By now it is well understood that social media is important for a cause driven organization. When integrated with your website, it can increase traffic and heighten interactions with your audiences in new and meaningful ways. These are the top 10 ways we recommend integrating the different platforms of social media into your website.
1. Visible Social Media Buttons
Sure, this seems like a no brainer, but it is worth mentioning. Having buttons link to your social sites is crucial to integrating your social with your website. Not only does it lead the viewer to more information but allows them to connect with you on the channels they are most invested in. It is important that these buttons are not simply placed in the footer, but included at key points throughout the site. For instance, you may include them on your blog where other timely information is presented. Often times the same icons are used for both linking to an organization’s social channels and sharing content that is on a website, so be sure to clearly define their purpose. Adding a contextual statement like “connect with us” is a simple way to define their intended purpose.
2. Links to Share on Social Media Sites
Make your content on your website shareable. If you have a blog, include links where the reader can post to their social media page when they are finished reading. This promotes interaction with your content through word of mouth which is continuously one of the best ways to become relevant. Avoid simply including share buttons at the top of your website, rather associate them with content that is most likely to be shared like blog posts, articles or multimedia content. Making this content available to the reader enables more visibility with less work for you! One of the best tools to integrate the share feature on your site is Add This. This resource collects useful information for all of the share buttons you add to your website such as the number of times it has been shared.
3. Open Graph & Twitter Cards
Going along with making links shareable, use Open Graph and Twitter Cards. If you don’t already use them, do it! What are they? You know when you post a link to Facebook or Twitter and a photo shows up to accompany the post? Well Open Graph and Twitter Cards need to be on the website in order for this to happen. Try implementing this into your website and when people post your articles to Facebook they will be accompanied by a title and a meta description. Our preferred CMS platform, WordPress, has some powerfully simple plugins that make this an easy task for any site administrator.
4. Your Social Feeds
Consider having a live feed to your Twitter or Facebook account on your homepage. This is a way you can keep everyone up to date on the happenings of your cause, and it links them to your page where they can quickly “like” or “follow” you. Having the feed on the homepage is like having a snapshot into the organization. They can scroll through the posts and get a feel for your brand. It is important to note that it is especially crucial to be up to date on your accounts before you post them on your homepage. Make sure to have relevant, interesting information. It’s a best-practice to use the widgets provided by the platforms, for instance Facebook’s Activity Feed Plugin or Twitter’s Timeline.
5. Links from your Social Sites
As imperative as it is to have links on your website leading viewers to your social media it is just as important to have links on your social sites leading to your website. If a user does happen upon your social page before getting directed to your website, you should help get them there by having links posted frequently in your posts. You can direct them to articles or blog posts or any relevant page. It does not need to be directly to the homepage.
6. Adding Facebook Login to your Site
7. Use Analytics
Hopefully, you already utilize Google Analytics to gather information about your site and your viewers. Using Google Analytics can provide you with valuable data and insights on how your users are interacting with your social media content. This information will help you evaluate your content strategy so you can better connect with your audience via social and on your site.
There are also analytics you can use for your social media sites. Using tools like Hootsuite and Simply Measured can help you to better know your audience and ease publishing across your channels. You can see how many people your posts reached, what posts did well at which times of day, etc. Using these tools can help you be more effective in your social media campaigns that can often lead to the completion of key tasks on your website such as donating, signing up for your email newsletter, etc.
8. Use Social Feedback to Help with Content Strategy
Pay attention to what people are saying about you throughout the social media sites. If they are asking a lot of similar questions consider using that for the content of your next blog post or article. Knowing what your audience is interested in will help keep their attention for longer. Create content for your website that reflects their interests and questions. Also pay attention to what viewers are choosing to post from your site- this goes along with analytics. Use the analytics data to inform your content.
9. User Generated Content
User generated content is anything that is created about your cause from someone outside of your organization. It is what people post about you, what they say. Any original reviews and information about your organization. A lot of this happens through social media as people talk about your cause. You can definitely use this to your advantage. A simple instance of this would be including testimonials on your website.
10. Keep it Simple
Finally, through all of these awesome suggestions it is important to figure out what works the best for your specific cause. Every organization has different communications objectives. Keep the social media integrated on your website simple. Take advantage of existing tools. The priority is your website and content, the social should be there for them to choose and want to interact with.
Integrating social media into your website can increase traffic and can grow interaction through your site. These tips are quick and important in amplifying your organizations voice. Focus on strategies that work for your company and measure the results. Armed with the right information, your social strategy is guaranteed to improve!