If your website is not structured to be your social media HUB or if you don’t have Social Media accounts for your company, it’s time to get things straightened out. When doing so I encourage caution and no matter what, make sure your website is the HUB. Your social media accounts should compliment your website, not the other way around. Be sure to match your brand and perfectly integrate each account with your website.
Before Integrating Social Media
First, even though this is NOT considered social media, it’s mandatory for every business to have a Google My Business account. In fact, before reading any further, check out this post about local SEO strategy.
Suggested Social Media Accounts
Regarding which social media company accounts to have, depending on the business type, we usually suggest Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. B2B companies should also have a Linkedin company page. If it’s a restaurant, replace Linkedin with Yelp. Most business types can add Pinterest into the mix as well. If you publish videos be sure to include Youtube. No matter what, keep it simple and don’t include more integrations than you have time to manage. After all, if you have a Instagram account, it’s a good idea to post something on a regular basis. Don’t be like me and only post once a year! Unfortunately, I don’t follow my own advice.
Social Media Links to and From Your Website
Usually the social icons on our websites link off to our social media pages. This is fine as it provides prospective customers with a certain level of comfort. Never forget though, the idea is to drive traffic FROM your social media, TO your website.
Integrating Social Media on the Company Website
Once the social media company pages are set up, it’s time to get started integrating them with your website. The websites I build include special open graph code written in the site’s html. The code helps validate the client’s social media with their website and business. It also sends positive signals of trust to Google about your business. Your theme and/or SEO plugin should include this OG code, but it won’t work unless your social media page url’s are included into the configuration.
Helpful list of basic social media integration steps:
- Social page images and written content should be consistent, matching your brand across all networks. If you’re not doing this, we suggest researching how to brand your business.
- Display the friendly, well known social icons on your website. Seeing these familiar icons make your visitors feel more trust. After all, if your active on social media you must have lots of followers!
- I like placing the icons in the footer but if you are a serious blogger, you’ll also want some share links on every post. I don’t like this for most websites, so only use share links if you are very active on your site AND your social media.
- Avoid adding social media plugins to your website. They are resource hogs and slow down your page loads! Honestly, they are not needed.
- If you like automating processes using services such as Zapier, create functions so every time a new blog post is added, it automatically pushes that post out to your social network of choice.
- We can go one step further so any posts published in a specific category automatically post to one network while posts and another category go to a different social network. Normally, some topics go over well on Facebook but others might fair better for Twitter.
Is Social Media for Every Business?
Utilizing social media is effective for most business types, but NOT for all. For instance, I have a client how sells aerospace hardware and has no need whatsoever for social media. In fact, it’s the only site I manage where over 93% of his visitors are using a desktop device.
Finding the Time
Social media integration takes time and requires a well thought out strategy. Every website post, every social share and every web page published should be based on a strategic plan of action. If social media is important to your business I highly suggest hiring someone or farming it out to a 3rd party. Although I no longer offer social media marketing as a service, feel free to contact me for a referral. I’m also available for paid consultation if you want to go it on your own but need a bit of coaching.
We Do NOT Own Our Social Media Pages
Never forget, we DO NOT own our social media pages! Each social media channel controls what we can and cannot display. They can and will terminate service, even if by mistake. Never forget, we are nothing more than prospective buyers of products and services in their ads.
We own our websites and the content displayed within. The idea is to use social media integration to drive traffic back to our websites.
Your Website is the Primary Online Hub
Remember basics. The online presence of any business all starts with how well their website ranks in the search results. This is not a social network. This is your website! Not your Linkedin page, Facebook page, or any other social network page. Social media matters, and it matters a lot! Let’s take advantage by leveraging social media to drive traffic to our websites.