Social Media Integration Made Easy: A Simple Guide

Image of Social Media termsAs web trends move on, it’s becoming clear that social media will very much be at the heart of the internet’s future. We’re already sharing more and more information via social networks like Facebook and Twitter, so it’s up to the site owners to make this process as quick and easy as possible. That also means that your website needs to give visitors as many social media options as possible – and the way to do that is through the right social media integration. So relax, sit back on your couch, and let’s take a quick look at five easy ways that you can start to integrate social media on your site – and give your visitors (and customers) even more ways to interact with you.

Use Facebook Connect to prompt discussion

If you don’t yet run a company blog, you really should start. And if you do run a company blog, you probably have a commenting system in place as part of the CMS. These work just fine; however if you implement Facebook Connect for commenting, your visitors’ activity will not be limited to your site. Rather, their entire friends list will see that ‘John commented on’ (depending on their privacy settings). Facebook Connect is completely free and actually takes a lot of hard work out of blog maintenance, so it’s definitely worth trying out.

Use a ‘Follow Us’ link on your homepage

You’ve probably noticed how many websites now have a ‘recent Tweets’ section on the front page of their website, along with a ‘follow us’ link. That means that you probably should too. It’s a simple bit of code to implement and can make a big difference when it comes to gaining followers on Twitter. Not only that, it also gives new visitors a way to discover more about you as a company and how you interact with your customer base.

Include ‘share this’ links on new content

Allowing your users to share your content is the mark of a tech-savvy and forward-thinking company. Thankfully, it’s fairly simple to implement. There are lots of different plugins and add-ons that you can install on your site which will add ‘share’ links to the end of each of your posts. This is particularly handy on your blog, and will allow your visitors to share your content on sites like Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon. This can boost your exposure, your visitors, and hence your success. If your blog is based on the WordPress platform, it’s even easier, and you can install the functionality in just a few clicks.

Feature a Facebook ‘ticker’ on your home page

Much like the Twitter integration you can install, Facebook also offer widgets that can give visitors easy access to your fan page. In fact, their ticker widget will display the last update you posted, along with a selection of people who already ‘Like’ your page. This should attract new visitors to your Facebook page, and let them know that you’re active with your community. This of course relies on you having an active Facebook page, so make sure you really get stuck in and engage with your new and existing customers.

Embed a few YouTube videos on your site

You don’t have to work in a visual industry to benefit from a video or two on your website. Even if it’s a simple animated slideshow explaining who you are and what you do, it will be a big help. The benefit of hosting the videos on YouTube and embedding them is that they will also be searchable on YouTube itself, so you can get even more exposure from one simple measure. Plus, if you’re lucky enough to have one of your videos go viral, you could potentially reach a global audience in a matter of hours. Embedding one or two YouTube videos is an easy solution which could translate to a big gain for your company – and it expands your social media reach.

There’s never been a better time to get on board with social media. So even if you’ve been on Facebook from the start, or you don’t know a Tweet from a Check-in, take a good look at your social media and ask yourself how you could do things differently. It’s probably a lot easier than you think.