February 27, 2015 Kevin Erb

Tear down this wall!

A website is like a work of art.social_media

If you close your eyes and concentrate hard enough, you can just picture a web developer uttering that very phrase.The funny thing is, it’s true. A website can be like a work of art – but sometimes for all the wrong reasons.

After all, when you think of an actual, literal work of art, what comes to mind? Something hanging on a wall…in a museum…behind a rope. Don’t touch!

And for many organizations, this was – and continues to be – how they approach their presence online. Something beautifully designed, to be pushed live once, and never to be touched again. After all, it’s too time consuming and expensive to constantly update or change a website, right?

Slowly but surely, this mindset is changing from one of a static website where form rules all, to one of a dynamic website with integrated content – and a stronger overall focus on function, user experience and value.

This change can bring a new challenge – where do we get all of this dynamic content everyone keeps talking about? Again, it’s too time consuming, expensive, labor-intensive, etc., to be generating content for digital on a consistent basis.

Following this line of thinking, of course, overlooks a ready and current source of content that brands are already active in – their social presence. Consciously or not, too often we build a wall between our official digital presence (i.e., our website) and our social presence.

At first, we thought we could break down that wall by posting links to our social properties from our website – drop a little FB logo on there and link to our FB page. Done.

But that can be a double-edged sword, because doing so actually sends people away from your site – with no guarantee they’ll return. (It’s only a few clicks from your website to your Facebook page to bacon recipes and cat pics.)

The good news: Now, it’s getting easier – and more cost effective – to integrate your social presence and, most importantly, your social content. There is a host of services cropping up that automate the process of truly integrating your social feeds into your website. (We’re partial to RebelMouse, but there are others as well.)

The reasons for, and benefits of, baking your social feeds into your site are many:

  • Use what you make. As mentioned above, you’re already creating this content for your social properties – get as much value out of it as you can. That means leveraging it across all properties.
  • It makes Google happy. Especially compared to a static site or one that is rarely updated. Search engines favor sites with regularly updated, dynamic content.
  • It drives traffic to your social presence. Visitors get a much better idea of your social personality and activity when they can see it firsthand through your site, as opposed to clicking a FB or Instagram logo.
  • It drives traffic to your website. More traffic to your social channels increases the awareness of those channels among people’s connections. The more people become aware, the more they’ll use those social channels as gateways to your website.
  • It encourages audience interaction and engagement. People are more apt to interact with a brand via its social channels as they see how active it is. No better way to demonstrate than by putting it directly on your site.

The time to truly break down the wall between digital and social is upon us! It’s never been easier or more effective. If you’re not fully integrating your social presence into your digital one, it’s easy to get started. Your website can still be a work of art, of course – just one you keep working on.