Why Integrate Social Media
Posted on September 25th, 2016
For the purposes of this article I am breaking this post into 2 sections – adding in your social profiles, and providing opportunity for your viewers to share your content.
Your Own Profiles
In short – because why not?
In all seriousness – if you are putting effort into crafting your social media posts and not just marketing to your followers – there is almost no reason not to integrate them straight into your website. If you have something to hide in them – then get rid of them. For any user a simple search will turn them up either way.
By not integrating your posts, you are missing an opportunity to show your customers that you are present on social media – and they miss out on the content you could be providing them.
At the top of this article you will notice several options to share this blog post. Sharing allows viewers to share your content with their followers or friends. Not only does this help you get more viewers but it can help search engines rank you higher because there is another link to your website.
Bonus – you can add in extra html to provide capabilities
But how to integrate?
For a web developer integrating social media is rarely challenging enough that it warrants not integrating. A quick search will provide many plug ins or embed services that you could use. Some services even provide a quick embed like the one I use for my Twitter posts on my profile – or the Google plus icon at the top of this article.
I do understand that for a small business owner you may not have the understanding or the ability to out-source this work. I would recommend researching the tool that you currently use and try and find a plug-in or a feature that would allow you to integrate.
However you integrate you want it to feel natural and not forced. When you integrate it should be somewhere that the user can see it – but does not feel like it is part of the content of the page. For example – on my personal website my twitter profile is located in the sidebar. If I put it in the area where the title goes then it would look odd. In the sidebar it can be ignored or viewed. It also makes sense under my picture so everyone knows whose feed they are looking at.
The same goes for the sharing buttons, if a user is constantly feeling like you are shoving the share icon in their face then their experience will be diminished. On the other hand make the share buttons too hard to find and they may not find the icons preventing them from sharing.
Bonus – you can add in extra HTML in the form of Open Graph and other protocols to choose things like the picture and description that is included when the page is shared on various social networks.