So, it’s finally time to build that awesome, show-stopping, business-generating website, right? Whether you just started a new business or simply need to bring yours into the 2020s, getting your business online is KEY! And a new website design is the perfect place to start. But these days, your website has a business partner who cannot be ignored: her name is Social Media.
Social media and web design are two ends of the same coin. They are both essential pieces of your online marketing strategy. As business owners dive into all things web design to get their businesses off the ground, it is easy to ignore that other important piece of the marketing process. I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. Social media and web design are better together. Here’s how to combine both tools to successfully launch your business.
How Social Media and Web Design Work Together
Let’s start by taking a look at why you need a top-notch website design.
As I’ve shared in previous articles, your website is your #1 salesperson. He works for you 24/7, shows up for your customers even while you’re sleeping, and keeps sales moving even when you aren’t there to answer the phone.
When it comes time to launch or update your business, the first thing you need to do is invest in your website. The idea behind your website is that it is your virtual storefront. Even if what you sell is a service (rather than a product) your web design is often your customers’ first impression of your business.
Professional web design ensures your website is optimized to perform, drives traffic to an end goal (purchasing your service or product), and gives customers a great user experience. Without these things, your #1 salesperson becomes your #1 hindrance in growing your business.
So where does social media fit in?
You can have the most beautiful website in the world—with great user experience, optimization, and a client journey that makes you want to buy your own product. But without “directions” or marketing, how will people know where to find you?
There are currently 1.86 billion websites on the internet. While not all 1.86 billion sites are active, that is still a lot of competition when it comes to search engine optimization. By relying solely on your website to garner interest in your business, you’re relying on people finding you in a sea of 1.86 billion other websites.
Social Media, however, is your FREE business marketing weapon. Not only is Social Media designed to help you reach your target audience, but it also allows you to create a larger presence on the internet. Think of your social media profiles like landing pages that all work together to drive people back to your website.
Tips for Launching Your Website Alongside Social Media
If your website is your #1 salesperson, then your social media accounts are your marketing team. Both are necessary from the very beginning of your business journey in order to successfully get your company off the ground. As you get ready to devote time and money to your website, here are several ways to focus on your social media and web design in tandem to help your business thrive.
Explore domain names and social media profiles at the same time.
This is especially important if you’re just launching your business. Coming up with the perfect business name and buying the domain name, only to discover social profiles already exist is disappointing, to say the least.
Remember, social media and web design work best together. As you search for the right business/domain name, explore social media platforms to see if those names are available. If not, is there a way to get creative and still use that name? If they are available, it’s time to create your first business social media account.
Use your website branding to create a social media strategy
Part of updating your web design (or building a brand new website) is establishing your brand look and feel. While your web designer works on turning your brand into a gorgeous website, now is your chance to use your branding to create a social media strategy.
In the simplest terms, this means creating some graphic/photo-based assets to share that are consistent with your brand. It also means brainstorming ways to share and promote your business journey, even before your new website is launched.
As you build a following on your social platforms, you are investing in your primary audience for your website. Your new followers will likely be the first to experience your new web design, so investing in them now will only strengthen your relationship with them as future customers.
Invest in copywriting for your website and social platforms
If you love to put pen to paper, then by all means dive into this step yourself. However, if writing isn’t your forte, now is a great time to bring on a copywriter to help you optimize your social media as well as your website.
Many web designers are also very skilled when it comes to creating SEO copy for your website. However, it never hurts to ask your designer if bringing on a copywriter will be helpful. A copywriter specializes in helping you find the right words to use for every element of your online presence. That means they can help you fine-tune your social media bios, metadata for your search engine results (the titles and descriptions that pop up when someone searches for you on Google), on-page website copy, and even potentially your social media posts.
Whether you hire a professional or go at it solo, it is important to finalize your copy for both your website and social media together so that your customers experience a consistent journey regardless of where on the internet they find you.
Set up automation to help you manage customer service and growth
Many business owners avoid social media because they fear it will absorb too much time. For this same reason, they avoid investing in regular newsletters or emails to customers. With automation, however, both can be accomplished without too much extra effort.
First, it is important to work with your web designer to set up automation for your eCommerce store or website checkout process. Even if you sell a service rather than a product, part of building a great website is also putting automated responses in place. Ask your designer to help you find and set up the right tools so that when a customer emails you, purchases something or signs up for a newsletter, they get an automated email directly from you.
As your business grows and you get more sales or customers, you won’t get bogged down in manually responding to every interaction on your website.
The same principle applies to your social media. While you may not have time to respond to every new like, follow, or comment, create a system that allows you to check up on interactions for just 10 minutes a day. Set up automatic responses to Direct Mail messages on Instagram and on Facebook Messenger. You can create an auto-reply that gets sent the first time someone messages you. You can also set up away messages to help you navigate your busy schedule and ensure customers know you will be available later.
Set up Google Analytics to track your website and social media progress
Google Analytics is a great tool to help you understand how customers are interacting with your website. It is also a great tool to explore the relationship between your website and your social media.
It’s challenging to know if your new web design is doing what it needs to do without first setting up Google Analytics. Ask your web designer to implement this into your new website. Then, take some time to understand how to interpret the data. Finally, as you share new products or links on your social media profiles, use analytics to see how much traffic is generated from social to your new website.
Use your “marketing team” to drive traffic back to your “#1 salesperson”
Once your new web design is finalized and launched, take advantage of your free marketing team (a.k.a. your social platforms) and use them to generate traffic back to your website.
Pre-schedule posts so that you can focus on other tasks while your 24/7 sales and marketing teams continue to generate interest in your business.
Most importantly, don’t ignore the tools that are available to you. Professional web design is an important investment in your business. It determines your customer experience, first impressions of your business, and so much more.
By focusing on social media at the same time you build out your new website, you enhance your potential for growth, increased website traffic, and a faster approach to your business goals.