I was just looking through the website of a brand and noticed how it integrated Facebook comments. This made me realize how far brands have come when it comes to social media integration. Now, merely slapping social icons on blog posts and websites are not considered enough, and rightfully so.
Why is this so?
Well, this is because while previously website development was only handled by designers and developers, now marketers like me also have a say in its structure. While designers and developers are crucial for website development, you do need someone on the team with a business perspective.
You see, when you approach building websites from a purely “aesthetic” or “technical” point of view, it’s foolish to expect a business result from it.
This is not to say the work of designers and developers should be undervalued. But if you really want to meet your strategic marketing goals, you need to build marketing into your product, and that is what social media integration is all about!
The Significance of Social Media Integration
To understand why any and every business should incorporate social media integration into advertising strategy, let’s first take a step back and understand why social media is worth your efforts.
Here is a quick infographic that illustrates the power of social media.
According to Statista, there are approximately 3.96 billion social media users around the world. And users tend to spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on various social media platforms.
An independent study by Forbes revealed that 71 percent of people who have a positive experience with a given brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their peers!
By leveraging your social media presence and followers for better conversions, proper social media integration can be used to:
- Direct their social media followers to the website
- Allow social media accounts to be easily accessible on websites, thereby facilitating users who wish to see the online presence of the business.
Such integration can help a business in improving its reach and brand awareness while boosting engagement with the website and gaining followers on social media, all at the same time!
Considering that COVID-19 has transformed the way people interact with companies and enhanced the importance of the social media presence of brands, it is now more important than before to integrate social media across various communication channels.
7 Strategies to Implement
Here are some of the top ways to integrate social media into your website and beyond.
Built for Sharing
This first one is a no-brainer in terms of “idea” but probably the hardest to get just right. All the pages on your website should be built for sharing, and that means more than just having social media icons in obvious places. A truly “built for sharing” page needs to have great content with inherent viral value, things influencers would like to share!
A great way to do so is by having a blog on your website. Keep up with the current trends and try to create content that is valuable and interesting for your target audience. Make sure to add social media icons to make it sharable.
For instance, for its Father’s Day content campaign, Etsy stayed true to its brand essence of offering design and DIY solutions by featuring this post in its blog. Also, notice how strategically well the social buttons are placed!
Get Interested Readers to Share your Content
Creating engaging and viral content does not always translate to improved social media sharing. Sometimes, the best of us need a little push. Why not encourage them to share as they continue scrolling down to read your article in full?
And I mean going beyond social media buttons. You can easily set up a trigger that pops up social sharing icons with a nice message encouraging the user to share what they are reading.
On the popup, always add the number of times the content has already been shared across various platforms. Just like prompts featuring “Hot Seller”, “ABC just bought this” boost sales, knowing that people are sharing given content on their social media platform encourages readers to do so too.
Encourage Sharing at Different Points in the Buying Cycle
Most agencies will totally overlook this obvious point. Even if your pages are “built for sharing”, why not trigger sharing prompts at different points in the buying cycle?
Every modern consumer goes through a similar buying cycle, starting from awareness and interest in a product and ending with advocating for a brand they purchased from and were satisfied with. It turns out that digital strategy comes into play in every part of the cycle!
You can also use social media integration all across the buying cycle through prompts like:
- Encourage sharing after the point of purchase on a thank you/confirmation page. Someone just bought from you; they’re very likely to share your page!
- Follow up via email with prompts to Like on Facebook, follow on Twitter , buy instagram followers or \ on whatever other network you’re on. Someone just opted into your mailing list; they want to be connected with you, prompt them!
- If you’re an ecommerce site that encourages reviews, give the reviewer the option to share the review he has just submitted. Very likely that you’ll get a few good shares!
Incorporate Social Media Feeds
If you’re active on various social media platforms, then it might make sense to incorporate a Twitter or Facebook feed wherever it makes sense on your website. This is a simple and effective way to get your website visitors up to speed on the latest happenings in your sphere.
Of course, you’d want to avoid doing this if you’re inactive on social media. In fact, you’d want to avoid doing any of this if you’re inactive on social media! But, to be honest, I would encourage you to build your social media presence as soon as possible.
One example to learn from is Ferrari which does a great job of integrating its Instagram posts on its website. Observe how it uses its call to action and then provides snippets of what users can expect by following them on the platform!
Add Facebook Comments to your website
This one is both good and bad.
On the one hand, it has the potential to exponentially increase the reach of your comments and substantially reduce spam, but on the other hand, it requires users to be logged into their Facebook account.
What if the user doesn’t have a Facebook account! What if!
With 2.85 billion Facebook users, I guess this is one risk you should be willing to take.
Incorporate Customer Reviews and Q&A’s into Product Pages
In a world where, according to Trust Plus, good reviews can boost sales by 31 percent, embedding social media reviews in your website will help make your brand look more trustworthy. There are specific social media integration tools that can come in handy for this purpose.
Such integration should not be restricted to just Facebook, Twitter or the likes. Anything that “connects” people on the internet is a form of social media.
In that respect, incorporating customer reviews and Q&As into product page design is a great way to get fresh, crowd-sourced, unique, keyword-rich content on-to product pages that not only plays on the whole social media integration thing but also gives you great SEO benefits.
Implement Social Logins
This strategy can come in handy for Ecommerce businesses. And the chances are you have already seen this method in action many times.
When checking out from an Ecommerce site, certain businesses allow you to log in via your Facebook, Twitter or Google account rather than create an account from scratch. This is an example of social login.
A study by LoginRadius revealed that over 73 percent of users prefer social logins. Hence, this integration ensures better conversion for Ecommerce websites. Moreover, when it comes to preferences within social media, a survey revealed that 70.99 percent of users prefer logging in via Google, while 20 percent used Facebook.
The best way to decide which social login options you must give, conduct a survey of your target audience. This will help fuel your decision.
Go beyond social media buttons
You’re building your website for a reason – convert your website audience into loyal customers.
Make sure you don’t solely accept the placid placement of social media icons as a social media integration service by a web agency. This step is just one part (and the most basic one) of overall effective integration.
Implement each of the tactics I have mentioned.
Remember, we are lucky enough to be alive at a time when reaching your target audience is a piece of cake. Don’t lose this golden opportunity by not fully utilizing what social media can do for you!
Do you have any more ideas for better integration of social media across communication channels? Let us all know by sharing them in the comments below!