If your business is not on social media, you’re missing out on an opportunity to reach a bigger market base. People rely on social media platforms not just to be connected, but to be informed. In this setting, no business can overlook the role of social media as a marketing tool. Most companies have embraced social media marketing as an integral part of their digital marketing strategy but the one thing that many still tend to overlook is how social media ties in with their website. For a successful digital campaign, social media and your website have to complement each other and deliver a cohesive message to your customers.
Why is social media important for business?
The most important purpose of social media marketing is to push your brand to a broader audience. By integrating your social media profile with your website, you can capture an engaged client base for your site and, when done correctly, integration directs traffic to your website. Conversely, it also increases your following on social media by inviting website visitors to engage with you on these pages. Whether you’re an established brand, a startup, or a small business, you need to utilize all the marketing channels available to maintain a positive relationship with your customers.
Social media marketing and websites can perform well in isolation too. Still, by bringing them together, you can achieve a synergistic effect that will boost both your traffic and conversions significantly.
Social media channels
There are numerous social media platforms that you can use to promote your website’s online business. Each platform offers a different kind of environment, UI, and features for digital marketing. The type of users who are active in each platform is also different, though there will be some overlap. To effectively use social media, you need to decide which platforms are suitable for your business. Let’s look at some of the popular social media platforms and their usage.
People use Facebook primarily for connecting with their friends and family. Most people share their personal experiences and thoughts on this platform. When you are in a B2C business, such as consumer products and services, you should focus on promoting your website here. It is the digital equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing.
This is a microblogging site, which lets people follow famous personalities and influencers, irrespective of whether they know them or not. Most people on Twitter share information that will be useful for a wider community. Many brands have their customer support handle on Twitter, and their interactions with their customers play an important role in building their brand image. Twitter is suitable for promoting both B2B and B2C businesses.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform, giving ample space for fostering creativity in people. If your business is something even remotely related to art or beauty, then Instagram promotions should be at the core of your digital marketing strategy. Clothing stores, tattoo artists, travel blogs, beauty salons, and restaurants - these are all examples of businesses that can benefit from Instagram promotions.
This is again a platform purely for images and videos. Unlike other social media platforms that focus on connecting users with each other, this one has been built to create a space for organizing ideas and getting inspired. This makes Pinterest an ideal platform for brand promotions. Sectors such as personal development, architecture, design, photography, personal care, etc. can make the most out of this platform.
Design tips for integrating social media icons
The effectiveness of social media marketing greatly depends on your integration strategy. It’s important to be mindful of the best practices for utilizing the social media sharing buttons to their full potential. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Place social media links on the footer of your webpage
Right placement plays a big role in the effectiveness of social media icons. In most cases, the footer is the best place for these icons. When the user has scrolled down to the bottom of the page, it means they have taken some time to at least skim through the contents of your page, and so are more likely to share it.
Having said this, there may be some use cases when social media icons in the header can be beneficial. For example, when you have already got a good number of clicks on your social media icons, the new user who visits the page will see those numbers and immediately develop an interest in your content.
Explore options other than the home page
In the case of a multi-page website, you can add social media sharing buttons on pages other than Home Page too. Here are a few examples:
In the digital marketing game, blogs are not just for professional blogger websites. A blog can be used as a medium to promote your products and services. To amplify the reach of your blog, add share buttons at the bottom of your blog page.
Purchase Confirmation page:
You can also add social media icons on a purchase confirmation page of your online store. This will encourage people to share the product that they just bought.
If you have vacancies in your company, then it's a good idea to convert applicants into followers on social media. You can expand your follower base, and also get more visibility to your hiring posts in the future.
Reduce the prominence of icons
When it comes to design, most experts recommend sidelining your social media icons to not draw too much attention to them. Making them prominent distracts the visitor from more important interactions that you want your visitors to do on your site - such as sending you a message and contacting you directly or signing up for a newsletter. In the hierarchy of website interactions, clicking social media icons to follow or share content is not as important as interactions that are done within your website. You want your visitors to fulfill certain tasks before they leave and it wouldn’t be wise to show them the exit door until they are done.
Choose the right type of interaction
Most social media platforms provide two types of interactions - 1. Liking or following an already existing post or page, 2. Sharing a new post from the user’s account. When you integrate social media icons to your website, think about which one you want your users to do. You can even employ different strategies on different pages of a single website. On the home page or ‘About Us’ page, adding an icon to follow your social media page will be the right option. Whereas, in the ‘Blog’ section of the same website, you can provide the icon for sharing the article from the user’s account. Choosing the right interaction will significantly improve the chances of getting clicked.
Hold the user for longer on your site
Social media icons don’t necessarily mean showing the door to the user. Encourage the user to spend more time on your website, even after sharing or liking your content on social media. Strikingly helps you to achieve this by opening the social media platform in a new tab or window, instead of the existing one. Once the user is done sharing, he can come back to the original tab.
Stick to standard icons
Every social media platform has its logos and themes which are proprietary to them, and any modification to those may result in legal issues. Make sure to use icons from standard libraries or code snippets directly taken from the platform, to avoid any wrong representation of icons. Strikingly helps you to embed social media icons as images, in the prescribed design of each social media platform.
Make sure all your social media accounts are active
Providing links to your social media pages is the smallest task in social media marketing. Your real work is in keeping your page active with regular posts and interactions with your followers. Linking to an inactive account is worse than not linking to social media at all. If a user sees that your last activity on social media was before a month, it is going to affect your reliability. Make a schedule and post content regularly, be ready to engage with followers, and answer queries right away. These are the basics of social media marketing that you cannot do without.
How to integrate social media into your website
Strikingly provides you the integration of social media buttons for websites in these easy steps:
1. From the Strikingly dashboard, go to your site’s editor view and open settings from the left side toolbar.
Here you can choose what kind of interaction you want - share or link to your social media page. In this example, we are choosing share icons. Check all the icons that you want to display, and fill up the URL of the website in the URL box. In the case of Twitter, you can also add a default tweet text.