July 10, 2007

"If you wear a swimming suit to the party - instead of a business suit - you'll make more sales."

The internet, as we know it, is quickly becoming one giant pool party. If you wear a swimming suit to the party - instead of a business suit - you'll make more sales.

The pool party, or as it is commonly referred to, the internet, was created for one reason: to help people meet and connect. Now, in the year 2007, we are seeing connections from all over the world. These "social media websites" are springing up left and right. Connecting people from Spain with others from Russia. Citizens of Asia or India can video chat, e-mail, and send documents to people in Canada or Tonga. And the world is picking up on this social interaction - almost everyone who owns a computer is socializing through the internet. The pool party is growing every day.

There's a valuable marketing strategy here, but there are millions of webmasters who aren't getting involved with it - despite the fact that it's easy to do.

The strategy I'm referring to is interaction.

Of course, any website that wants to sell something - whether it's t-shirts or an opinion - will think of social connectivity, but not in a way that truly benefits their customers. Interaction through websites has become such a powerful tool that even major, global corporations are paying top dollar for somebody to figure out how to do it - they're paying somebody else to put on a swimming suit and have fun. While stating that "those huge companies are wasting their money" isn't completely fair, it's partially true.

Many businesses and corporations - big or small - are stuck in the frame of mind "professional sells." There aren't many companies that are catching a wave and connecting with their customers through the internet these days. Because they're wearing their business suit at the pool party, they're loosing a lot of potential business. They need to put on some swimming trunks and splash in the water with the people they want to sell to. They need to connect, one-on-one in the water of the internet, with their visitors.

By adding fun, less-business-focused content to your website, you're creating the opportunity for interaction. You're allowing a connection to be made with your visitors, that doesn't revolve around a dollar sign. Add a section to your website where you share customer mugshots. Or have a place where visitors can come and mix facial features of different employees of your business. The ideas are endless, and easy to come up with.

Companies like Coudal Partners have realized the ever lasting effects of being friendly (dare I say, human?) over being all-professional all the time. And it's paying off. Coudal is currently conducting what they call the "meat swap," and the publicity I have seen for this is everywhere.

When it come to your website, your visitors, and your business, don't be afraid to get a little wet. Take off the business suit and connect with your visitors. You'll not only make a lot more sales, you'll also make a lot more friends.

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