Four Pillars to Understanding the Internet
January 6, 2011
There are four pillars for learning how to effectively manage the Internet rapidly and easily.
Pillar 1: Your website and content.
Pillar 2: How to use the best social media (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube).
This article covers the first two pillars. Click here to read about the other two.
It’s important under pillar 1 to maintain your website consistently – not every so often. Your website provides your customers with instant access to information about your business and provides a foundation to build lasting impressions and strong business relationships.
To get the most out of your website, it needs a robust out-reach effort:
- content that changes from time to time (the easiest way to do this is by having a blog or a “news” area that lists new information)
- useful information about your business that includes key words
- a newsletter sign-up (so that you can retain contact information from interested parties)
- links to your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube) to give people a variety of ways to discover and interact with your business
Your social media outreach program is pillar 2. Social media are not complicated at all. They are simply new channels to reach your targets over the Internet. They provide a method of connecting your company to consumers via word of mouth recommendations. Poor or no representation of your company on social media sites can hinder your business.
The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Facebook is the powerhouse of web marketing and social media with more than 500 million users across the world. Customers can engage with your brand by leaving comments, generating content about your brand such as photos, participating in calls to action and sharing links to your information or products. Facebook also has a built in pay-per-click ad program.
- Twitter is the fastest growing social media platform. Its primary advantage-brevity. Any “tweet” is limited to 140 characters. Journalists often use Twitter for leads and sources. Many people use Twitter to learn about news instantaneously. Some use it to communicate immediately in a crisis.
- YouTube is a great way to use video rather than just pictures and words. Videos should be short and succinct, like 2-3 minutes. Easy to do with a smart phone or other video device.
The Internet is your best friend for marketing. It is easy to learn, easy to maintain, free or inexpensive. These two pillars are your guides to demystifying the whole online and new media process. Keep in mind developing content on your website is important because it is an extension of the passion you have for your business. Your Internet presence allows you to gather instant feedback, providing you with the opportunity to quickly access information and ideas, which can be used to generate new business, build brand loyalty and increase customer retention.
As a business owner, you may feel there’s no way you could possibly squeeze blogging and website updates into your daily schedule. If so, hire a web content specialist or someone who has knowledge of new media – the “nerd” component.
Wendy Williams and Ashley Smith are new media specialists at Eiler Communications, Ann Arbor.