Andrew Ingham
Andrew Ingham
Digital Designer
13.01.14

How to effectively integrate social media to your website

Social media has become part and parcel of everyday life and now we are seeing websites integrate their social channels in numerous ways. Users move from channel to channel and so they all should be designed and built to work to seamlessly to promote your online brand.

It is becoming more apparent that users go to social media sites as a starting point to gather information on a brand, it’s products, promotions and customer feedback. So it is more important than ever to have a range of active social channels, from here they are more likely to visit your brand website.

The following are examples of how we can integrate social media effectively to provide not only a sound social strategy for your website but most importantly a good user experience.

  1. Let the user know what social media channels you operate on
    It is important to show how social your brand is, the more visible your social buttons are, the more likely the user will click on them. Many websites either have them in the header or the footer of the site, this is because they are then not cluttering the main content of your website and distracting the user from the main purpose of visiting.Also it is important they fit in with the look and feel of your website, if you put an official Facebook logo on a nicely designed site, it will more than likely stick out like a sore thumb!
  2. Allow social logins for an easier and quicker experience
    Users can now sign up or log on to websites using their social media accounts like Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. This means the information stored on your profile can be used to automatically fill out sign up forms, increasing the conversion rate for user registrations. Research from Janrain (source below) suggests social log-in increases conversions by as much as 50%, and 77% of users prefer social log-in compared to creating an account.An example of a website that provides fantastic information when you log-in socially is Etsy. On logging in, it provides examples of gifts you could buy for your friends, given the data provided by Facebook on what they ‘like’.
  3. Is your site ‘Social Media Friendly’
    It is common practice now not just to have social media icons on your website. Instead designers are incorporating the content published on social media channels directly through to the website. These can range from tweets to recent blog articles, if you have chosen to go down this route, it is imperative to keep your social accounts and blogging active. Otherwise, you will have outdated content on your website and users won’t be inclined to ‘follow’ or ‘like’ your brand.
  4. Why should I like, follow and share?
    It all starts by putting shareable buttons next to information that is worth sharing. A ‘tweet’ button next to a registration form for example is redundant, but next to an interesting news article or new product, you are far more likely to see users sharing.You can also incorporate social ‘call to actions’ into the user experience on a website, after they have completed the main objective, for example purchasing a product on an e-commerce website. Here is the perfect time to give them the option of ‘following’ your brand, but make sure you give them an incentive. If you can offer a valid reason, the user will be more inclined to ‘follow’ your brand. For example ‘Like us on Facebook to see our latest offers and promotions’.
  5.  Analyse how well your social strategy is working
    Finally, you can easily track how well your social links are performing by using event tracking in google analytics. If you log in and see your social links aren’t performing well, try changing the location of them and track to see if an improvement was made. It could be they are not in a convenient location for the user.

Sources

Janrain : Frictionless Social

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