How NOT to Integrate Social Media on Your Business or Ecommerce Website
One of the first things business owners should do after planning their social media marketing is to integrate social media on their website. This stands true no matter if you’re running an online store, a service-based business, if you’re a freelancer or a blogger. Giving your visitors an opportunity to share your content online (or leave comments and likes) is smart business.
The type of integration depends on your marketing objectives, but the most frequent integrations are share buttons for blog posts, custom “follow-us on social media” buttons, Facebook signup or login, Instagram galleries and Twitter feeds placed directly on your homepage. All these can be extremely effective IF you’re smart with your integrations.
There’s a lot of info out there about how to integrate social media on your website. If you don’t feel like reading more stuff or handling the integration yourself, you can just outsource it to NerdPilots. 🙂
However, we thought you’d like to know what NOT to do. It’s always easier to learn from your mistakes… in this case other people’s mistakes.
1. Don’t put social media buttons in your header.
Do you want to drive visitors away from your website? Then why give them a distraction right at the top. Instead of focusing on your content, they will click on the social media buttons which will redirect them to Facebook or Twitter, or Instagram, or whatever other platform. You can’t compete with the entertainment value of social media, so don’t make it a competition.
Instead, integrate social media links in the footer section of your homepage or landing pages, on the blog, on the contact, career or thank you page. These are all places where having such links can benefit your business without being a distraction.
Attention: whenever you place a custom share button on your page, make sure you’re following platform guidelines. Most social media platforms provide branding specs for these buttons, so check before you get too creative.
2. Don’t link to social media if you’re not using social media.
What can be worse than not integrating social media on your website? Integrating dead social media.
Don’t take people to your social media pages unless you have something to show them there. Make sure you post quality content frequently, that you engage with your audience. Basically, ensure that someone is manning that social media account at all times. If you’re not ready to do that, you’re better off not adding any social buttons to your webpages.
For more information about how to integrate a social media strategy into your marketing, check out this article.
3. Don’t show number of shares unless they’re worth bragging about.
I’m not kidding. If your numbers are looking sad, choose a sharing button that doesn’t display them at all. Otherwise, even if your content is great, people are going to think it’s unpopular and skip it. As with everything in social media, appearances matter. A lot.
But even if your content doesn’t get shared much, don’t panic. Stats show that sharing content online is a falling trend for both blogs and ecommerce content. Still, it’s worth making the share buttons available to your visitors. Just make them smaller and avoid counters. Keep the focus on your products and the quality content that you’re producing.
4. Don’t overload your page with social buttons, social content and widgets.
Too much “social action” happening on your website can be distracting, sloppy and frankly, desperate. In addition to making your page kitschy and unreadable, adding too many widgets will significantly slow down your page-loading times. And it’s not like putting a share button on every page will get people to share more of your content. There are pages (services pages for example) which almost never get shared. Why would they?
Therefore, when choosing how to integrate social media on your website, always refer to your marketing plan.
Are you creating stunning visual content? Pinterest and Instagram-friendly integrations are the way to go. You can add a share button to your visual portfolio items and to your beautiful products. You can even include an Instagram gallery in the footer or the widget section of your website.
Are you creating viral written content? Choose Twitter and Facebook to deliver your message. Offer your readers a selection of small sharing buttons, include a Twitter feed in your footer, install a Facebook Page plugin and even add a Facebook Pixel to get more information about the social engagement you’re getting.
Other social media integrations like YouTube videos are very effective in engaging customers of all ages. You can use them to explain things, to entertain or to educate your audience. Video content is gaining a lot of popularity, so you really can’t go wrong with having it on your website as long as you don’t overdo it.
Know your marketing objectives + know where your customer is –> choose your social media platform and integrate it tastefully on your website. It’s that easy.
Now that you know what not to do, here’s a rundown of what you should be doing:
- Create a social media marketing plan and align your social media integration efforts with that plan.
- Link your website to social media pages where you’re active and engaged, or don’t link at all.
- Add social media connections to parts of your website that are likely to get shared (homepage, blog content, portfolio, contact information, review pages, etc.). Avoid adding big, flashy share buttons to services pages or product pages where they won’t get much action.
- Keep your social media integrations simple and to a minimum. Too many widgets will bring down your page-load speed.
- It may sound obvious, but after you integrate all your social media buttons and widgets, check that they work. It happens more often than you think!
- If you ever have trouble installing plugins, widgets or share buttons on your business website or online store, get in touch. We’ll take care of it.
Have more questions? How about a mistake you want to share with all of us so we can learn from it together? Drop it in the comments below.