At a recent social media consultation/lunch with two clients who both have existing websites, we discussed how social media can tie into their individual endeavors.
Both of the clients I met with are artists with small businesses and have attended my social media educational workshop, ‘Remember to REACH‘. The lunch meeting was a follow-up to the workshop to offer some one-on-one consulting and help them hone in on the social media tools like a blog, Facebook and Twitter that they are just beginning to use.
One of the artists is a sculptor whose wind harp designs are as technical as they are beautiful. He had no problem understanding the concept of using social media to create ties to his website hub. His wife, however, is a painter and was having a difficult time with my explanation of having her blog hosted alongside of her website hub while using social media sites to connect the pieces. Having your blog hosted on the same domain as your existing website will ensure that search engines give you full credit for all of the pages at both locations.
I noted the look of frustration on the painter’s face and realized she still wasn’t getting how the social media pieces worked together. I took a deep breath and looked up to try and get a visual that I could explain to her, rather than the words that her left brain was hearing but her right brain wasn’t comprehending. It was a sunny day and we were under a canvas umbrella with a wooden post. I contemplated how I could have her visualize her website and pointed up to the pieces of the umbrella.
The umbrella, spokes and how they are connected created a visual that worked for both artists, as well as for the writer who I showed it to the next day. I hope this Social Media Umbrella will help you see how your website is the main piece of your online presence, but your other social media tools are the pieces that help turn your website into a larger structure. And keep in mind that your blog and all of the articles it contains is an important part of the structure that will make a difference in whether you can be found online.
Click on the image in this post for a PDF that you can print and refer to. Here are the three main pieces to the umbrella structure as it pertains to social media:
1. Your website is not just a static brochure. It is the hub of your entire online presence, and the goal of using social media sites like Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. is to direct people to your website hub where your call-to-action will occur.
2. A Blog is a powerful social media tool that has two main purposes. Each time someone links or refers to a post you create, it will act as an incoming link to your website, meaning a higher ranking in search results. But the same post is also another page in your website that is indexed by the search engines, which gives you more chances to be found online. For this reason, it is important to keep your Blog as a part of your own website, rather than hosted elsewhere.
3. Social Media sites are the edges of your online reach. These sites allow people to interact with you, to ask questions, to comment, and to really see who you are. Your goal with these sites is not to sell, but to allow people to know you, which will entice them to your website hub.
The beauty of the Social Media Umbrella is that each piece complements the other to create the overall structure, and each piece is linked together to create a cohesive online presence. Your Blog links to each of the social media sites, and they link back to your website, which links to your Blog.
I’d love to hear your feedback on the Social Media Umbrella!