3 Ways to Integrate Social Media into Your Website
Your social media presence should only be part of your online marketing strategy. If you want to get the most out of your online presence, it’s important to integrate your social media profiles with your social media hub (your website).
Thankfully, tying everything together is easier now than ever before. Almost all the major social media websites have created simple plug and play widgets for bringing everything together.
Link to Your Social Media Profiles
The first place to start is to ensure that you’ve made it simple for website visitors to find your social media profiles. There are two ways to make this connection: using the social media icons or integrating profile widgets.
If you decide on using social media icons, it’s as simple as finding a set of icons that you like and including them in your theme. You’ll simply upload the icon and make it link to your social media profile.
Integrating social media widgets is a little bit more difficult, but still relatively easy.
Once you create the code, the next step is to paste it into a “Text Widget” on your WordPress website. You can find the “Text Widget” under Appearance > Widgets. These are the widgets that appear in your website’s sidebar.
Social Share After Content
Linking your social profiles allows visitors to easily find you online, but it doesn’t increase your online presence. This is where social sharing comes into play.
One of the best ways to grow your online audience is to increase the virality of your web content – in other words, making it easy for readers to share your content.
The simplest way to increase the shareability of your web content is to allow readers to share it with one click; or by adding social sharing buttons to your articles and pages. This allows users to simply click the button and share it across their social profiles.
If you’re using WordPress, adding social share buttons is as easy as installing a plugin.
Here are a handful of great plugins for adding share buttons:
The plugins are overall the same, with a few difference among the styles and layouts. ShareThis and AddThis are external services that include a number of share buttons and give you greater insights; at the expense of ease of sharing.
Depending on your needs and wants, install one of the plugins above to include the social share button at the end of each post.
Social Share After an Action
The theory behind including a social share button after a piece of content is that the reader will think “I just read this article, it was great, let me share with my friends that I just read this”.
That same mentality can be applied to other actions; further increasing the value of these actions.
For example, Amazon does a great job of doing this after you buy something. They continually prompt you to share that you just bought something – hoping that in your excitement you’ll tell your friends, who might visit the website and buy something.
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If you don’t sell a product, think of the other action points you might have. What about after someone leaves a comment? How about after someone signs up for your newsletter?
These are all actions someone performed that you can prompt readers and users to share.
The plugins outlined above include something called a “shortcode”, which is WordPress’ way to include code in a post without having to code. Using the plugin’s shortcode, you’re able to include social share buttons within your posts and pages.
Use the shortcodes to add the social share buttons to any pages that are part of an action; such as the “thank you” page of your newsletter subscription flow or contact page.
Creating a social media presence in a vacuum is a recipe for failure. The true lift comes from integrating your owned media and your shared media (your social media profiles); as well as increasing the shareability of your brand.
How are you convincing people to share your content? What have you seen that’s worked? Share your experiences in the comments below.