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Does your website need a social life?

Written by Emm McAndrew on 24 October 2012

Picture the scene: you’ve built a dynamic website, have a killer marketing and SEO strategy, and traffic is booming. Since you ‘don’t really use social media networks’ it’s time to sit back and relax: you’re done right? Wrong! You may not have added the likes of Facebook and Instagram to your online marketing arsenal, but a large proportion of your customers use them on a daily basis – meaning your business could be missing out on significant volumes of traffic and, more importantly, sales.

According to Social Bakers, 64 per cent of UK Internet users have a Facebook account, and there are now over 10 million UK Twitter users. Still not convinced? The global active Facebook userbase now stands at 800 million, and Twitter has a global userbase of 140 million! These hordes of users are posting, sharing, recommending and creating links to websites like yours, pointing other users to product landing pages and openly endorsing services by ‘liking’ them across social media networks. Websites and blogs can harness this ‘unpaid sales army’ by integrating social network sharing buttons into websites and online stores, making it easy and quick for users to recommend or share the web content.

If you’re not sure where to start, or which buttons do what, the A list of key social network buttons I would recommend for inclusion on a website are:

Facebook Like (share) Button

The Facebook Like button for external websites allows users to share your web content with other users on Facebook. The shared content will include a link back to your website and a thumbnail image (if available).

Use this for: product pages, blog posts, newsletters, white papers, competition pages, videos, downloads and demos.

Get the code: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like

Tweet Button

The Tweet button will allow Twitter users to easily share website content with their followers. It can be used in one of two ways: to share a link or to create a Tweet with a specified hashtag.

Use this for: product pages, blog posts, newsletters, white papers, downloads, demos and videos.

Get the code: https://dev.twitter.com/docs/tweet-button

Google +1 Button

The +1 button for non-Google sites allows those with a Google+ Profile to publicly recommend a web page or blog post to other users of the network. Users can also see some +1s next to Google search results if they are logged in.

Use this for: blog posts, newsletters, white papers, competition pages, images, videos, downloads and demos.

Get the code: https://developers.google.com/+/plugins/+1button/?hl=en

Pinterest Pin-it Button

The Pinterest network is the fourth largest traffic referrer in the world. Installing a ‘Pin-it’ button on your website will allow Pinterest users to quickly share your images and help to drive traffic to your website.

Use this for: images, infographics and videos.

Get the code: http://pinterest.com/about/goodies

LinkedIn Share Button

The LinkedIn Share button allows users to quickly share your content with other people on the network. Content posted to LinkedIn should be industry specific or of professional interest to members.

Use this for: company blog posts, careers pages and job openings, company ‘about us’ pages and company videos.

Get the code: http://developer.linkedin.com/plugins/share-plugin-generator

After implementing some, or better still, all of the listed social sharing buttons, don’t forget to track your new traffic using an analytics tool such as Google Analytics (which is free!).

 

About the Author: Emm McAndrew is a social media account manager for UK digital PR agency Punch Communications. For more information on technology PR, or to find out what an SEO agency could do for your business, please visit www.punchcomms.com.

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