The massive advances that social media networks have made in recent years means that one specific area of online interaction is now perhaps the most vital for any business.
In fact, anyone who wants to engage with the widest audience possible needs to understand that ‘going social’ can be the key to reaching out to new markets and establishing new connections. Knowing how to effectively integrate social media on your website can make the difference between fully realizing the goals of your online presence or risk seriously falling behind your rivals and competitors.
How important is social media to modern businesses?
To put it simply, the importance of social media to modern businesses is now a key element in brand awareness and interactions with clients and customers. Although ultimately hard to quantify, the array of tools available to dissect many different metrics can give an accurate idea of how people connect with commercial companies. More than that, the way that social media allows specific levels of targeting for marketing campaigns means there is a bespoke approach available for almost every aim and eventuality.
The benefits of social media for businesses
As well as offering the chance to further engage with existing customers and to reach out to targeted demographics in a way that is acceptable to them, the benefits of social media in the business world go even further. Today’s consumers like to be able to cost and compare products and services at their leisure. This means that a flexible approach to creating a feedback loop is essential for any business that wants to be competitive and in order to do this a business owner needs to look at things from a consumer perspective. Social media allows a level playing field to be put in place when it comes to interacting with a client base, whether existing or potential, and it also means that even the smallest operation can use the same tools as multinational corporations.
The key to successfully integrating social media into your website is knowing what you want to achieve and your target demographic. The latter is an essential element because different social networks appeal to different people. For instance, Facebook is no longer a destination site for younger consumers, because many prefer to use WhatsApp or Instagram. Understanding this means that you also need to understand the way that different social platforms actually work. Instagram and Pinterest are both extremely visual mediums, and Twitter can be used effectively for short, sharp bursts of written info. Either way, the idea is to get social media users to visit your own sites, so that’s where the actual integration aspect comes into play.
The social networks actively encourage you to link to them and there are plenty of easy to use tools to make integration simple. Adding links and follow buttons to your social accounts and to your main website creates a two-way street of online traffic, and using images and videos on your social media accounts can create a visual experience that offers a seamless feel between a social environment and a more business-focused website. Various apps and widgets are offered, usually free, by all the major social platforms and this makes integrating them into your own space exceptionally easy.
Among the companies that use this approach to great success is the Noble Group, which manages a portfolio of global supply chains essential to the international trade in industrial and energy products. With an important role in supplying high growth demand markets, such as Asia and the Middle East, an integrated online strategy is an essential part of the company’s overall branding. Yusuf Alireza is the CEO at Noble Group, having previously held the positions of President, Vice President and Partner at various Goldman Sachs operations around the world. With his level of experience Alireza instinctively understands the part that social media integration has to play in the success of any modern business.
Social by design
Your business website has probably undergone many changes to date, but integrating social media isn’t something that necessarily requires a full redesign. The ease in which different social connections can be inserted into place makes it an affordable option for everyone, and any well-structured online presence in the current marketplace should already be adding value to social media user experience in any case. Whether that means a social feed throughout your website, or pulling content from different channels in a particular section of it, it isn’t hard to create a seamless user experience that strengthens your brand and gives customers and clients exactly what they want.