Social media can be a great way of keeping consumers informed about events, promotions, and news related to your business or your industry, but in order to take full advantage of the access to these consumers offered by social media, providing seamless transitions across each digital platform that you occupy, including your website, is essential.
Integrating social media into your website can provide value in a number of different ways. It can provide a funnel for first-time website visitors to subscribe to and engage with your brand, it can encourage social sharing by website visitors through their own social media accounts, and it can have a significant positive impact when it comes to your website’s rankings in search results.
But what are the most effective ways of integrating social media into your website, and how can you get started? By the time you are done reading this post, you will have all the tools you need to add Facebook comments to your website, add social media share buttons to your blog posts, and add Google authorship to your website contributors.
Adding Social Share Buttons to Your Blog
Encouraging social sharing on your website with social share buttons can increase the number of times people post your content across social media. This means more exposure for your social media accounts, your website, and your brand. Also, as Google and other search engines continue to evolve, the importance of establishing your website’s credibility is beginning to play a bigger and bigger role in search engine rankings. The more social media shares your website has received, the more perceived value it has for users and the higher it will appear in search results.
Most social networks offer instructions for adding their specific share buttons to your website, but there are also some third-party plugins that will allow you to add all of your share buttons in one step rather than separately. One of the easiest plugins to use is AddThis, a free option that allows you to customize your plugin and track social sharing over time.
Use the AddThis code generator to add the buttons you need and create the look you want. Then follow the instructions for copying and pasting the code on your website.
Adding Facebook Comments to Your Website
Adding Facebook comments to your website can reduce spam by requiring commenters to login with their Facebook account in order to comment on a blog post or news article, and it can also help your pages to get more exposure by encouraging users to post an update to their own Facebook whenever a comment is submitted. Facebook offers a Facebook comments box code generator for creating a short snippet of code that you can copy and paste into your website, or you can follow our step-by-step instructions for adding Facebook comments to your website.
Through Facebook Open Graph, you can integrate other aspects of the social media platform as well, including a Like button or a feed of your most recent Facebook posts. For more on the possibilities that Open Graph affords, check out Facebook’s Open Graph documentation.
Adding Google Authorship to Website Contributors
Buzz around Google+ has been sporadic since its launch in 2011, but that doesn’t mean that Google+ doesn’t have an influence when it comes to search results. There are a number of ways to improve your SEO with Google+ as well as ways to integrate Google+ with your website, including verifying your website with your Google+ page and adding Google +1 buttons, but one website integration feature that allows Google+ to stand out from other social networks is the ability to verify the Google+ profiles of individuals with the content each posts on your website.
Google+ authorship allows you to associate an author on your website with that author’s Google+ profile. Then, when an article appears in search results, the author’s photo will appear alongside the result, giving searchers an option to add the author to his or her circles and view other articles written by the author.
To add Google+ authorship to your website, your blog posts must have a byline that is the same as the name on your personal Google+ profile and a recognizable headshot or profile photo. You will also need an email address on the same domain as your website. You will then need to verify yourself as an author with Google.
Additional Social Media and Website Integration Ideas
The ideas for social media and website integration discussed here are are just the beginning. There are countless possibilites for the social networks discussed above and even more with the features of social networks such as Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. How have you integrated your website with social media and what are you looking to do in the future? Let us know in the comments below.