Five top tips for using social media on your website

We all want to keep our websites current and fresh.

Social media plugins are a great way to do this – we can have live feeds from other sources, social network apps and sharing buttons and forum pages.

The trouble is, unless your site administrator has got a really strong grip on this content, it can go horribly wrong.

Keep your Twitter feed up to date!1: Keep it current
This is a real example from a local website (the blurred out bit is the company’s name, I wanted to spare their blushes!). This has the opposite effect to the one intended: The website didn’t go live (and is now ~275 days late) and the ‘Latest from Twitter’, is 275 days old! Keep it up to date, or don’t use it at all.

2: Use mixed media
Offer your content in a variety of formats. People have different preferences for consuming material. Offer words, images and video.  If your content is interesting, it will be shared, it could even go viral. Blendtec, a home and commercial blender company started the popular Will It Blend Blog promoting the firm’s products. The videos demonstrate the power of the blenders by attempting to, well, blend various items.  Over 88,000 people ‘like’ the Will It Blend Facebook page – not bad for kitchen gadget company.

3: Use relevant material
You can bet your bottom dollar that you’re not the only one with a website devoted to your field (no, this isn’t challenge!).  Find out what your peers are up to and share stories. If you have a feed on your page, make sure it is interesting or useful to your audience.

4: Make the most of discussions
If people comment on your site, always respond, even if it seems negative*. Think of it as your virtual store front. Whether you’re running an online shop, service or you it’s just your blog, your audience is making contact with you. Ignore them and they’ll never come back – respond and you start to build a relationship.

*unless it’s outright abuse or trolling, don’t dignify such behaviour.

5: Encourage people to take the conversation beyond your website
Make sure you include social media buttons on your site:
Social media buttons
With a single click, visitors to your site can publicise it to their own social group. This is absolutely vital. People trust their peers. Numerous studies indicate that people consult social networks, blogs and peer reviews before making purchases or seeking out bargains.

The web is ultimately social, and increasingly so, but only in the sense that it reflects life. Word of mouth recommendations are like gold dust to businesses, social media channels allow you to generate this precious stuff almost exponentially – don’t miss the opportunity!


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