During the 1990s, the World Wide Web was a vastly different place to what it is today. There were a few major Internet Service Providers that were used by the majority of people – services such as Compuserve and AOL – and those ISPs had their own “walled gardens”. These were networks of sites that could only be seen by other users of the service.
If people on those ISPs wanted to access other websites, they could do so, but it required deliberate action on their part. Many casual users were unaware of the fact that there was an Internet beyond what their ISP showed them when they double-clicked the icon on that desktop. It’s hard to believe, but we are on the verge of moving back to that kind of web.
Mobile and Social Media
Last summer, mobile web traffic exceeded desktop traffic in the Western world for the first time. Smartphones are near ubiquitous, and the penetration of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter is massive. Facebook wants to capitalise on this and is moving to offer in-feed news posts and content syndication, effectively making the network the only place that users need to visit to get their content.
Brands Need a Presence
If you want to make your brand as visible as possible, then you must have a presence on the social network. Facebook pages for brands are performing incredibly well – Dove’s Makeover Ad racked up more than 460,000 monthly active users, and the Microsoft Windows 8 app acquired 376,969 MAUs during the course of that campaign.
Smaller or less glamorous brands have found similar success with Facebook apps and games too, using them to reach a highly targeted audience. Rentokill, for example, used a Facebook game to promote their pest control products. The app stayed away from trying to sell their products but did a good job of representing the brand and ensuring that it will be the first company those users think of if they ever have a mouse problem.
If you want to reach a highly targeted audience of local users, then having an app that is branded a lot like your website, and that ties in to your website, is a great starting point. Hiring a local Bournemouth web designer such as Expect Best that offers full service internet marketing, social media, web design and app development means that your brand will get the “full package” and that your brand’s online presence will be consistent across all platforms.
The Internet may have changed how we communicate with our users and customers, but the basic rules remain the same. It pays to go where your customers are, and right now that means having Facebook apps, publishing info graphics on Twitter and Instagram and generally being active on those social networks. Your website is your store front, but you need a presence elsewhere on the web too if you want people to actually visit your site.