If a status update is made with no one to read it, did it really happen?
This is obviously an adaptation of the old “If a tree falls in the woods” parable to modern day, but the sentiment holds true. Statistics show that the vast majority of status updates and tweets go unread or are ignored. So that begs the question- if no one is reading it, what’s the point?
While most small businesses have jumped on the social media bandwagon and have established profiles on the major sites (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google Places, etc.), many utilize these accounts in a vacuum that is completely separate from their actual website. Doing so limits the chances that any interaction that occurs on these sites will be noticed by those that are most important. It also means that any updates, blog posts, and other website additions will go unseen on the networks that make sharing this content incredibly easy.
The solution to these problems is integration- it is vitally important that you tie your social media profiles into your website, or you end up with content that is only available to a small subset of potential viewers. Integration also makes it easier to share your content across multiple networks with minimal effort, thus decreasing the amount of time you need to spend managing your accounts.
There are some easy ways to make all of this happen. I will assume that you have a website with a blog and that you already have social media accounts with Facebook and Twitter. If you do not have these already and need help setting them up, please let us know– we can help!
Facebook– make sure that all of your blog posts have Facebook “Like” or “Recommend” buttons. You can review the code needed to add these to your website at: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/ These buttons will allow readers of your blog to share your posts with their existing Facebook friends with one click, and is normally a simple copy-paste to get these buttons added. Many blogging platforms have plugins that will add this code for you without having to even utilize the Facebook code directly.
Twitter– again, make sure that all of your posts have “Tweet” buttons, which allow a visitor to share your content with their Twitter followers with one click. You can review the code needed to make this happen at: https://twitter.com/about/resources/tweetbutton These buttons will let a user send out a tweet about your blog post quickly and easily. Many blog platforms have simple plug and play options for sharing that enable this option without using the Twitter code directly. I also recommend adding a Twitter “badge” to your website, which will let someone view your Twitter feed on your website (so they don’t even need a Twitter account to read it!) You can find the necessary code to do so at: https://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets
Status updates across platforms– you can share the same status update on multiple networks through various means. One is to tie your profiles together directly, so that any Tweet you make appears on Facebook as well, and vice versa. A more useful means of doing so, however, is to use a service such as http://ping.fm. This site will let you post an update to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Myspace, etc. all at the same time. This means that when you reply to comments on these networks, you can do so individually, and not have your Twitter response get sent to Facebook users that are only seeing part of the conversation.
Blog syndication– using the RSS feed that your blog has, you can syndicate it to your networks. You can add an RSS feed on a Linked In profile, and post your content to Facebook, Twitter, etc. One site that lets you do this is http://www.twitterfeed.com and another that also works is http://www.dlvr.it These sites both make it so that when you post new content to your blog, the first few sentences are posted to your social media profiles with a link to the full content.
I hope these resources make integrating your social media sites into your website easier for you, and we are available to help you make this happen.