Go social or go home. The social message has infiltrated digital platforms from dating apps to gaming. Every other site will allow you to log in via accounts like Facebook or Google+, creating a profile of your interests as you go along to feed into the Big Data monster that now recognises you at a click of a button.
With the platforms themselves constantly evolving (Goodbye Vine!), users play a big part in sustaining and growing social media platforms as it becomes more and more integral to our lives. As part of your digital marketing strategy, infusing social media onto your site is not just the wise thing to do, it’s necessary for your survival.
Choose the Right Apps
We all know the giants in the social media world. Facebook maintains its reign at 1871 million active users as of January 17, with Instagram at 600 million and Tumblr not far behind at 550 million (Source). That’s more than the entire population of China on Facebook alone, and more users on Instagram and Tumblr than the entire United States.
Is it just a numbers game? Choosing the right social media platforms to integrate into your site should be more than just the battle of the biggest. The different platforms cater to different needs of various demographic groups.
Instagram might be your go-to if you have access to social influencers for sponsored posts, but LinkedIn may be your preferred choice if your business requires network connectivity in the corporate sphere. High penetration levels on Facebook (76% of users login daily) also mean that your audience will already be saturated and over loaded with content – so your choice of social media determines your visibility as well.
Include Social Media Buttons
This one is a giveaway. Social media giants themselves have made it easy for you to link quickly and directly to their platforms. Include visible buttons (you can hardly miss the logos) on your page so that your users can link directly to them while continuing to navigate your site.
For businesses like e-commerce, your audience often looks for user reviews which may not be ideal to flood your own site with. Linking up with your Facebook or Instagram page can give you audience a quick pulse check of your services from sources which they deem to be organic and thus authentic.
Feature your social media buttons prominently on your page to confidently showcase your portfolio and trust in the quality of your business.
More Than What It Seems – Creative Uses of Social Media
More than just an extension of your portfolio (through photo-sharing), social media has plenty of opportunities to enhance your engagement with your audience. When used wisely, you can expect to drive more traffic to your site and boost your search engine visibility.
The series of functions available include pushing event notifications to your target audience at the right time and even alerting people to vacancies to join your business as part of a recruitment strategy. Recognising that social media is the main outreach platform to the digital generation, many big brand names have turned to YouTube and mini-Instagram videos to feature recruitment and career progression in their companies.
In 2014, Forbes reported how social media marketing can also be positioned to focus on ‘customer-building’ and managing the relationships between your brand and the consumer base. When faced with difficulties, consumers often source out for direct contact details or access to customer service representatives. Social media allows for timelier, personalised responses for customers and encourages ownership amongst your employees. If you can recover the situation well – it’s a win-win for your customer relationship management.
Make That Sale
Ultimately, social media engagement keeps your presence thriving in the network sharing world. With more visibility and outreach, the goal of this marketing strategy (aside from brand curation) is to boost and enhance sales. Some platforms even provide the option of purchasing within the app or linking directly to the sales landing page with a single click on Instagram or Facebook.
Responding to your customers’ needs by season is passé – we have become much more targeted in when and how we pitch sales to a customer based on the data gathered from social media integration. The ability to segment and divide your targeted population into smaller groups and identify sales trends is a powerful tool. Use native advertising at just the right time and you may be able to influence your consumer’s purchasing choices in ways that were not prevalent before the advent of social media marketing.
More sales can positively influence your brand mentions and vice versa. The effect is co-dependent and feeds into your revenue line nicely when executed well – social media can boost the chances of your product becoming all the rage (in a good way of course!).
Don’t Compromise on UX
Being as promising as it is to convert views to purchase, site owners may make the mistake of flooding their platforms with a plethora of social media feeds, links and notifications. This might tilt your user experience dangerously – in the direction of being overwhelming, irrelevant and not intuitive.
The integration of social media functions should be as seamless as the overall design of your site, and the user’s end-to-end experience of navigating your site should not be compromised as a result. The balance is delicate, but possible, with equal contribution from in house creators and social media consultants.
As closely as Disneyland follows the mantra of ‘not breaking the illusion’, the last thing you would want is to take the audience out of your brand experience with disjointed social media feeds. Social media tools are the most powerful when they convey the necessary information at relevant points as your user navigates through your page.
At Krome, we specialise in website design and development services. If you or your client are interested in creating a site, it’s time to tell us about your project or have a chat about what we can do. You can contact us here.