How To Effectively Integrate Social Media On Your Website

By on January 6, 2013

Integrating social media on your website entails a bit more than adding the Facebook like and the Twitter follow buttons on your homepage. You do have to add social media buttons to your pages to encourage others to follow you and to share your posts, but how you integrate these, and where you place them is crucial. Here are some things to consider.

  • Choose the right position for your social media follow buttons.

The buttons that lead users to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and other social media websites where you have created profiles need to be placed where they attract attention, but where they do not annoy visitors. Which is the best place for them? There are several positions:

  • Top left corner or top right corner of the page.
  • Just under the site banner, either to the left or to the right.
  • In a right or left sidebar, next to ads or other sections, somewhere in the middle of the page.
  • At the bottom of the page, in a footer.

The position you choose for your social media follow buttons really depends on the layout of your website. For example, if you have a one-column site, you won’t be able to place them in the middle of the page. What’s important is to make sure you do add them somewhere.

  • Add social media sharing buttons

While follow buttons direct users to your social media profile pages, share buttons enable users to share specific content on your website with their friends and followers on social networks. These buttons can help your content spread across the web, dramatically boosting your traffic. Integrating social media share buttons is easy if you use a CMS like WordPress, and it can be done with a plugin. If you don’t want to use a plugin, you can copy paste on to your page the widget codes you’ll find on social media websites.

It’s important to choose your social media sharing buttons well. You’ll want at least the Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ buttons. Depending on the type of your content, you might also want to add buttons for more specialized networks, like Reddit for content relevant to writing or books, Pinterest for images, YouTube for videos and so on.

Also important is to use well-designed share buttons that go well with your web design, and to place them on both posts and pages, in a place where they cannot be missed, usually just under the content.

  • Don’t miss these social media widgets
  • Whatever social follow and sharing buttons you choose to use, you should not miss:
  • Facebook Like Box, which is usually placed in the sidebar and which allows users to connect with you on Facebook without leaving your website.
  • Twitter widget, which you can also place in the sidebar, or have it floating on the screen
  • Email newsletter

Social media might be the future of online marketing, but email newsletter and RSS subscription are still mighty useful. Both of these help users keep up with your latest content, by sending them updates whenever you publish a new post. To integrate RSS you can use Feedburner. For email newsletter there are many options available, but you can start with the popular MailChimp.

In the end you have to remember that social media marketing does not work if your content is not valuable. For the follow and share buttons to be pressed many times by many users, it’s important to provide good content. Integrating social media buttons will not bring you more traffic if you don’t have content.

Aishwarya Vohra is a freelance writer who has written on subjects as different as parenting and web designing. She is also an animator by profession and loves all things creative. Visit her site for great web design tutorials and web design templates.

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