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Remember back to the simpler days of economic development when the biggest marketing worry was “We really need a web site.” Now, marketing dilemmas includes things like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and the multitude of other sites that fall into the category of social media. So how are we supposed to deal with all this new social stuff and a web site too?
The popularity of social media has greatly changed the way we market everything, but in some ways it has made our lives easier.
Seriously, social media has given us all a way to look more proactive for our communities and regions than ever before. It has given us a way to keep people we are marketing to more informed and in a timelier manner. And, more importantly it has given us a way to make our websites more dynamic and fresher than they have been in a long time.
Here are five quick tools that can help make your website more dynamic and incorporate your communities’ new social media presence without a lot of work or money. If you have a website you can edit yourself, it may be a copy and paste job, otherwise simply email your web developer and say “I want this!”
Share This – www.sharethis.com
Maybe your community isn’t on social media, but the people your website is connecting with probably are. Share This allows you to create a button that lets the audiences using your web site easily share pages out to their social networks. You simply pick the social networks, generate some simple coding, and then add it to your website. Here’s an example from the www.ExperienceND.com.
Facebook Widgets – www.facebook.com/facebook-widgets
If you have a Fan/Business Page on Facebook, you have a number of easy options courtesy of Facebook Widgets that you can put on your website. You can give visitors the ability to “Like” your Business Page, or “Like” and see the information people are posting on your wall. Or you can simply add a Page Badge to tell them you are on Facebook. Again, these additions each generate simple coding that just needs to be added to your website. It quickly connects what you are doing on Facebook with your website.
Twitter – www.twitter.com/goodies/widgets Similar to Facebook, if you have a Twitter presence, you can incorporate your activity there into your website as well. Twitter Widgets give you the simple code to add to your website that will bring your “tweets” into a display box. It’s a great way to look “active” in two places at once.
YouTube – www.youtube.com
If you have a presence on YouTube it will allow you to grab simple code to incorporate video or video players that host a series of videos right into your webpages. Look for the “embed” button to generate the coding when watching a video. (Be sure you have permission to use it if it isn’t your own.) You can group and create playlists, or post single videos. The example at right can be found at http://www.innovatend.com. If you don’t have video, but lots of photos to feature, check out: www.flikr.com.
Poll Daddy – www.polldaddy.com
Create a quick survey or poll for your website using Poll Daddy. Again, you can customize and create a survey for your website through the simple code this site will generate. Poll Daddy has both free and paid for options based on the amount of responses you think you’re poll will generate.
One More Tip – Tell People
There’s no fancy widget here, just a little advice. If you are playing on social media sites, don’t forget to add something to your website that tells people where you are playing. Check out the buttons we use at http://www.ExperienceND.com at right. Ask your web developer to create a button for your site, or if you want to generate some simple code one more time, you can create a button for Facebook or Twitter at www.socialmediabuttons.com.
Keeping your website fresh isn’t as tough as you thought, especially with the incorporation of social media elements. Now that you are so smart about how to update your website with these cool elements, don’t forget what your mother told you and SHARE these ideas with the businesses in your community.