Social Media Integration

Your presence on websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and countless others represent a substantial investment in your time and networking. Most often, displaying links to your profile or business page at these sites, in addition to buttons for sharing content from your website to those networks, are called social media integrations.

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Said plainly, you either want people to be able to get to your content on those networks and become a follower or you want people to easily share to those networks from your website.

Don’t confuse the two. In one instance, you’re leading people away from your website to a social media website where you spend time as a business entity; in the other, you are providing a way for people to post content on their social media profiles leading back to your website.

Generally, because of the amount of control you have, it’s more important to lead people back to your website, so you can sell, inform or get them on your e-mail list than it is for them to go to your Facebook page or Twitter profile.

Social Media Profile Links

These exist as buttons or “badges” for your chosen networks, typically along with some social proof that you’re popular there, like the number of connections you have or a testimonial.

This is nothing more than an image that you hang somewhere on your site (in the sidebar or header) that links to your page at another website.

No mystery. WordPress plugins or codes provided at the originating social media site allow you to “plug” this in easily most of the time.

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If you want the buttons that link to those networks to look a certain way (for instance, match stylistically with your website) or have some special functionality, you’ll have to hunt for them or have them developed by a programmer.

When starting out, it’s best to use a simple plugin or embed code from your most popular social network and place it in the sidebar so your audience knows you exist there.

Sharing Buttons and Functionality

It’s been said that sharing buttons increase the likelihood that content will be shared by 7x.

There are numerous ways to add this capability to your website. Some people manually insert breaks in posts and pages with a quote to tweet or insight to share, while most commonly, a plugin is used to place sharing buttons, along with the number of current shares, on the side or at the bottom of an article.

These plugins typically have options to show sharing buttons on all pages, all posts or be manually inserted.

There’s no one way or best way; your audience, your style and your content will dictate best methods. It is, however, arguably critical you have sharing buttons on your posts and that they are fairly obvious.

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