One of my clients runs four paint stores in the Dallas area. Friday he sent me this e-mail:
You probably know that I like things simple and easy to work with when it comes to our website.
Lord knows I’ve been using the same Frontpage website software since the 90’s.
Well, it’s time to make a change. Our website has been neglected for way too long. I’m ready to start all over! Our Company is on Facebook and Twitter, and we want to capitalize on those connections, as well as to point more people to our shopping cart as well, and for our customers to have more online access to us.
I got your email regarding the “Website Redesign Checklist” and I’ve found it to be very helpful — Thank you for that. I tried to look at WordPress and the others, and it overwhelmed me with the need for information that I just don’t know where to find.
Keep reading. Answers below.
Getting your website set-up with WordPress
WordPress offers two ways to use their software. One option is to set- up everything with a web address like, http://yourname.wordpress.com. This is extremely easy and it’s free. But it has limited functionality. This isn’t a good choice for most businesses.
The best option for businesses is to set-up WordPress software on your own domain name. You’re able to download their software free at http://wordpress.org. Many web hosting companies already have the software on their servers with easy ways to install on your own domain. My company can do this for you too.
After installing WordPress on your domain name, hire a web designer to create a custom theme for you or have them customize a pre-built theme for you. There are several places where you’re able to get professionally designed WordPress themes. At DSC Web Services we use Thesis and WooThemes for most clients.
WordPress gives you the ability to manage your basic website pages (an about us page, products/services page, etc). It also gives you the ability to add a blog to your website.
Use a blog to push your announcements and news to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
Once you’ve set-up your website on WordPress, you’re able to automatically post your upcoming events, news and other blog posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter automatically.
Here’s how you get started. Go to the networked blogs Facebook application and follow their directions. It takes a couple of minutes and you’re up-and-running.
Next, set-up your LinkedIn page (if you don’t already have one). Then use the WordPress application to automatically share your blog posts with your LinkedIn contacts.
Create a contest that drives Facebook fans to your website or shopping cart
One easy way to get Facebook fans to your shopping cart is with an online treasure hunt or scavenger hunt contest. Offer the winner a prize for their efforts.
Post clues on your Facebook fan page. Fans have to find the items on your website. Then post a link to the shopping cart page or web page with the item on your Facebook page. Winners get gift certificates or other prizes.
Here are a couple of other articles on creating contests that drive traffic:
- Small Business Owners: Two Real Life Examples of Using Twitter Contests to Grow Your List
- A Jewelry Store’s Best Promotion in 10 Years & How You Can use the Technique Today
- E-Commerce Websites Use Facebook Fan Pages to Increase Sales
Add ways to share your website content on Twitter and Facebook
WordPress makes it easy for people to share your web pages with their friends using plugins. If you’ve seen a “Tweet this” or “share this” button on a website, you’ve seen plugins you can use on WordPress.
Most plugins are extremely easy to install with a couple of mouse clicks. For a list of 10 plugins I recommend, click here.
Create live events and share photos of customers on Facebook
Facebook and Twitter are great ways to get people to a “live” event. After your event, post photos on Facebook. People will share your photos with their friends – – spreading the news about your business with their friends.
Here are a couple of other articles about events and Facebook or Twitter:
- CHALLENGE: Attract a Crowd to Your Small Business Using Twitter and Facebook. Heres how . . .
- Arrooooh. “Let the wild rumpus start!” Where are the wild things in your business?
Promoting your website and shopping cart doesn’t have to be complicated. Yeah, it takes work. But the tools are easier to use than they’ve ever been before. The tools are cheaper than they’ve been before too. Why not get started today?How to Capitalize on Your Company's Facebook and Twitter Connections by Doug Stewart