Setting Your Website Up for Social Media SuccessAnita Kirkbride
In most marketing models, your website is the heart of your business and social media is the arteries bringing lifeblood to it. Social media spreads the word about your website and encourages people to come and read what you’ve written, or check out your products. We often think of social media as standing alone in this but really, if you want want to be efficient, you need to set up your website for social media success, too. They work in tandem.
Make your website mobile friendly
Nobody wants to squint to see the menu options, or pinch and zoom to read your content. All the major web design platforms have responsive website design options that will work no matter what computer or device your customers use to access your site. It’s time to upgrade. Google is now penalizing you in search rankings if your site isn’t mobile optimized.
Click here to test whether or not your website is mobile friendly in Google’s eyes.
Add social media icons
- Add social icons to your site in a prominent place that appears on all pages. Don’t relegate this vital information to a contact page!
- Only feature icons for the social networks you are actually using consistently. You don’t want to send customers to outdated social profiles.
- And for heaven’s sake, make sure when you click on the icons it takes you to YOUR profile.
Social sharing buttons
You’ve told your readers where to find you on social media, but you also need to make it easy for them to share your content. Be sure to install sharing buttons for the social media platforms your clients are most likely to use.
Content sharing plugins
Not all web platforms have the ability to add these types of plugins, but if you’re on WordPress, investigate your options. I’m currently using JetPack Publicize to automatically post my new blog content to my social profiles. I’m also currently using Revive Social to post my older, evergreen posts to my social profiles on a regular basis. One less thing you have to remember to do in your social media marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) help
Whatever web platform you build on ensure you learn how to use the SEO plugins or features. In WordPress you can install YOAST SEO. These plugins help you tell Google what your website, pages and blog posts are about so you’re found by your ideal clients. Plugins make the work easy by showing you all the things you might want to do to improve your SEO. Both YOAST SEO and Social Warfare (aff) enable you to dictate specific images to be shown on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Social Warfare has the added ability to specify what people will be offered as a tweet when they click the button to tweet out your page (this alone is worth the upgrade from free).
Install Google Analytics so you’ll know where your traffic is coming from! There are tons of features you may never use, but at the very least, learn how to go in and look at where your referral traffic is coming from so you know where to focus your efforts!
Set up opt-in forms
Social media is great, but email isn’t dead yet! If you’re blogging on a regular basis, or your business is based on getting volumes of people into a marketing funnel, you’ll need to have a way for people to opt-in to receive more info from you. This could be in the form of a pop-up or a landing page, or it could simply be a signup form at the bottom of each page. This is a great way to let your fans know when you’ve written something new and get some traffic to your website.
Lead magnet landing pages
It can help to incentivize someone to give you their email address. A simple, free download is all it takes but you have to have an easy way of getting it to people when they enter their address. If you get super popular you don’t want to have to manually send out hundreds of emails! I’m currently using Kartra for my landing pages, but you can also look at LeadPages, ClickFunnels or event MailChimp. You can either host the landing page outside of your site, or embed it right into your site.
Click to Tweet
Make it easy for people to share your content with their networks by adding a click-to-tweet button, link or box to your pages. This tells people what you want them to say and most people won’t bother to change it, although they can. There is a program called Click to Tweet, and official and unofficial plugins for WordPress, but I use the Social Warfare (aff) version of this because it seems to work better and I like the styling of it.Doesn't this pretty box just make you want to share? You know you wanna!Click To Tweet
Easy to remember urls
Keep your best content top of mind with easy-to-remember website addresses (urls). This can be especially helpful on Instagram where we still cannot post hyperlinks in the descriptions. And easy-to-remember url might help someone get to your site to read your content. In order to do this you may have to install a redirection plugin to your website. It’s something I kinda can’t believe isn’t already built in to WordPress, actually. So, for example, if I want to get someone to my landing page for The No BS Social Media Blueprint, which is hosted by Kartra, I can use twirp.ca/social-media-blueprint instead of a long, ugly Kartra link. Using redirection my website sends readers to the proper place, but I get all the traffic information in my analytics. Redirection can also help if you move, delete or update content but still have links out there pointing to an old post or page.
Most Recent Social Media Posts Box
This is one I personally put on the “do not use” list. I think they’re clunky and take up too much valuable space for very little return. However, if you like the idea of having your most recent Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts showing on your website, consider installing a widget from that site. Facebook has a variety of different types of widgets to add to your site, listed here.
Proper Image Sizing for Facebook Shares
The featured image on your web page or blog page may not be optimized for Facebook sharing. If social media is going to be an important part of your marketing strategy, and you want people to actually share your content from your website, it’s important to take the extra step to give your readers the proper image size and make it simple for them to share a professional looking post on your behalf.
If you look at the top of this blog post you’ll see an image called a blog header. For my blog page, this image is 859 x 240 pixels. It’s a great size for the top of the blog post, but it does not work for Facebook sharing. If you share this page to your Facebook or Twitter, you’ll see the image that pops up is similar, but has text on it, and if you investigate further, it’s a different size. You’re going to want to use Yoast SEO or Social Warfare to share a Facebook sized image at 1200 x 628. Each of the networks has their own preferred size for sharing, so make sure you know the social media image sizes for the networks on which you choose to focus.
Last, but certainly not least, you need to make the content on your website worthy of sharing on social media! Of course you will share it, but what will it take to make your readers share your content? Your content needs to be useful to the reader in some way: educational, entertaining, or informative.
What other tips do you have for making your website social media friendly and to set yourself up for social media success? Let me know in the comments!