Social media integration – where do we draw the line?

As new projects arrive in the inbox of Coast Design, the protocol of creating new and redesigning existing websites is continually evolving.Of course, the pre-production process is still consistent with the mapping of the site, user journeys and wireframing.

The post-production process Coast follows includes important areas such as validation, accessibility, integration of analytics packages and testing.But the implementation of new sites can raise important questions when it comes to integrating social media. These methods are growing in importance and are vital for major brands but where do you draw the line? Will clients learn to adapt to social media? If they are willing to engage in social media and networking, what techniques do you push first?

To put this into context, Coast have a number of projects in the pipeline – all with different needs.Coast are putting the final touches to a surgeon’s website who is based in Surrey. They have a high demand for their services and therefore don’t rely on online for marketing their business. At present Coast have no plans to integrate Social Networking in their website because the client will not be able to devote their time to maintaining anything like a blog or Twitter feed.

Projects like this are a shame because the client is normally eager to have an online presence and equally eager to be at the top of the google rankings. This is great, but the eagerness normally declines when they are asked to maintain a blog, Twitter feed or spend some more money in a Google Adwords campaign.A second project on the horizon is a redesign for a well known European greenhouse brand. This project is a bit different, they have a young, vibrant team who are active in social networking and more than eager to embark with a blog or Twitter feed to further promote their business. The problem here is the industry.

Can you actively promote greenhouses to a demographic within a facebook ad campaign? Is it too soon to think that these tools are appropriate for this industry?Ultimately, these tools are becoming as much a necessity for businesses as a website was and still is. Also, as time passes and social media becomes integral in daily life, the market will mature into many more industries – the greenhouse industry is bound to be one of them and many more will follow.The more established your brand is with social media will give your company a foundation to build upon so that when the market turns their attention to you, your company is already there! Blogs and Twitter feeds are free to set up, the only on cost is your time and if you can streamline the approach as much as possible, you will reap the benefits of the quantity and quality of backlinks to your site.

Before you know it, your clients will be assisting their own SEO without even knowing it.

Everyone wins

About Andrew Smallwood

Experienced digital strategist with a foundation in web development and analytics. Leads multi-disciplinary teams in content creation and digital marketing ensuring data is at the core of decision making.

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