It’s easy for a company to think of their website as the be-all and end-all of their online brand’s existence — but more and more today, consumers are using social media sites as the starting point for their online interactions with a business. They don’t look on your website for information about promotions and products; they look on your social media profiles. So how do you get social media and your website to work together? There are plenty of options.
Tell Your Customers What Social Sites You’re Hooked Up To
The more visible your social icons are, the more users will interact with them. If you have a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit, or other social media account, you should be telling people about it — and, naturally, using it regularly. Having larger icons in your header and smaller icons in your footer, site-wide, is a great start — but see item number four, below as well.
Allow Your Website to Login via Social Account
Sites don’t need to have their individual logins anymore — you can easily set up your site to use Facebook or Twitter as it’s login portal. That not only puts people in the mind of social sharing as they connect to your site, but it also makes registering and logging in much easier, which means more registrations in the first place.
Design Your Site with Social In Mind
From code to content, websites can — and should — be designed to easily incorporate social media into the user experience. Having a sidebar that relies on social media feeds to dynamically produce content, for example, can make each visit to your homepage something worth pausing and looking at rather than just clicking straight past.
If your content is awesome, but you happen to have an end user that isn’t comfortable manually creating a new ‘share’ on Facebook or can’t be bothered to copy-paste your URL into a Tweet, you’re losing valuable shares. You should have Like/Tweet/Share/Pin buttons on the side of every piece of content you create as a default.
Embed YouTube and Other Social-Site Videos Where Appropriate
Videos not only increase a user’s time-on-page, decrease bounce, and improve conversion rates, but there’s a ‘meta’ reason to use them as well: Additionally, there appears to be an effect where if a video gets a lot of hits on YouTube, it can improve the SERPs results of a page that the video is embedded in.
Show Facebook Reviews On Your Site
If there’s one thing that Facebook people like, it’s feeling like their voices are being heard. If you put a dynamic panel of Facebook reviews on your website — even if it’s in a background tab that has to be clicked onto — the chances are great that conversions will increase, even if not every single review is 100% positive.
Bottom line, web designers can’t just be ‘that otaku sitting in the corner turning code into pretty squares’ any more. It’s our business to take every aspect of a website into account — including what the end user might think do with in once it has gone live.