach that and actually that’s not all of it. Your website needs a few more elements than just content and contact information.

By now you should have already heard the term Web 2.0 already. Basically it means a new way that websites use to communicate and interact with visitors. You’ll see this with short videos, social media, instant chat, blogs and comment options. These are great ways to mine information from your visitors but also create a more personal connection to them while keeping them engaged to stay longer on your website. Obviously the longer they stick around the higher the chance that they will use or purchase your services and products.

Lets start with Social Media.  Depending on your business and service, you may want to use a few of the many social media services that are currently popular.

Facebook I would recommend starting with.  Setting up a Fan Page isn’t difficult and may take up to an hour to do.  Add some pictures and comments and anything else of interest to your page and profile. Once properly setup with all your profile and contact information, you then need to suggest this page to all of your friends on your personal side of Facebook.  This is so that whenever you post from your Fan Page, they will see your post and hopefully comment on it – but also their friends will see it and hopefully become fans too.

Twitter is another great service that helps get your business to people who otherwise would never know you.  So whenever you have a new blog post, or sale, or promotion, or event, you post that info in a Tweet. Now Twitter isn’t the place for only trying to make a sale, its a place to make new connections with people who are in all types of likes and industries.  Most connections are with people you never met before, but engaging in brief conversations develops a relationship going forward which can lead to sales and referrals. Twitter is also a form of Micro-Blogging which then leads into Blogging. If you’re not a writer, you can train to be by using these means.

Blogging. If you’re not doing it yet, you’re missing out on creating wonderful and meaninful content about your industry. I make the analogy with blogs to how having a website years ago was like being ahead of the game; and now having a website is vital.  Same thing with a blog.  Your posts should be about tips and information about your industry and services. Things that would appeal to people who seek your services and people within your industry.  These posts get indexed into search engines and when people are looking for such information your website may pop up.  Create valuable content and build your reader base.  In turn, they’ll pass along your posts via social media links and draw in more readers who could then be potential clients and customers of your trade.  Are you seeing the pattern here?

Call to action. I have said it before in previous posts, but you have to give your readers something for free if you want their contact information. A website that receives 2,000 hits a day but gains no information about the visitors and converts none of them to leads is not a functioning website.  Most sites with great call to actions have items like free e-zines, newsletters, image downloads, website analysis, and more. But everything they offer is free. The only string attached is a vistors email address and maybe their name on a simple form.

None of this should be done over night.  Proper implementation does take a bit of time.  I strongly suggest a web consultant if you’re not versed with the “lingo” to make these adjustments yourself.  Or if you are you can always Google you way through it I suppose.  Just know that these things are important to your bottom line if you want to see a greater ROI on your website.  If you have any ideas to add to this short list please leave a comment below.