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How Social Media Interacts with Your Website

I see organizations that have a website and some social media presence, but little interaction between the two, so let's look at how websites and social media can interact:

Helping Users Share Your Sites Content on Social Media

If you have unique, interesting content, you'll want to make it easy for people to share it with their friends on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. Yes, people can copy the url of the page and paste it into their social media, but most people don't go to the trouble. Most sites, therefore, will add "share" buttons that can start the post of a link to the article to a social media site with a single click. Here's an example to see how it works. At the bottom of this article you'll see several such buttons, with the icons of several social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Click on one that you have an account on and you'll start the process of sharing a link to this page with others. This will post a link to this page on YOUR timeline. Go ahead and try it, please. How do you get buttons like these on your site? There are three or four outfits that make buttons like this. I'm using the set from AddToAny.com.

 

This is an excellent way to get content from your website out to social media, and get links from social media sites back to your website. Notice that your organization doesn't really even have to have a presence on a given social media site for this to work, as long as the user is active on that social site. e.g. your organization doens't need a Twitter account in order for a user to share one of your site's webpages on THEIR Twitter.

Making It Easy for Users To Join Your Social Media

The other way for websites and social media to interact is to have a link on the website that makes it easy for the user to like/follow/subscribe to your organization's social media. In the case of Facebook, it's common to have a "like" button somewhere on the site. This will take the user to your organization's Facebook page and allow them to "like" it. Thus when your organization updates their facebook page, some small number of the people who have liked your page will see that update on their timeline. You'll see such a like button at the bottom of this page. You can get the code for it from:

https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/like-button

Which is better for you?

If your organization is more active on social media than their own website, then the like/share/subscribe (the latter above) is the better deal. If your organization's updates are mostly posted to your website and you want the SEO benefits of inbound links, use the first option above. Of course, you can use both if you have the time and inclination.


 

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