Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

The New About Us Page Is a Social Beast

Since the dawn of the web there has been the trusty old About Us page. It seems a tad cliche, but what the heck, why fight it, visitors to your site have come to expect to find an About Us or Contact Us page, so why not make the most of it.

The traditional About Us page is typically filled with information about the owner, the history of the firm and an overview of what the company does.

Today’s About Us page has the ability to be a tool for real engagement. In addition to providing some information about the firm, it must also be a place where they can find out where to find out much more About Us, a place where they can discover our social graph and who they know that already knows About Us, a place where they can find a myriad of ways to connect with us, a place where they can get specific information, request even more specific information and start to build a relationship that may involve immediate interaction.

Below are some of the tools and tactics that may make it much easier for you to turn you boring static About Us page into a social hub. (This is a perfect place for me to further suggest that using a tool like WordPress to run you entire site makes what I share below much, much easier.)

Meebo

Add Chat – Using text chat services like Meebo or Bleetbox or video chat like Oovoo you can make it very easy for visitors to your site to ask questions and chat directly with your staff right from your About Us page.

Social graph – A new service called SocialBios – allows visitors to your page to see who they might know in your Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, GMail or Twitter worlds. This can be a great way to facilitate referrals and make connections easier. Try it out with me here – SocialBio for John Jantsch

Add Your Social Profiles – By using a Social Media Page Plugin – you can add all the other places you hang out to any page or blog post you like. It might look something like this.

Connect With Us –

Contact Us – You do want to make it easy to contact you for the next step and that may indeed include listing email addresses and phone numbers on your pages, but contact forms are the best bet. You can make them fun and interactive but the best part is that they can be safe and secure and allow you to route email to multiple places based on the request. There are lots of contact plugins out there but I love Wufoo.

This tool allows you to build elegant and feature rich forms and embed them anywhere you like. The form data can be forwarded or stored for multiple folks to view. You could build forms like this yourself, but nothing is as easy to build or update as Wufoo forms.

Tech Support – Using a tool like Zendesk you can turn your About Us or Contact Us page into a customer support center as well. Adding help desk functionality allows you to easily assign multiple people to some of the same tasks so you could provide round the clock engagement if you like. Zendesk also has some social and community features that make it nice for sharing.

File sharing – I use a service called Dropbox as my file storage and backup in the cloud. You can also use an addon to Dropbox that would make it easy for visitors or customers to upload files for you to view. This could be a great way to offer free evaluations or simply to receive large files that you may need to engage a client. (You can also make this option available on a Wufoo form)

There, that should keep you busy creating the monster About Us page!

How To Be Easier To Talk To

Phone boothOne thing I know about these fast times we live in – people want information and engagement when they want and how them want it. The best way to turn this to your advantage is to employ tools that make it as easy as possible for prospects and customers to contact, engage, discuss, provide feedback, get help, collaborate and otherwise talk to you, while still having a life.

Job 1 is to make certain that you have your basic contact information, including maps and directions, right there on every page. Secure contact forms are a great way to make sure messages get through and I’ve also added EmailCenterPro email management software to make sure those emails get answered by the right person in the right way.

Instant Message - providing IM and chat room widgets allow visitors to get an answers and chat with other visitors
Meebo
Bold Chat

Continue Reading

Taking an Expanded View of Collaboration

symphony collaborationWhen most small business owners think collaboration, they generally limit this thinking to the kind of collaboration you might naturally do with a supplier charged with completing some aspect of a larger project or perhaps a strategic partner required to mesh together a complex solution.

I would like to suggest that in today’s social media world the concept of collaboration is expanded to encompass a much more strategic role.

In fact, collaboration might just be the ultimate social play. Collaboration in this expanded view can and should include collaboration with prospects, customers, partners, providers and staff. Technology now enables any business, regardless of size, to orchestrate the marketing and management effectiveness and efficiency that a great collaborative effort can bring.

I believe that this expanded view of collaboration is more than an efficient way to get work done, it’s an entirely new way to think about engaging your markets, building connection and community, and empowering your staff to more effectively deliver your marketing promise.

Continue Reading

Adding Social Features to Your Web Site

The web has become a terribly social place and that raises the expectation of most web site visitors. The ability to add content, comment, rate, review, interact and share information found when surfing the web has become standard fare.

by adding a few simple scripts and widgets you can easily add tremendous social functionality to any web page or blog. Giving your visitors, prospects and customers ways to share and amplify their voice is a great way to enhance their experience of your business online.


– This is one of the dead simple easiest ways to add rating, navigation, polling, chat, reviewing and commenting to any web page. You simply copy a line of code and you are in business. Getting customer reviews and reader comments on web page, usually a blog function is great for static product pages.

JS Kits

Social Ad Units – Popular Media recently introduced something they call Influencer Ads. These banner ad type units allow you to place ads that contain an entire social media follow-up system. When someone clicks on an ad for your webinar, they can automatically post it to Facebook or send it to a friend with personalized follow-up. This is a great tool for contests and registration incentive campaigns. (You can see this in action here)

Meebo Me – This simple IM widget can be embedded on your site to allow visitors to initiate an IM chat instantly when they visit your site. This can be a great way to add customer feedback, help and interaction functionality.

Add to Any – These widget allows visitors to easily subscribe to RSS content, share, bookmark or email content using many of the commonly used services.