Does Your Website Have a Social Plan

It’s no mystery that social networking is essential in today’s website environment. It used to be if you could get listed in a prominent position on the Google Search Engine, that would be just fine and the traffic would sustain you. The Game Has Changed!

Here are some facts about Social Media and Social Networking Relative to the Success of Your WordPress Website.

  • People ARE NOT likely to submit comments if they can’t login to your WordPress comment system with Facebook, Google or Twitter
  • Users are impatient about joining a website that they cannot login to with a social networking profile
  • People are making less comments on actual blogs and more on the social networking profiles that blog posts get submitted on to gain viral attention.
  • People stick on mobile devices.
  • No matter who you are, your blog will never have a larger following than Facebook, Google or Twitter.

Let’s Pick These Apart and Look at the “Why?”

Comments: Why Aren’t People Commenting as Much?

As a tech environment participant, I’m often looking for information on particular scripts or instructions on how to iron out conflicts. Quite simply, there is just less information available. Unfortunately, this makes it much more difficult for the casual non-tech user. It used to be that you could really count on finding solutions in comment sections. Not so much anymore.

Why is this? In my opinion, it is quite simply a time availability issue. People only have so much time and they are allocating it to social networking instead of blog participation. Building a network in this environment becomes much more difficult.

Very recently, I had a very complex MySQL WordPress database issue with an e-commerce website that I was attempting to solve where there were quite a few complex queries needs. Hours and hours of scowering the net, posting for help, gaining partial solutions and trying to piece the puzzle together gave a nice start, but not enough to solve this complicated situation.

One posts on Google+ to where I have some really amazing contacts…and a couple back and forths with a friend…and bingo, I was able to take what I had and piece it together and solve the problem. Success!

Joining a Site: Why is it Difficult to Get People to “Join” a Blog Site?

How many passwords do you have? How many bookmarks? It gets completely insane if you are online quite a bit and treasure many resources. There are SO MANY amazing resources on the net, but there are also so many different things we’re trying to do. On social networks, we can organize people who have expertise in different areas. Getting help or getting pointed in the right direction becomes much easier when you can find experts on the same social networks you are on.

Commenting on Social Networks: Why This is Easier for Most People.

We covered keeping track of websites. We all have our favorite resource sites we go to frequently and this is great…but how about all the other sites with good information?

The fact is, anyone who is anyone submits their posts (if they’re quality) to social networks. The posts themselves are often viewed…or just the topic is viewed…and an associated conversation or comment string ensues on social networks versus on the site itself.

Why? It’s just easier…you’re there already and logged in on Facebook, Google or Twitter and making a comment is just easy. Discussing is easy. We all like easy. The networks have made a concerted effort to provide this ease, and most of us really appreciate it in a day and age that there is not much time in the day with the sheer amounts of information we come across.

Stickyness on Mobile: Less Tabbing, More Directed Participation

SO MANY people are using mobile devices. It’s no joke.

If you’ve used laptops and desktops, you know the size of the screen can dictate the amount of different resources you can sustain at once. It also dictates how fluidly you can move through these resouces.

On mobile, a user can stick to one resource and use it to “bounce to” resources vs. actively seeking the resources. This is a significant difference in the way the user experience works. It’s a sort of “ADD effect” where we now are more in tune to wait for something interesting to come in front of us, vs. going out and seeking the interesting things.

That’s not to say we still don’t do this, but just think of the last interesting thing you’ve found…where did it come from?

Does Your Plan for Next Year Include a Much More Significant Focus on Utilizing Social Networking with Your Website?

A nice website sitting out on the net is great. You need it and without it, you might not be taken seriously in your sector. We all know this. This used to be much more singular. With the way times have changed, it’s now the same with your social presence. You don’t have to be a champ on all social networks, but if you aren’t participating in at least one actively, your klout in your space may not be taken as seriously. Especially when there are plenty of competitors that are seen as active.

This has all come on pretty fast and therefore, most people planning for the next year of online application are putting a significant emphasis on planning and integrating social networking into their presence approach. You simply can’t deny it’s out there and statistically, there is no argument to the power.

Understanding the Networks

This is just my opinion of the breakdown of the 3 big social networks based on my experience.

Facebook: We all know a lot of people depend on Facebook for their one social network. Their family is there, their friends are there, they’ve built some sort of a business presence there (or think they have) (it may not be effective)…but the fact is that pretty much everyone has it, and a lot of people hang on it. It’s familiar and they’ve grown with it.

I find there to be much more casual, non-tech or business postings there, but what you see will be very relative to how you’ve chosen to make friends and who they are.

Google+: Due to the newness of this network and most of the early adopters being tech, photograpy or art related people, you will find a large concentration of these types of people on Google+. If you are one of these by nature, you will feel very at home.

This is changing and people in other categories are coming onto the scene, as has the ability to create a business presence. There is also a great ability to organize your contacts into categories or “circles” based upon what they are related to. Facebook offers this to some degree as well, but the G+ network is centered around this capability, and therefore, it is very powerful once you understand it.

Twitter: Twitter is awesome for exchanging resource links and even finding information by subject. Things move extremently quickly and without an app, it’s hard to really keep organization…before Google+, this was also the “techhaus” with more development and tech sector participants. This has obviously spread out over time to casual users, celebrities and about everyone as an active environment with ability to connect with others and offer updates and information…and due to the limited posting length, many enjoy the simplistic nature of the posts, being able to look through many, yet still follow which may be of interest.

Posting at the Best Times

This deserves an article unto itself, and there are many theories as to which timeslot is the best. It can also be specific to your individual networks as to when the attention is at prime. Doing research on this is vital. I’ll be sharing some of mine in the coming future, based on polling and intensely seeking understanding of this based on my networks. If you are not seeking when your contacts are there to look at what you have to say, you may be missing a crucial opportunity to connect. Remember, sometimes success can be the difference of just one person.

Use or Lose…Period…

The entire purpose of writing this post is to hammer home the fact that YOU MUST have a social networking strategy for website success. The more organization, planning and specifics the better.

There has been a rise of professoinals who are focussing on this space, assisting others to move into it or gain more from it.

Why are there no experts?

Many will identify themselves as experts…since no two networks of people are the same, each must be viewed and understood differently…social groups are a personal thing…and as such, a personal specific approach is key.

Hiring somebody to get the tech and approach you need still makes sense, but keeping the fact that your group is not the same as their group and structuring your plan around that will determine success.

Doing nothing to plan and implement technology to either move into or increase your activity on one or more social networks WILL, by statistics, earmark you as being less important in your space.

Plan Now…Plan in Writing…Do Things…Take Action…Succeed.