Social media is an important part of our daily lives. We are social beings, we need a continuous social interaction in order to survive and evolve. However, if you are a marketer, social media is even more important.
As a marketer, you need an audience that can relate to your brand. You need an audience to pay attention to what you have to say and engage with you at the same time. You will also need the channels that can facilitate the exchange of information and of course, the skills to properly set up the pathways to these channels. What does it take to become a marketer?
The first steps to social awareness
The moment you set up a website, you are already a marketer. Starting with choosing the domain names and the design of your website and up to the content you publish, you need to consider what your potential audience wants and how to deliver the most valuable information to them.
You start with choosing your website name and address. This step is also important in your branding process and you will also find that it matters as well when you introduce the website to social media marketing. The domain name should be appealing to your audience and descriptive for your services/industry as well. If you are not decided right from the start, I suggest buying more than one domain names and choose later the one that suits your goals best. It might be a bit expensive but you can get big discounts if you buy in bulk. A good example, in this case, comes from LGN, who offers for bulk domain names pricing are quite irresistible.
If you only want to write for yourself, you might as well open the word editor and create a new file and save it on your desktop. However, when you decide to set up a website, you consider talking to a wide audience. Therefore, whether you are writing for a blog or a corporate website, you cannot ignore the fact that you need an audience and in order to get them and keep them engaged, you need to do more than just write and hit the publish button.
What does this mean?
Well, you need to be present and active. You need a community around you as a writer/marketer and a community around your website. And, this is where social media kicks in.
The importance of social media
Before getting to the main subject and start talking about the proper ways you can introduce social media in your website marketing strategy, let’s discuss the importance of social media and why you need it in order to create successful campaigns.
There’s no doubt that social media, when used as a marketing tool, is effective. In fact, we already know that 95 percent of 18 to 34 years old people are more likely to follow a brand via social networking. Whether your website is set up for a brand or a brand itself, social media is one of the best ways to market it and grow awareness.
These percents mean a lot for a marketer, considering that there one year ago, there were over 2.7 billion active users on social media, globally. Moreover, the trend is ascending. It’s a huge audience that cannot be neglected even though you can expect only a fraction to follow your website. Depending on your success, however, a fraction of 2.7 billion may prove to be quite fruitful for your business.
Finally, there’s yet another important fact you cannot ignore: According to Ambassador, 71% who have a positive service experience through social media, are more likely to recommend that company to their friends.
This means that you need to be active and directly involved in your social media marketing process as well. However, before getting to market your website, there are a few things you need to consider regarding your social media strategy. Here are the most important steps to undertake before anything else.
7 Ways You Can Introduce Social Media In Your Website Marketing Strategy
1. Create your social media accounts
In order to link your website with a social media community, you need social media accounts. You can choose to market it on multiple channels or, you can use a single community as well. These choices, however, depend not only on your strategy but also on your target audience and your overall content delivery.
For instance, you can use Instagram marketing if you are focusing on visual content only, Twitter if you want to focus on conveying short messages to your fans. However, you can use Facebook to combine the two strategies or, you can post on all these three platforms as well.
At the same time, you can choose to integrate video marketing into your strategy and use all these channels, plus YouTube in order to advertise your brand and/or website. Apart from the huge communities, you can find on YouTube, it’s good to know that 82% of Twitter users are also watching video content on this platform. Considering that 60% of people prefer watching online video content instead of subscribing to live TV, you don’t need any other incentives in order to start thinking about including this type of content in your strategy as well.
In conclusion, what do you need at this point, precisely?
- Create your social media accounts
- Add content to your social media accounts
- Add profile descriptions that are consistent with your website branding, with backlinks to your website
- Add visual profile elements that are also consistent with your website branding
- Start engaging with the audience and share your website content
2. Ensure a continuous presence on social media
Sharing your website posts links on social media channels may not be enough for a successful marketing campaign.
In order to be successful, you need to engage actively with your fans and the community and share other types of valuable information as well.
What you choose to post on social media depends mostly on your strategy and of course, your choice in social media channels. The most important thing, however, is to be consistent with your values and brand and of course, your posts scheduled.
3. Add dedicated follow buttons for all social media accounts
This is the point where you effectively introduce social media to your website. How do you start?
Well, you start by informing your audience that you are active on specific social media channels. The best way to do it is to embed the corresponding follow buttons in the theme of your website.
TechCrunch, for example, displays the “follow me/us” buttons in the header section of the website. This is probably the most accessible and visible spot you can use in order to invite your fans to your social media pages.
However, that is not the only place where you can embed these buttons. Neil Patel decided to use the footer space to share his social media links.
4. Add a social media share button on each article
The second thing you should consider is that your readers might contribute as well to your social media strategy. How? They will contribute by sharing the articles they read and like on your website. Based on your overall strategy, you can, therefore, include sharing buttons on several social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit etc.
Here’s a great example from Forbes:
Obviously, there’s not a rule that you have to put these buttons at the top of the article. In fact, you can insert them at the bottom and let the user share the article as soon as he or she finishes reading it without waiting for them to scroll back up in order to do it. A great example, in this case, comes from TechCrunch:
5. Choose a website theme optimized for featured images
If you are just starting a website, there’s a good chance your theme or template is already optimized to support featured images. Most of the today’s themes are optimized for mobile as well and the answer is easy to come up with if you are wondering why.
Yes, it’s social media.
People are mostly visual. They remember easier visual data and they understand better the information if it is paired with images and videos. However, when it comes to social media, visuals are also a great way to make your posts more attractive. A blog link posted on Facebook with a featured image is easier to get noticed by the target audience.
Therefore, if your website does not support this feature, browse for a new theme or design a new theme according to today’s specifications.
6. Design ads that are consistent with the website’s branding
Another great way to integrate social media into your website marketing strategy is through social media advertising. If you have a budget for it, don’t hesitate to integrate display advertising in your strategy.
Social media advertising is a huge market. And it continues to grow as companies spend more and more money for ads. They cannot be all wrong, do they?
How do you pair your website with an advertising campaign? Well, everything starts with your visual identity. You can either integrate your logo or your branded colors into your banners. Of course, you can as well integrate them both if you want to.
Here are two examples from Aol.com
As you can see, the first one uses the official logo paired with the official brand color while the second one is based only on the color but with the same visual effect. Please notice the “call to action” that is easy to distinguish on both these ads. This is yet another important factor that may decide whether or not they are to be effective.
When it comes to design, the easiest way to do it is by using a professional dedicated tool. If you want to save time and still be able to give your best, I would recommend an online tool, with presets and templates and an easy to learn interface.
The tool I’d choose for this task is Bannersnack due to its professional interface, ease of use and of course, effectiveness in delivering best results in just a few minutes. Also, don’t forget that it allows you to create animated HTML5 banners through an easy drag and drop interface without requiring you to know how to code.
7. Choose a mobile-friendly look/ a mobile-friendly theme
Did you notice how lost people of these days seem to be without their smartphones? Did you notice how many people browse the Internet and the social media channels when riding the bus, travel by train or relax on a bench in the park?
Smartphones are now part of our daily lives and we cannot imagine living without them even for a single day. And, due to the fact that they are always at our disposal, we are now more connected than ever. People who spend a few hours without checking their Facebook, Instagram or Twitter profiles are a rarity.
Therefore, it’s only obvious that a website should be mobile friendly in order to be popular. It’s even more important to take this fact into consideration if you are focusing on social media marketing for your website.
What do you need?
Here’s the answer: You need a responsive and mobile friendly theme. In order to make sure, however, that you do not have issues with this, you can always check for mobile compatibility. Fortunately, Google has a great tool that will allow you to do it in just a few seconds. You can access it here.
If you find out that your theme is indeed, improperly set up for mobile use, try to adjust the code accordingly. Or, you can change it for a new one that meets the requirements of today’s online environment.
Creating a successful marketing campaign for a website is never an easy task. You need great content and a perfect strategy in order to attract an audience and keep them engaged.
Considering that most of the people use social media networks these days, it’s quite normal to also try to integrate some of these channels into your website marketing campaigns.
This article presented you with some of the most important steps you need to undertake when you want to include a social media strategy into your overall website marketing efforts.
Do you know any other relevant ideas that I might have missed? If so, please feel free to share your inputs with us.