Social media has completely transformed the way we share and consume information online. In fact, many potential customers will first discover your brand through a Facebook ad campaign, rather than finding your website. With an estimated 40% of social media users follow brands online, there’s a good chance many of your current customers are also interested in seeing your content on Facebook or Instagram.
Because social media has become so engrained in the way most people use the internet, website owners must consider how to integrate the social experience with their site content. Doing so won’t just improve the user experience — it will also lead to increased sales.
After all, most potential customers aren’t going to make a purchase the first time they visit your website. By increasing their chances for connecting with you again in the future, you come closer to accomplishing your own brand goals.
Small and Simple
You might not have a vibrant Instagram feed due to the nature of your business. That’s okay. You can still encourage more social engagement with your content thanks to a few smaller additions that don’t even take up much room on your website.
The first is to add custom social media buttons to your site. These buttons offer quick links to all your social media profiles so website visitors can find and connect with your brand on other platforms. While many sites use standard logos and buttons, others adapt the icons to better match the overall site design. Placing the buttons on your site’s headers, footers, or sidebars will help fuel greater social interaction.
Your blog should receive extra attention for social sharing. A WordPress plugin such as Sassy Social Share allows you to place icons on your blog posts that enable users to share your content on their own profiles. By making it easier for site visitors to share your content, you can dramatically increase views and reach new audiences. These share buttons can also be used on individual product pages.
Another great tool is MissingLettr, which helps site owners create social media campaigns based around their blog content. Easy-to-use campaign templates and analytics make it easy to create an effective campaign based around your site content.
For brands that are especially active on social media, you can take things a step further by more fully integrating your social content on your homepage. For example, companies that frequently share news and updates on Twitter could add their Twitter feed to the website’s footer.
Instagram integration is especially popular among fashion brands, restaurants, and other visually-oriented companies. A custom Instagram gallery plugin could allow you to display results from your own posts or from a branded hashtag. These more “authentic” photos can be far more appealing (and convincing) to potential customers than a stock photo could ever be.
If your site has a section that requires users to log in, giving visitors the option to use their Facebook profile can streamline the user experience and further encourage social sharing. Simplifying the registration process is a great way to get more people to create user profiles spend time on your site.
What works for one brand won’t always be the right fit for another. What is clear, however, is that all site owners should have at least some form of social media integration on their website. Of course, this is only half the picture, as you must then provide a steady stream of high-quality content to foster future interactions and sales. As you use social media to enhance the on-site experience, you’ll make a stronger impression on your customers.