One drawback to most online businesses is the fact that the one-on-one interaction with the customer has been completely removed. The sites that are the most effective in eliminating this concern are the ones that integrate social networking that give the consumer the sense that there is actually a person behind the website that they are doing business with. It creates a sense of reality that works remarkably well.
Using social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and blogging creates an interaction with the customer that will add a sense of trust to the relationship. People want to know that there is a face and a name behind the business. They are a great way to share daily information, post special offers and put out important industry news that people may not otherwise be privy to.
While it is unlikely that a storefront website will be updated on a daily basis, that is far from the case with a social networking page and this is why they are so effective in creating interest in a business. Today, most people get their Twitter and Facebook updates sent right to their mobile phones. The constant interaction keeps your business on the forefront of their mind and those daily updates just may be responsible for creating a sale.
Social networking has many more attributes that can be worked into any business, regardless of the niche. By integrating videos, user polls, additional customer support (such as live chat sessions and SKYPE), newsletters and any of the other features that are available via this media outlet, your business sets itself apart from the “stagnant” business sites you are in direct competition with.
It is vitally important that all of these outlets somehow tie directly into your website and literally create your own small networks that the customer can use and depend on for not only services, but information and entertainment. This is what gets people talking in regards to your online presence and what better form of advertising is there than word of mouth?
Finally, social networking pages are search engine magnets. Your business will not only get indexed quicker because of these links, it gives an alternative spot on the search engine pages. The result is a business name that is more prominently displayed resulting in consumer confidence and possibly more traffic. The more visible you are to the Internet user, the more likely they are to visit your site.