Do you need a dedicated website?
With so many other ways to utilise social media, you may not want or need a dedicated website. However, having a dedicated website does have its advantages:
• It allows you to craft your own look, brand and identity for your event.
• You can choose your own domain name, for example “myevent.com”.
• A website can add credibility to your event, particularly if the event is a regular or annual one.
• It is easier for search engines like Google to flag up your website or event through keywords and metatags, see www.philb.com/metatag.htm for more information on tags.
• It’s easier for people to remember a web address or URL than a phone number and can be a useful tool for signposting further details about your event.
• Creating a site map helps search engines locate all the pages on your site and you can use a sitemap generator such as www.xml-sitemaps.com to help you structure this.
• You can link your event website to facebook, twitter or a blog.
• It can easily be expanded as your event grows or can feature an archive of previous events.
• You can track how many people have visited your website, which pages and even which country they were viewed from.
• It can be optimised for mobile devices so they can be viewed easily on a smartphone or other portable device. A site such as www.instantposition.com provides information on how you can check how well your webpages are optimised.
• A new or updated event website is a good reason to mail out a postcard or e-flyer to announce this and promote both the event and your web address.
It does take time and energy to set up a website and to keep it up-to-date. You will need to gather together images, write your webpage copy and think about what your site plan might look like. Even if you were to hire a professional website designer, those are tasks you will be unable to delegate! If you have a tight budget, there are several free websites that allow you to design a site from scratch based on a multitude of possible templates, backgrounds, images or animation options such as www.moonfruit.com.
Idea: The most successful websites are the ones which attract the most people and you can use facebook, twitter, blogs and YouTube to drive traffic to your website. Your website address should also be added to any print materials that you use inconjunction with your event, such as fliers, newsletters, adverts, letterheads, business cards, brochures and posters.
www.socialmediaexaminer.com for tips and advice on how to use social media tools like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Linkedln.
www.plurk.com Similar to Twitter, a free social networking and microblogging service
http://uk.linkedin.com Business related social networking site
www.plaxo.com Plaxo is an online address book and social networking site
http://friendfeed.com consolidates the updates from different social media and networking websites including bookmarking, blogs, microblogs and RSS feeds into a customised stream of information.
http://ping.fm/ is a free social networking and microblogging web service that allows users to post to multiple networks simultaneously
www.rnib.org.uk/professionals/webaccessibility to check if your website is fully accessible to anyone who has a disability