Landing pages, online communities, customer feedback forums, videos blogs, social sharing sites, social e-commerce, membership sites, idea crowdsourcing and even simple business websites. Undoubtedly, these types of websites are excellent ways to attract and engage the community (i.e. customers, fans, etc.) around you and your brand. Sounds great, but why aren’t more brands using these types of websites to separate themselves from the ever growing clutter of the social web? What can be done to make it easier and less costly to create social websites?
Here are just a few common roadblocks using creating social websites to attract your ideal customers and fans:
Creating Your Own WordPress Website
Self installing WordPress and building out a website seems to be the popular idea, but you still run into the roadblock of purchasing themes, plugins, overcoming common technical challenges (i.e. plugin conflicts) and dealing with hosting issues that can easily pop up from plugins, etc. To make your site something worth being a part of, it is going to take more than slapping together a theme and a few plugins. Time also becomes a factor when trying to create social websites on your own self install. I’ve personally found myself spending ours searching for a particular plugin and editing code just to handle something simple. This becomes especially annoying when you are setting up something as simple as a landing page. I’m not saying that this is particular a bad idea, but for most of you that don’t know how to or want to deal with customizing a site, it’s just not worth your time.Time is money.
Paying Someone to Develop a Custom Social Website For You
I’m totally for outsourcing and developing custom solutions when necessary. There are times when a hosted solution just won’t fit the need. The problem is that certain types of social websites don’t need the level of customization that you might expect. For example, a membership site. You might only need to block content from non-paying members. Now there are several parts that need to be setup to make this happen, but if there is already a pre-built website platform that takes care of 90% of the functions by default, there is no sense in getting something custom developed. You need to think about where you plan on going with the website and what level of customizations might be needed down the road.
Implementing the Right Marketing Strategy With Technology
Creating a social website is not even half the battle when it comes to seeing the results you are looking for. I would go as far as saying it’s not even 20% of the real work that needs to be done. Without a solid marketing strategy it just ends up taking up space on the web. I’m not saying anything you haven’t heard before. The one big problem with marketing your social website (i.e. membership site, branded social network, etc.) is that you are too close to your brand. There is a usually a gap between what you think will work to market your social website and how others view your initiative. This is where a team of advisors can come into play, but when it comes to social websites, having advisors that can provide solid feedback and suggestions can be difficult.
Getting the Support You Need
One major problem when you try to create a social website is dealing with technical issues that can pop up along the way. Even with WordPress, issues can pop up that don’t have straightforward solutions, especially for non developers. Your web host most likely will not provide you with technical support around your issue, unless it involves the server. Posting your question to forums, depending on the issue, might take months to get a solid answer. It’s really a hit or miss approach.
These are just a few of many of the road blocks that come up when trying to create social websites that attract your ideal customers and fans.
So what’s the solution? How can you create social websites around your brand, your concept, your idea, without dealing with the time and/or costs that it takes to see the results you want?
Use a system that integrates the technology, tools and support inside of a hosted solution to create social websites in less time and without incremental costs of growth. This is where becoming a Social HubSite Member comes in. Members are given the privilege to:
- Create an unlimited number of social websites on the system (Easy setup process)
- Proactive member support from advisors through a private dashboard with enhanced support collaboration such as videos and screencasts
- Access to 10+ turnkey social website platforms (i.e. open/private online communities, customer feedback forums, video blogs and more)
- Access over 515+ premium website themes (we are adding at least 5-10 new themes each month)
- Access to over 350+ premium plugins to make integrating new features much easier
- Ability for you to add your own themes and plugins (we handle installing them correctly for you)
- Client management options (perfect if you are building social websites for other people/businesses)
- Access to continual training through live workshops, webinars and videos (Everything from how to setup your website(s) to how to market them)
Here is how Social HubSite can fit into your overall social media strategy:
Integrating technology, tools and support like this in one place will help assure that you get your social websites off the ground the right way. Instead of complicating the membership process by adding restrictions and complex fees, we decided to pack everything together in one affordable monthly membership investment.
Right now charter members can join for just $25/month (available until August 31, 2013). This is a grandfathered rate so you don’t have to worry about fees going up over time.
We look forward to having you as a member!