The New About Us Page Is a Social Beast

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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!


Tags

dropbox, meebo, oovoo, socialbios, wufoo, ZenDesk


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  1. I like the idea of having a chat enabled on your website (I’ve seen lots of real estate agents implement this)… However with one exception. Only do it if you’re really going to use it. I’ve seen folks bury it at the bottom of their sites and I’ve seen other folks almost never make use of it (they’re never on-line).

    The most creative use of this feature was an Agent and Lender that teamed up to do a virtual Open House. They wrote a post about it and said “stop by between 2-4 and we’ll answer all of your questions via Chat!” Great execution and awesome way to drive new traffic!

    1. I totally agree Ricardo – I hate those sites that offer live chat and then don’t ever turn it on. I love the virtual tour idea, I think that’s a great way to get some interest without sending people out in the streets first.

      1. I tried to sign up for Social Bio but their website didn’t work on my Mac in either Opera or Safari. It rendered basically as plain text and didn’t function.

        I’m also concerned about having the about us on another domain, or does everyone just use an iFrame or some Javascript to preserve the existing URL and domain integrity?

  2. John: That’s a fine real life premise you have behind your post. If a couch potato won’t get up to change the channel, you can bet that – when he goes online and visits a website – he won’t go clicking in search of your call to action, either. If you hook him on the About Us and Contact pages he is likely to buy you a virtual beer and talk shop.

    Marc LeVine
    President
    ICA Social Media
    http://www.icanewfriend.com
    Follow me on Twitter @icanewfriend

    1. So true Marc – I bet there are lots of life lessons contained in marketing truths. I may just have to write a post about that topic.

  3. I just changed the About Us page on one of my sites yesterday. I did not make changes nearly to the level you have discussed here but I did include a few so on the right track. Great ideas.. thank you!

  4. I agree that the About Us page now has the opportunity to turn suspects into prospects. Especially with the technology available today. A great way to spice up your about us page is to get rid of as much text as you can. Grab a video camera and microphone and make a introduction video for that page. Don’t be camera shy or worry about the video being perfect. Customers will appreciate the sincerity of the video and it will allow them to connect with you on a personal level.

    Property Marketing

  5. John, thanks for this great insight.

    I’m in the process of revamping our organizational web site (with navigation and interaction in mind) and this is a really helpful way to think re: the About Us page–a page that somehow remains a constant but at the same time a real drab eyesore on most sites.

    It’s exciting to think about ways to repurpose that space to make it more interactive (and to think of other modes of repurposing your site to increase engagement).

  6. I did all this about six months ago, either using a plugin or just writing something myself. I’ll have to review what I did and see if I should add something new.

    Cheers,

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