Unless you’ve been living on the International Space Station, you should really know by now that social media is more and more a critical driving force for marketing online and Integrating Social Media into WordPress is simple.
If you have a WordPress website (and I’m going to assume you do at this point,, as you are on our website), and you are not actively (I mean really actively) engaged in social media – you are missing out on major website traffic that your competition is definitely creaming it on.
The deal breaker is the fact that Google has counted your social media interaction in as much as 30% of your online “authority” score for the past year.
Yes, your Facebook and Twitter feeds are directly used to help calculate the search rankings for your website.
Big brands all get it, and you can see this as their social media use is up more than 600% in Superbowl ads this year. In fact, Twitter was directly mentioned in more than 70% of Super Bowl commercials.
This post is about social media and using it in your WordPress website, and how you can use it in your web marketing strategy. We will also chat about how you need to integrate and expose social media all over your WordPress website.
What does this “Using Social Media” Mean?
There was a time when websites were nothing more than static brochures on the internet. Now that online media and marketing have pretty much matured, what business website owners are looking for are actual live results and Return on Investment (ROI). If you don’t get this ROI on the money ploughed into your website, why even have one at all?
A website is now seen as a marketing vehicle which needs to prompt some sort of action. In fact, in the web developer industry there is a whole role that designs the “user experience” (or what we call UX). The UX designer’s primary role is to get the user to funnel or “convert” into an action for the website owner.
Social media can definitely assist that ‘conversion’, when it’s used properly. Much like the website was the “brochure card on the internet”, many companies have signed up for Facebook and Twitter accounts to simply spam people with advertising about their products and services. Your WordPress website won’t benefit from any of this AT ALL, and will actually achieve the opposite and turn away any potential customers as well.
- Social Media Definition: social media is the act of connecting with people online
- Connecting is defined as “interacting with potential customers on a personal level”.
The best way to convince people that your company and its products and services are of value to them is by making an emotional connection, and the best place to make that connection is where they live and interact every day: social media.
The companies that are having the most impact in social are the ones that are sending their “brand ambassador” out to meet their customers online. The company that knows its customers by name, the one that socially networks and stays connected, the one that listens and cares. The companies that are useless at this feel more like a faceless brand that just advertises products for more sales and wants your money.
Based on that, you can see where social media can be a leveler for the small businesses online. Small companies are often more nimble and able to quickly respond in social, where the big conglomerates and corporations cannot (often due to staffing, support, or legal issues).
Do I have the time or staff for social media?
While social media is now a “must have” necessity for business marketing today, ultimately someone still has to do it. If you find that your company can’t find any time to post regular updates to your WordPress website (the easiest CMS to do so), you’re already in deep trouble. Many WordPress websites have tried their hand at blogging, only to find out that new news and posts become more difficult to produce over time.
One upside of social media, the invention of the Twitter/Facebook “status” requires a lot less effort than a full webpage post – AND most of it can be done easily from a smartphone (or any connected device really). Even so, someone actually has to be tasked to post regularly and cultivate the audience.
What social media is relevant to my website?
This is the 1st question you need to answer before going any further.
- What online networks and services are truly compatible with your business?
- Can you connect with and build a Twitter following in your region, country and client demographic?
- Or do you already have a base of clients on Facebook to start with?
- Maybe your company could easily grow a following on Instagram?
- Does any of your clients actually use ANY of these?
Integrating Social Media in WordPress
Integrating social media into a WordPress is as simple as installing a plugin for some “share” buttons. In fact many themes just come with these built in nowadays! If that’s all you want – then by all means install Jetpack plugin, and you can stop reading right now. Like many trends online, those little cute widgets were popular at one time – but they just don’t make much sense or cut mustard anymore.
If you want to truly “integrate” social media throughout your WordPress website, you need to understand what options are available to you – and then make some hard choices based on the needs of your visitors and potential clients.
You absolutely DO NOT need a pile of sharing options – you probably need 3-5 at most (the ones that are most relevant to your audience/potential clients). You will then integrate those services into your WordPress website that allow people to interact in a way that is intuitive and makes sense. A simple social button leading to your “profile” for them to connect to isn’t going to do much nowadays.
What we are aiming for is “further reach” bu getting some basic social interactions: instead of leading to your “business profile” page – we need to offer a more immediate option. Give the reader/potential client the ability to “tweet it”, “Pin it”, “like it”, etc.
Add Code for each one?
Now you can do the hard route and go to each of the social media sites and grab the code for their share buttons individually.If adding the code to your website is too advanced for your skill set, we recommend the plugins anyone can use a bit further down this page.
As examples here is where to get the simple code for social buttons for the biggies:
- FACEBOOK “LIKE” – visit the Facebook developer like button page to get the code to add the like button to any page Just copy and paste it where you want the FB “like” button (header, footer, content area, widgets, etc.).
- PIN IT – Pinterest has a page devoted to Pin it button code. At the bottom of that page is also the code to add a Pinterest follow button, or “Pin It” button.
BEST PRACTICE: when you start integrating these social interaction buttons, tastefully add them in places where they might be actually used – by a product, service, testimonial, special, contest, image. Often you can externally solicit interaction by posting “like us on xx page for a chance to…[enter incredible reason or value here]“.
WordPress social button using Plugins
If you prefer the simple route,which we totally recommend, consider adding a plugin like Jetpack or Shareaholic to add like, Tweet, and Google +1 buttons quickly and easily.
Something to be aware of is that sometimes webpages loading can be hampered by waiting on external ‘calls’ to social websites to load these buttons. Just be a little careful of loading all this social without thinking about it…