Social media is bigger than ever today, with people spending more and more of their time on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and others. That's why most businesses realize that they need a strong social media presence.
At the same time, websites are just as essential as ever before. If you're wondering whether to invest more time and resources on your website or on social media marketing, you're asking the wrong question. You need both. More to the point, these two aspects of your digital marketing should be closely connected. Let's look at why you need social media website integration.
Why you need Social Media Website Integration
Social Media vs Your Website: Their Distinct Purposes
Social media is one of the best ways to reach a large audience that's seeking information on any topic. When people like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter or LinkedIn, scroll through your pins on Pinterest or your images on Instagram, you have a targeted list of potential customers.
It's also an economical way to reach people. Unless you're doing paid social media advertising, such as Facebook ads, most tactics are free. You can build your list of contacts without spending anything.
Social media, however, isn't perfect for business. For one thing, you don't own the content. The site can impose any rules and restrictions it chooses. It can also alter the algorithm so that it's hard to know who sees your posts. Facebook is especially notorious for doing this.
Perhaps the biggest limitation is that it's hard to actually sell on social media. Buy buttons are available on some sites, such as Pinterest. The fact is, however, people have been talking about direct selling on social media for years and the idea still hasn't really taken off.
There are several possible reasons for this. One is that people aren't in a buying mode when exploring social sites. Whatever the reason, social media is better for getting people's attention and capturing leads than it is for actual selling.
This brings us to why websites are still as important as ever. Unlike social media sites, your website is your own property. It's the digital storefront for your business. It's a more natural environment for selling your products and services. The real trick is learning how to integrate the two.
Why It's Crucial to Integrate Social Media With Your Website
Since social media and your website are both important but have distinct functions, it makes sense to integrate them. This means making it easy for people to go from one to the other. You want your social media followers and friends to visit your website.
Likewise, you want people who visit your website to follow you on social media. This maximizes the advantages of both.
Here are a few tips to help you do this effectively.
- Use social media buttons on your website. When people visit your website, make it easy for them to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter. For better branding, create customized buttons that match the rest of your website.
- Add share buttons to your blog posts and other content. These are distinct from the buttons discussed above, which are to get people to follow you on social media. Share buttons are for sharing specific posts. This is a good way to get your content to spread virally and it also can get you more followers.
- Link to your website on social media. Share and follow buttons get your website visitors involved in your social media activities. It's equally important to do the reverse; send your social media followers to your website. This is easy enough to do but it's easy to forget to link frequently to your website. Make sure you link to a relevant post or page on your site. For example, post an image or write a teaser on Facebook and link to a full article on your website.
- Share website content on social media. When you write a blog post, create a video, or post anything new on your website, remember to share it on all social media sites where you're active.
- Place social media comments on your website. With the right plugins, you can make your social media comments visible on your website. For example, the Facebook comments plugin lets your website visitors leave Facebook comments without leaving your site.
These are just some examples of social media and website integration. When you recognize the purposes of each, you'll keep in mind that all of your digital marketing efforts should work in harmony. This increases the effectiveness of all your actions.
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