Social Media Marketing Website Usability

By | October 1, 2009

Usable Social Media Marketing Web Sites

The Internet is constantly changing, businesses have to change, to remain competitive. What was once considered a leading edge business web site fails in comparison to the web site functionality currently expected by Internet users.

The business web site is the hub of your company’s business and social activities online. In such a competitive market ensuring your web site meets the expectations of web site visitors is crucial to ensure the web site adds value to your business.

Social Media Marketing is becoming an integral part of most web promotion strategies. Social Media offers numerous opportunities to interact with your current and potential customers. Many of these interactions occur in places other than your company web site. Often the new Social Contacts will be interested enough in your company to visit your web site so the interaction can continue in a location where you set the scene to attract new business opportunities. To ensure this happens, you have to develop a web site which supports your Social Media Marketing activities.

Obviously the requirements of each business differs, but in most cases the techniques and tools are the same. What often does differ, is the commitment the business can provide the web site through human and financial resources.

Visitor Expectations

Expectations visitors have regarding the web site may be determined by how the web site was discovered. Referrals by a fellow online community member, following the link from your thought provoking Blog comment or Search, all will provide visitors with differing preconceptions of the web site.

Visitor Confidence

Regardless of how the web site was discovered , web site visitors must have their attention captured, and made to feel comfortable with the web site environment quickly.

Tell me about your business:

  • What does your business do?
  • Who and where are you?
  • How can I contact your?
  • What can I do on this web site?
  • How do I benefit from visiting your web site?

Once all these questions have been answered then it is time to determine “Should I stay or should I go?” This process occurs in seconds.

First impressions count make sure your web site has the professionalism in web design to meet your visitors expectations.

Getting Around

The web site visitor decides they are interested in doing business with the company and explores the website further. Ease the way for your web site visitor by providing a well labeled intuitive navigation system, get the visitor to their destination as quickly and easily as possible.

Lets Do Business

To do business web site visitors need the right information at the right time with the web processes to support decision making and business conversions.

Social Media is Interaction

Social Media drives targeted web site traffic. Due to this traffic coming from a Social environment it is likely these web site visitors will be expecting to interact with your company.

From a business perspective Live Online Help and a Blogs offer the web site visitors opportunities to interact with, and learn more about the company’s services and products.

Online Help

Online Help has been my preferred method to get my questions answered quickly. Years ago I came across a Web Hosting Company called Hostgator which had a Online Help Service. The Online Help offered by Hostgator has made me a fan of this process as 98% of the time I leave with my problems resolved. This is what the Internet and Social Media is about, the empowerment of the web site visitor .

The Business Blog

Fresh topical content is a sought after commodity and Internet users expect this content to be available on the company’s Blog.

Blogs offer numerous benefits to both the business, and their clients and customers. The ability to provide company and background information in a less formal business manner creates the opportunity to welcome your web site visitors into your business community, and take part by commenting on opinionated Blog Posts.

You must ensure you have Search capabilities within your Blog to ensure visitors are able to find content which is relevant to their current needs and interests.

Business Processes

The final step of the business process requires some form of conversion to be completed. Determining exactly what constitutes a successful conversion is required to understand the processes required to convert the web site visitor.

Once the conversion goals have been identified the web site must support these goals with the required processes, which range from a simple contact request via email, to the complexities of multiple purchases with online Credit Card Payment.

Be sure all your processes are evaluated for clarity and ease of use. A great deal of effort has gone into getting your web site visitors to this point. Don’t let them down now.

The Last Word

I am a firm believer of the business benefits of Social Media Marketing. However, to truly leverage the power of Social Media businesses must ensure they have a web site which welcomes the visitors and empowers them to accomplish their goals and objectives which are in most cases beneficial to the business’s goals and objectives.