Once the decision is made, standard web development processes like user interface design, navigation development, wireframing, content creation and migration, WordPress Development Toronto,user acceptance testing, debugging, soft launch, evaluation/fine tuning, and hard launch kick in. Rigorous project management is key to a successful on-time, on-budget launch.
In the good old days, that was basically it. Oh sure, you’d watch your web analytics and continuously improve the site, observing visitors’ behaviour patterns and adapting to their needs, but launch was launch and you wouldn’t normally revisit for about three years.
Those days are gone. Or they should be.
Nowadays a good website integrates with the social web and is a powerful syndication engine. To grossly oversimplify, you want your website and workflow to spread your message as far and wide as possible. I often liken this to the little booths you see at the mall at Christmas. Why set up a kiosk at the mall? Because that’s where the customers are. It’s the same with your content. People don’t necessarily want to hang around your website, or even visit it at all, so you have to ‘take it to the people’.
Edelman PR calls these info-kiosks ’embassies’. In this context an embassy could be a Facebook page, or a Twitter account (with StockTwits), maybe a SlideShare library of your PowerPoints, or a YouTube channel with CFO interviews.
When you build these embassies, you are creating a hub and spoke publishing system, with your website as the hub and Facebook, Twitter and so on as spokes. With proper syndication your website will push content out (from the hub) along the spoke (using really simple syndication aka RSS) to the embassy. The audience may stay at the embassy or, hopefully, follow the links back to your main website.
Integration between the website and embassies takes place on two levels – the plumbing and the user interface. To allow the content to flow down the pipe, it all has to be hooked up. Then you advertise these embassies on the website with a social toolbar, buttons, a Connect page, embedded content and so on.
I like to break social media down into two parts: storage and conversation. Storage (putting a video on YouTube for example) is a no-brainer – you get extra eyeballs at this embassy for free. Conversation will require more checks and balances and a social media strategy. IR is one of the few areas in social media where being anti-social (i.e. non-conversational but instead broadcasting or disseminating only) is, at least initially, acceptable.
Some companies are leading the charge well beyond broadcast-only mode. Encana (disclosure, my client) is using extensive multimedia and embassy publishing. PotashCorp (not a client) is another that does remarkable work on YouTube and elsewhere.