There’s no denying it—social media is one of the most important channels for businesses today. Around seven in ten Americans reportedly use at least one social media platform, with Gen Z being the most frequent users. That means you can and should use Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and other platforms to directly connect with new and existing customers.
But having a social media presence doesn’t guarantee anyone will engage with or buy products or services. Similar to the way you set up a storefront to be visually appealing, it’s important to have a web presence that’s equally inviting. As your social media posts and advertisements pull people in, your web design should encourage them to explore further.
This approach is called responsive web design, and it helps make your website easier to use. When your website is more responsive to user engagement, it makes it easier for people to share your content on social media platforms for an even greater audience. Let’s explore all the ways responsive web design and social media can benefit modern businesses.
Understanding Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design creates dynamic changes to the appearance of a website, depending on the size of the device screen or orientation. This allows a website to be visually appealing and more easily navigated despite what device is being used. Responsive web design uses breakpoints that determine how it will appear to users. Each design is above the breakpoint, while another is below it. These breakpoints are typically based on browser width.
It’s important to implement responsive web design elements on a business website as customers will expect few difficulties navigating through it. If you’ve ever had a frustrating website experience, you know exactly how quickly it can turn you off from a brand or company. To avoid this from happening, here are a few key features of responsive web design that improve user experience.
Have you ever been on a website that looked different on a laptop vs mobile? It probably made you a little frustrated or at the very least not want to use that site. Creating a consistent user experience is key to keeping people on your site and engaging with content.
One of the major considerations when designing a website is ensuring it is compatible with any platform that has a significant user base. Users are spending as much time on their phones as they do on a desktop—your website should be easy to navigate regardless of the platform. To help ensure compatibility across platforms, you can use one of several website testing tools like W3c mobileOK Checker, iPhoney, Google Mobilizer, and more.
3. White Spaces
Some people get a bit overzealous when it comes to content on their website, wanting to fill every space with images, texts, or graphics. However, there is power in leaving some space for users to focus on the important details. Leaving some whitespace on your website can help amplify content and makes for a more pleasing user experience.
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The Role of Social Media in Business
Social media has changed the way businesses interact with customers. Before the social media age, there were fewer opportunities for brands and companies to show who they are and what they were all about. Today, even the smallest of companies have a shot at directly speaking to their customer base and vice versa, thanks to social media platforms. Whether it’s through a direct message, comment thread, or posts, businesses and their customers can share concerns, delight, and fun stories that help create deeper connections.
The Benefits of Having a Social Media Presence
- Increased brand awareness – Want to get in front of more customers? Get on social media. Consider that 83% of Instagram users claim to have discovered a new product on the platform. With millions of people using social media daily, you have the opportunity to target even more potential customers.
- Increased website traffic – Creating engaging posts and ads can help drive more people to your website. Whether you use social media to tease new products and services or provide relevant content, you can use platforms to get people one step closer to visiting your site. Sharing content with users helps build a familiar relationship that can ultimately be the reason they visit your site over someone else’s.
- Reputation management – You know your business is great, but sometimes a negative interaction with your business could cause a stir on social media. Before things can get out of hand, you can leverage social media platforms to address the negatives in a polite but public fashion. You can do the same for the positives. If someone is saying nice things, be sure to highlight it.
- Customer engagement/support – If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen an engagement between a customer and a business that went viral. Sometimes the reason it went viral isn’t the best; however, that engagement was seen by thousands of users who could be potential customers. Being able to respond and interact with your customers and potential ones can help foster a closer relationship with them. When people feel closer to your brand, they’re more likely to be long-term customers.
- Showcasing industry expertise – Part of being on social media is flexing your insider knowledge. This is especially important if you want to position your company as a valuable resource for information. If you want to build trust with your customers, provide relevant information through engaging posts.
Why Responsive Web Design Is Important for Social Media
In the perfect scenario, a customer sees the content on your website and loves it enough to want to share it on their social media. But if your website isn’t optimized for sharing on social media, you could be missing out on a chance to get in front of more customers. Not to mention you could be missing out on a customer testimonial or personal experience with your brand that reflects your value.
Responsive web designers should make it a priority to create a website with social sharing capabilities. The transition from taking your content and putting it on a popular platform should be as easy as possible. The more shares you have on social media, the greater your chance of getting more visibility on your website.
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Best Practices for Responsive Web Design in Social Media
When creating a business website, you want to focus your attention on making navigating your website as easy as possible. The smoother the experience, the more people will want to stay on your website and share content. Use these best practices to give your website the best chance at getting more traffic.
Integrate Social Media Links
Adding social media links or buttons to your website makes sharing your content as simple as one click. You can choose to put social links or buttons practically anywhere on your website. Making them easy to see encourages people to share your content on their social media, potentially boosting your web and brand recognition.
User Behavior Differences on Social Media Platforms
Facebook users and Twitter users often don’t use their respective platforms the same way. Knowing how people use and interact on a platform can help your business curate content that matches those behaviors. Not every business needs to be on every social media platform, especially if they don’t believe the users there will be interacting with their business in the way they want.
Test & Optimize Responsive Web Design
You want website visitors to share your content on their social accounts, but what are you doing to encourage it? A poorly designed website won’t inspire people to highlight your business. Even a good-looking site might fail if social sharing isn’t optimized. If you want to ensure users have the best experience with your website, you need to rigorously test elements like:
- Text and image alignment
- Clickable links/areas
- Color and gradient consistency
- Padding around the edges
- Font sizes, styles, and colors
- Navigation bars
- Graphics and download speeds
Learn How to Leverage Social Media & Web Design
Having a social media presence and creating a well-designed website can amplify how customers interact with a brand or business. People who see your social posts or ads might decide to click on your link—you better ensure your website can deliver the kind of experience your posts promise. Likewise, your website visitors should have no trouble sharing your content on their personal accounts.
If you have a passion for web design and social media marketing and want to improve your skills, then Erie Institute of Technology has the perfect program for you. Explore our Web Design and Social Media Marketing Program in Erie, PA. You’ll learn the technical aspects behind creating an appealing website as well as the fundamentals of social media marketing. This 15-month program will provide you with the skills and training to help you become a valuable asset to employers. Learn more today.
Ross Aresco is the CFO of Erie Institute of Technology. Erie Institute of Technology (EIT) is an Erie Pennsylvania technical/trade school providing training programs for medical, computer, electronics, manufacturing, and technology careers. EIT offers programs in many different areas to suit your interests and talents.