When youíre a business owner in the digital age, devising ways to make social media a bigger part of your website is crucial to success. According to AdWeek, 75 percent of American consumers use social media as a major resource for their purchasing decisions.
But too many businesses still ignore the power of networks like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter for spreading brand awareness and marketing products. In other words, they donít integrate social sharing buttons into their WordPress site.
This is a shame, because the WordPress platform and its affiliated software developers have made it incredibly easy to integrate social media onto any WordPress site. All it takes is the desire, a strategy, and the right tools.
As you work on your website updates and design, take social media integration into account. Hereís how.
1. Create a Social Presence First
Before you allow website viewers easy access to your social profiles, itís necessary to build your social profiles first. Start with Facebook, since that is the largest and most prolific social site for any business.
Your Facebook profile should be completely finished, with information about your business, photos, regular posts, and other viral content. If you need a great example of a finished, attractive Facebook profile, check out this one from Timothy Sykes, the millionaire penny stocks investor. He has information about his business, frequent and varied posts, and plenty of connections back to his website.
Follow the pattern with your other social media networks. You wonít need to make a profile on every site. Just build a presence on the top networks and any others that apply directly to your business.
You donít want too many social profiles because you wonít be able to keep up with them all, and that could backfire and damage the reputation of your business.
2. Choose Your Plugin
Next, youíll want to select your social media plugins of choice. A plugin makes it easy to integrate social sharing and follow buttons, auto-posting functionality, and other functions on your website without having to resort to complex customization.
Some of the best WordPress social plugins include:
- Social Share & Locker Pro: This affordable plugin offers both sharing and locker functionality with one install. It supports the 20 top social media channels, and positions the buttons where you like them on your website. The buttons load quickly and are non-intrusive to your website design.
- Social Network Auto-Poster: As the name suggests, this sets up an automatic posting system that will distribute your new blog post on any integrated social network as soon as you publish the post.
- Social Media Feather: This plugin is entirely free. It lets you integrate social sharing buttons with the option to add social follow buttons. Itís not the most efficient social integration, but itís one of the best free installations on the market.
- CoSchedule: This works just like an editorial calendar, but it comes with the ability to publish posts to social media as well. You can create and schedule messages to go along with your blog posts in order to automate the system more fully.
These are just a few of the many, many WordPress plugins that can be used to create your social presence. See this list from WPAisle for more.
3. Create Social Media Widgets
Widgets on the side or bottom of a website blog that show the latest social media updates are also very helpful for encouraging readers to become more involved with your brand. Twitter, for example, offers WordPress users the option to create their own widgets to track and spread hashtags that go along with their blogs through their Bootstrap software.
These kinds of widgets invite more customer interaction on your blog. They entice customers to click on different social profiles in order to see comments and other conversations about the same topic. This can create a deeper sense of value for your site and boost customer retention.
Once your plugins have been installed, it wonít be long until you realize the vast benefit that social integration offers your site. Take advantage of the simple WordPress setup to get the most of your customersí social interactions.