Before the advent of social media, most website owners primarily used search engines to find a good web hosting service. Most of web hosting providers relied on traditional search engine optimization to increase rankings and attract customers. Banner ads (which used to be the rage) also left an influence on web surfers as they were presented with relevant web hosting ads based on their web hosting search queries.
However, with the passage of time, internet users become ‘aware’ of marketing tactics that made most hosting providers appeal to them when they landed on their web pages offering the service. Review sites were born later which give a platform to those using and looking for web host providers to discuss, compare and suggest different hosting providers.
While review sites have been doing well, not a lot of people looking to host domains are aware of them. Furthermore, some web hosting providers started paying people to leave biased, positive reviews for their companies. It won’t be fair to blame them as every company tries to portray a positive image about its products and services.
While all this was going on, social media silently came in and changed the way people bought products and services online, including web hosting services. This platform continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and last year’s social media report from Nielsen reveals that more than 50% consumers directly reached out to businesses to ask product related questions, launch complaints and leave feedback.
If you’re currently searching for a good web host but don’t know how to utilize social media for the purpose, here are some tips to help you out:
1. See if the hosting provider has active profiles
While you’ll find almost every other hosting provider with a Facebook and Twitter profile nowadays, you need to see if they’re active on those profiles as well. Hosting companies update their social media profiles less frequently due to the nature of their business. This seems completely fine and logical until your site goes down and you can’t figure out what is going on since they are not active on the social networks (which, in my opinion, should be used to help your community in times of need).
Hosting solution provider Server Pronto, on the other hand, posts multiple times a month on social media to engage with its customers. A web host provider who doesn’t have an active social media presence is squandering an opportunity to give and receive real-time feedback.
2. See what others are saying
Social media is a great way to find out what other people think of hosting providers. A good web host will have more positive comments. There will be negative comments as well, but you need to keep in mind that there are loopholes in every kind of business, so don’t be surprised if you find a few people unsatisfied.
You can engage with others, reply to them and ask questions directly on social media to find out their personal experiences before making a decision.
3. Compare the list of services
Use social media to compare the list of services provided by different web hosts. Look for someone who offers cloud computing and content delivery network rather than only a basic server or VPS. Cloud computing ensures that your website stays up even when a particular data center of the web host goes down. It also ensures that your files can be backed up from remote locations in case of server issues.
You may not be aware that social media networks themselves heavily rely on cloud computing. When you post photos on Facebook, Flicker etc., they’re stored in the cloud. This is why you’re able to access them wherever you want from any remote location in the world with an active network in range.