Social media web design is a new concept for many. For the veterans of digital marketing, social media plays an indispensable role in their marketing campaigns. In fact, it has done so for years. Over the past decade or so, many companies worked on transforming their brand image into something more personal. These companies understand that the key part of “social media” is the “social.”
Few people look forward to chatting with a corporation. It’s even less appealing on platforms created for entertainment. When companies dial the formalities down a notch, it boosts engagement with customers. One example of this on Twitter is Google changing all its handle names to “BOOgle” for the Halloween season. Burger King also draped a ghost-sheet costume over its logo.
You may be wondering, “Well, what does this have to do with social media on my website?” Adding social media to your website design helps show off your playful side. Customers tend to feel more comfortable engaging when you do. It may also showcase the behind-the-scenes of your business. Doing this lends it further credibility, especially for startups. If your company has an Instagram account, the images also add a nice aesthetic.
The Perks of Adding Social Media
Sure, there are some feel-good benefits. However, you may still wonder, “Why should I add social media to my website?” This is a good question. You should absolutely demand objective justifications for taking on a project like this.
- Adding social media share buttons to your articles and webpages makes it easier for customers to distribute your content to their followers and can increase organic traffic.
- Making it easier to like or follow your social media pages via your website with an easy click of a button may help you grow your social media following.
- When companies use social media to show off their more “human” side, they build a much stronger customer culture.
- Companies that employ a social media strategy see conversion rates that are six times higher than companies that do not.
- When it comes to buying a product or service, social media influences the final purchase decision of 74% of customers.
- It helps you to engage in the story-telling aspect of marketing, which is an on-going process.
How To Add Social Media to Websites
This sounds great and all, but what exactly are the best practices for adding social media to your website? After all, you want to do more than toss Twitter and Facebook onto the page. You want to do it well to capitalize on the many benefits of doing so.
Build Social Media Pages
Naturally, the first step is creating amazing social media pages. These should maintain cohesiveness with your website. What does this mean? Imagine that you have a computer repair shop. You call it “The Tech Clinic” and have used this as part of the visuals for your store and website for years.
When you build a social media page, using your name as the handle or account name may throw customers off compared to @TheTechClinic or even @TheTechDoctor. Choose a handle that is similar to either your URL or the name of the business. Then, maintain the same name for all accounts. Likewise, the imagery on your pages should line up with your website. This helps to ensure consistency. Consistency helps companies build credibility.
Offer Social Sign-In
Have you ever visited a website or downloaded an app only to realize you need a log-in to use the services? The thought of filling out your personal information, coming up with a unique username, and creating a password you would probably forget in 30 days probably didn’t appeal to you. Then, you noticed the following lifesavers:
- Sign in with Facebook
- Sign in with Google
- Sign in with Twitter
This made what would otherwise seem like a hassle as easy as clicking a button. If you’re already signed in on your desktop or phone, you probably didn’t even need to enter any information. Customers appreciate that same easy access to your websites and apps. Keep it simple.
Add Social Buttons
You may have seen these buttons before on some of your favorite lifestyle blogs that make a living from viral content. The share buttons are those tiny social media icons encouraging you to share the website’s content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or some other platform. Developers must often add these to blog pages.
They are usually on the top, sides, or bottom of the page. Recently, some websites also feature them in the body of the text for quotes they know will grab a reader’s eyes. Social buttons are not just for sharing, though. You may also add them to home pages to encourage people to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter.
Create Home Page Feeds
When you add social media feeds to your home page, your customers get to preview the posts on your social media pages. This is true whether or not you decide to add widgets for Instagram or Twitter. Many of these have either light or dark feeds. Be sure to pick a theme that works well with your overall website design.
If there is room for only one widget, consider the one where you include a lot of images, such as Instagram. Forbes estimates that 72% of people who use search engines to research products before they buy rely on images when making a purchase decision. Make their search easier by providing images of your product or service in action. The more user-generated content you can source to pull this off, the better. Just remember to get permission and offer proper credit.
Create a Hashtag
One of the main reasons companies focus on showing off their more social side is changes in consumer behavior. Millennials are now the largest generation in the workplace. This also contributes to them having the most buying power in the current market. To add to this, they are the first generation to align their values and social preferences so closely with their purchasing decisions.
Put simply, millennials put their money where their mouth is. Several studies have tackled this and now encourage companies to engage in corporate social responsibility. This makes it easier for millennials to bond on a more intimate level with the company. One way companies have been aligning people with products is by using hashtags. Notable ones include #WantAnR8 by Audi and Coca-Cola’s #ShareaCoke.
Improve Site Speeds
After installing social media widgets, feeds, and buttons, you may notice that the loading speed of your website deteriorates. This is a natural side-effect of adding more items for it to load, centralize, and connect to. You need to improve your website loading speed to counteract this. Thankfully, there are many ways for you to do so.
One possible solution is to move your website to another hosting platform that offers higher speeds. If you love the platform you’re already on, consider asking for an upgrade. A more cost-effective option is to do some on-site maintenance, such as reducing the size of your images. This helps them load faster, thereby decreasing load time. Finally, talk to your developer about how you can reduce HTTP requests.
Social media leveled the playing field when it came to how well companies could connect with their customer base. It also brought creativity and humor back into the business world. While some businesses have pushed things a little too far when it comes to quips and comedy, others know how to strike that balance just right. If you, too, can strike this balance, incorporating social media in your website design can only be to your benefit.