Web Design Social - Sept 2009

Sunshine Coast Web Design Social

At web design Sunshine Coast we have seen trends over the years and the current one is social networking.

As with any discussion there are always a number of sides or points of view. Back in 2003 when we began our web design newsletter we wrote an article on marketing. More on Business Marketing from June 2003.

The plus side is that social networking is the way our youth or younger market communicate and if you are not there, you may be left behind. The minus side is basically don't confuse communication with spam or 'put all your eggs in one basket' not to mention the time restraints. Personally our Sunshine Coast web design is based on getting your message, products or service out there and some social networking in the mix is not a bad thing.

Web design for social media

Social media has become a common communication tool; time on social networking sites has increased by 73 percent in the past year.

However social media in a corporate setting could reduce employee productivity and could damage a company's reputation. However social media used properly could improve customer relations and build your brand. More on web design brand.

Social networking can be valuable in recruitment, as a customer service tool and used to improve employee morale.

The most popular social networks being used include Facebook (80%), Twitter (66%), YouTube (55%), LinkedIn (49%) and blogs (43%).

Social networks are likely to become more popular as communication channels with customers, colleagues and partners. Advertising executives visit social media sites at least weekly to read what customers are saying about their company, while others routinely monitor competitor's use of social networking. Business owners search social media sites to see what their employees are sharing while some use social networking to check the background of a potential employee.

Let's present both sides of the debate:

Social Web Design Minus

Social networking can harm your efforts at running a successful business.

The first and most common way that social networking websites like Twitter can harm you business is by simply overdoing it. Because of it's ease of use, many home business owners have become so caught up in using Twitter and other social networking sites for their promotion that they have abandoned other proven methods of business marketing. Rather then spend their business day writing articles, working on SEO for their website, etc., they will spend a few minutes on Twitter, promoting their business, update their Facebook Status or Notes for something to do with their business, and call it a day. This is the old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket, and it simply won't work. If you can't measure your results; you can't manage your business. More on web design statistics.

Another way social networking promotion can hurt your business is by using these sites as an updated way to spam. We are all familiar with the Junk folder in our email accounts, and how quickly it will fill up with unsolicited ads promoting everything under the sun. With the dawn of social networking, those who make spam a part of their business have found a new outlet. I can't count how many times I see one person put up 4-10 posts in a row, and all of them are advertising something! I have received messages on Facebook, from people I barely know, selling me the latest "Get Rich Now" marketing gimmick. This does not make anyone want to buy into something, and may even make them angry enough to report you. If you spam consistently on Twitter, you can kiss your account goodbye, so why waste your time?

Web Design Networking

The final harmful social networking factor that I will mention here applies more to Twitter than any other site. This is the use of programs that will automatically post tweets for you, all day, everyday. The idea of these programs is itself not a bad one. The problem lies in the fact that many business owners use them as a "set and forget" type of marketing. If I see someone on Twitter making the same posts at the same time, week after week, it becomes obvious that this person has no interest in the social aspect of the site. I personally am more inclined to be interested in someone if that person shows an interest in me. After a few days of seeing the same tweets over and over, I stop viewing that person's tweets altogether, and if they're really overdoing it, I will unfollow them. So good job, instead of making a sale, you lost one more. At the end of the day you are trying to connect with customers. More on web design for customers.

Do not treat social networking sites as the ultimate advertising tool. While Twitter and others are useful, and do work well for business promotion, you need to use other methods too. The tried and tested marketing methods still work, and should be applied to your campaigns as well.

Web Design Value

-Do not spam your friends/followers. You are guaranteed to lose more sales than you make if you employ this method. It has been said that only 10% of your social networking time should be spent actually promoting. That means that 90% of the time, you should be adding something of value to your network. This way, when you do mention your business, people will be more inclined to pay attention. Your followers may visit your website if you answer the question: "Does this web site have the information I need?" More on web design essentials from March 2006.

Social Web Design Plus

-If you use autoposting software for Twitter and other sites, keep it fresh. I personally try to use these programs only when I am away for a longer period of time. If you use these programs often, change your posts on a regular basis, to avoid having your message become old, stale, and ignored.

If you use common sense, manage your time well, and stick to these guidelines, you can have a lot of success promoting your business through social networking.

Tweets are used to share stories, link to photos, promote content, break news, and a whole lot more. Twitter has also become an incredibly important tool for social media marketing professionals. Here are 12 ways in which Twitter can be used in your social media marketing campaign.

1. Sharing Links to Items of Interest

As soon as you read something online that you think is interesting, it is easy to share it on Twitter with all of your followers. Twitter is highly effective in this manner because it is such a quick way to be able to reach a large group of people. You can also get a lot of great ideas for blog posts from Twitter since many new ideas and stories are floating around that haven’t even made it to the blogosphere and definitely not to mainstream media. More on web site links.

2. Building Your Network

Using Twitter is a great way to build your network because it allows you to find and follow people with similar interests. You can use Steeple to find people who live in your geographical area. You can also use other tools that help you find new people to follow based upon who your Twitter friends follow.

3. Build Relationships within Your Current Network

People in different networks often use Twitter to connect with their contacts instantly rather than using instant messaging for that purpose. Furthermore, many people use Twitter to connect with their network during events like conferences.

4. Re-Distributing Content from Your Blog or Website

Twitter can be used to redistribute content from your blog or website. However, you should take care to do this thoughtfully since many of your Twitter followers may already read your blog. For that reason, you may want to avoid using a blog plug-in that automatically Tweets your posts. Your best bet is to Tweet your content manually and customize each Tweet so it doesn’t get old. More on web design keywords.

5. Get Involved in Live Tweeting Events

Twitter launched at SXSW last year, catapulting microblogging conferences to fame. Live Tweeting events are great because they are a form of citizen journalism that allow you to connect with several new people in your niche while making active and valuable contributions to current discussions in your community.

6. Pitching Stories to Journalists on Twitter

You can send a direct message to a journalist who is following you on Twitter to pitch a story idea.

7. Communicating with Your Team

You can use Twitter as a company intranet that connects all of your employees. Twitter can be particularly useful in this regard if you have a virtual business with employees in different geographical locations. You can set your updates to private for security reasons. Anytime you are working on group projects, you can stay in touch with your team members using Twitter.

8. Brand Monitoring

Stay up to date with any mentions of your business on Twitter. If there is anything negative, you will be able to counter it quickly. You can also use Twitter as a way to receive feedback from your customers and improve your business. Just ask your followers to give their opinion on something. For example, if you designed a new website, ask your followers what they think about it and get their constructive criticisms so you can make your site design even better.

9. Acquire More Votes on Social Media Websites

If you have submitted a story to Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, or any other social voting website, tweet a link to that submission to try to score more votes from your followers. If your followers like what they see, they are sure to vote for your content.

10. Hiring People

Looking for a programmer, designer, or writer? Whatever type of professional you seek, try finding them on Twitter. Simply send your followers a tweet telling them you are looking for someone for a job. They can either recommend someone to you or offer themselves for the job. Using Twitter in this way is ideal for finding qualified freelancers. It is much more convenient than putting out a classified ad.

11. Build Your Personal Brand

When you use Twitter to talk about things as mundane as what you ate for breakfast or how you are going to sleep early tonight, you make your followers feel like you are casual and approachable. Even those with running a company that has a cold, corporate brand image could create more appeal and build a unique personal brand using Twitter.

12. Streamline Electronic Communications

When you use Twitter, you’re likely to find yourself using IM, email, and other electronic communication methods less. Twitter not only provides public chatting through Tweets, it also allows you to send direct messages. Twitter will help you streamline your electronic communications, allowing you to scale back online. More on a web design plan.

Contact us to find out more - Sunshine Coast 0407 589 420.


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