Lately I have been working with a lot of smaller businesses, and I have noticed one simple trend with them. As a professional designer I take very few brand new businesses as clients, by personal preference, but I do deal with a lot of re-designs. The main thing that I have noticed with my latest few clients is that their designer did not stress the importance of Social Media in today’s world. Real life experience is the root of ninety percent of my articles/tutorials.
So what is the importance of Social Media Marketing? It is not necessarily an important aspect of a web presence, as much as it is a necessity of your web presence.
It’s Your First Impression
It used to be that your store front was a person’s first impression of your business. Then it graduated to your website being your first impression, and now we have graduated once again to Social Media being your first impression to much of the internet. That’s not to say your website isn’t vital, because it is still the most vital aspect to a web presence, but your social media presence is becoming just as important.
Facebook, Twitter, Zerply, LinkedIn, and a million other social media sites are visited every single day by millions of people. If your friend had a bad experience at Taco Bell you are going to hear about it first via Facebook or Twitter. Knowing that, as a business would you rather be able to talk about that person’s experience or hear about it days down the road when you start losing business.
Now, naturally as a web designer we want what is best for our clients, right? Well, I wouldn’t say we want what is best for them all the time, but we have reputations to uphold. The whole reason your client wanted the website was to build their business, and the more success that they have the more success you will have.
How to Tell Your Clients
I can guarantee that you will get that one client at some point that will want to harass you about adding a Facebook or Twitter. You will get the standard, “That’s too much work” or “we don’t have time” and you have to know how to combat those. You need examples, both professionally and personally, to give your clients on the importance of social media.
If social media was not that important then why would you see such a big presence by companies like Pepsi, Coke, McDonalds, and even Wal-Mart? Your clients may come back with the fact that they are huge companies and can afford to hire a team dedicated to Social Media, and that may be slightly true. You need to explain to them though that these big companies realize that Social Media is the key to gaining new customers, and the only way to do that is to give them a reason. You can also explain to your clients that these businesses are big enough that if it wasn’t an essential part of business in today’s world why would the big companies waste their time?
Utilizing Social Media for Your Client
Outside the obvious Twitter and Facebook buttons for the website you are designing, how else can you utilize Social Media? First you need you explain to your client that they must offer potential clients a reason to follow their pages. Once you have done that you must incorporate that into your pages and into the various designs. Having a Facebook and Twitter page is great, but you really want them to stand out.
Once the design is completed you will want to explain to your client how to utilize their Social Media. While Facebook and Twitter are great places to spread the word about your business people are also following you to get some interaction, especially if you are a smaller business. It is essential that you explain to your client that if they only have time to make two posts a week that one of those be interacting with those that follow/like their page.
Personalization of a Facebook or Twitter page will take it to that next level and show customers that you really do care and that you are a real entity instead of just some business wanting their money.
With the importance of Social Media moving forward in the day it is essential that you make sure your clients understand this. What are some tips and tricks that you guys use for your clients to show them how essential Social Media is?