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5 DIY ways to make your site more social

16:29 on Fri, 8 Jul 2011 | Social Media | 4 Comments

Social media is all about engaging with your customers, listening to what they have to have to say, helping them share, and building a rapport. This blog post explains 5 quick and easy ways to incorporate social elements into your website and business - and there's no cost involved, just a few minutes of your time.

1. Facebook Like

Enable users to quickly share and recommend your products/services by adding sharing buttons. The buttons can also be used to help promote your Facebook Page too. This social network behemoth has over 500 million active users. Why wouldn’t you want your visitors to your website to ‘Like’ or share your page with their friends?

Facebook Like button

So is it easy to add? Well in its most basic form it is. In fact Facebook provides helpful code formation wizards to help you out. Check out the full list of Facebook social plugins which includes the Facebook Like button as well as options to also add:

  • Send buttons
  • Comments
  • Activity feeds
  • Recommendations
  • Like boxes
  • Live streams

2. LinkedIn Shares

LinkedIn has 101 million members worldwide and over 5 million of those are in the UK. The professional identify network also has a LinkedIn.com Share Button ready to be added to your site.  This allows your visitors to share your page with their network on LinkedIn with ease.

LinkedIn Share button

LinkedIn also allows you to communicate with people in your industry on Linkedin Groups  or you could create your own. Much like Facebook, LinkedIn gives you a selection of easy integration options on their Plugins page.

3. Microblogging

The king of microblogging is Twitter. Twitter is perfect for communicating directly with others whilst also helping with sharing. According to Hitwise, Twitter accounts for 1 in every 184 UK visits online. Creating an account is quick and free.

Twitter tweet button

Much like the Facebook Like and Linkedin Share options, Twitter has many tweet button options.  Twitter’s official buttons can be added to your pages with ease. Simply choose your button and enter your Twitter account as reference and the code is displayed ready to embed on your site. Here is the Tweet button builder. Other popular buttons include Tweetmeme’s retweet button.

4. Blogging

A blog allows you to easily publish updates about your company, your opinions and any other form of interesting content. Blogs generally come with a comments system straight out the box. This allows your readers to get involved and add comments to your news and views.

Wordpress comments

While from an SEO standpoint it’s good to have a blog incorporated into your website’s hierarchy it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are plenty of third party options which just require a link from your website once set up. A number of blogging providers also provide widgets so that you can embed your lastest posts in a feed.  Popular free blogging platforms include WordPress and Blogger.

5. Feedback

If you’re interested in finding out what your users think about your services and products you could add a Feedback button from Get Satisfaction. The button available from Get Satisfaction can be added to any page you like. This allows visitors to leave public suggestions and comments about your website/services. This community site allows to you to find out what they like, or dislike, as well as providing suggestions, which in-turn allows you to improve your service. Be warned though, feedback could be both good and bad!

Get Satisfaction Feedback button

A free account will get you the basic options. Simply register and add your website details.  You will then be provided with the code to go on your site.

Bonus tip: It’s what you do with it that counts

As well as promoting your social presence on your website it doesn’t have to stop there. Don’t forget to promote your active accounts on:

  • Your email signature
  • Your business cards
  • Your business profiles
  • Your stationery
  • Your newsletters
  • Your body – Ok don’t go that far!

While I’ve added a range of quick social building options here which are commonplace and standard fare, we recommend you define your social strategy to see whether it fits in with your goals and objectives. Or why not get in touch and let us help you with a Social Media workshop.  Don’t just do social for the sake of it.

Data sources:

http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

http://press.linkedin.com/about

http://weblogs.hitwise.com/robin-goad/2011/05/twitter_accounts_for_1_in_ever.html

Comments & Discussion

(4 Comments)

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Mark

Mark • Years ago

Hi Jackie. Thanks for your comment. I can't inherently see any negative impact of a Like button since it all depends on which content you add it to, i.e., news and events items. What would be more interesting is the potential to create/control community elements on Facebook and encourage engagement this way. I would recommend a social workshop at Further to discuss Facebook potential and opportunities.

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Jackie Glenn

Jackie Glenn • Years ago

What are the down sides to the Facebook like button? As a school you can appreciate that we have to be really careful but I would like to investigate these opportunities further.

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Mark

Mark • Years ago

You can add them in prominent position on the page, but not enough to distract from primary goals such as product purchase/enquiry.

You could also add a call to action near the buttons to encourage use. Such as "Share" or "Recommend".

Sites like Techcrunch.com float their sharing options in a fixed position on the page. This helps them to be noticeable on long posts and means that they're always visible without distracting from the main content.

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Goodfella

Goodfella • Years ago

I've had these buttons on my website for over s year and I have tried them in a number of different places but they seldom get used.

Is there a 'best practice' location on a page for optimum use by visitors?

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