Whether you’ve just launched a new website for your business, or have had one for some time, you will inevitably get pressured to create various social media accounts for your website. And for good reason, too. As of May 2019, there are 3.499 billion active social media users. Imagine how many of those users are your potential customers?
There’s no doubt about it, if you aren’t taking advantage of social media marketing, then you are seriously missing out on capitalizing on potential leads. Now, this isn’t as simple as creating a few social media profiles and linking a Facebook icon on your website. There are many social media platforms to choose from, and each has its own benefits.
In the following post, we discuss the ins and outs of social media marketing to help you choose which platforms are best for your business website.
How to Choose Which Social Media Platforms to Join
The best solution is to narrow your focus and spend time, effort and resources into perfecting your brand’s presence on selected social media platforms. But, with so many networks available, how do you choose which is the best fit for you? The answer lies in understanding your business and communication goals.
Define your goals
Before you sign up to each and every social network, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do you want to gain from your social media presence?
- Is it to gain more traffic, get more sales, increase your inbound links or to create a viral marketing campaign?
Next, perform an audit of your business to see where there are gaps in your current marketing strategies.
- Do you need a place to share updates about your business?
- Do you need a place where your customers/readers can communicate with you?
Rather than defining your goals in terms of the number of followers, think about how you can use social media to increase the engagement with your audience . That should always be your main goal on social media.
Understand your audience
As mentioned, social media is about engaging with your audience. You don’t want to be endlessly posting content to an empty void with little more than a couple of likes here and there. You need to find where your target audience is. What platforms are they on and what content are they engaging with?
Look into the key demographics of the users of each platform and align these with your own audience. You should also check out your competitors and see where they have successfully engaged with their audience.
What resources can you spare?
While signing up to most social platforms is free, time is the primary resource that you will need to factor in. Do you have enough time to manage the accounts yourself, is there someone in your team with capacity or do you have the budget to outsource?
The available resources that you have will help determine how many social media sites you can realistically manage. Some platforms also require more time investment than others. Twitter, for example, requires frequent posting and timely responses with a high level of interaction.
Understanding the Different Social Media Platforms
While you don’t have to have a presence on each and every social media platform, you will likely need to be on more than one. 91% of retail brands use two or more social media channels, with the most popular one being Facebook (with a whopping 2.38 billion users).
Below is a bit of information about the leading social media networks:
Twitter is based around short (a 280-character limit) and timely ‘tweets.’ The platform utilizes hashtags which are meant for organizing conversations around a word or phrase. Twitter is often used to provide real-time updates to an audience or for discussions on trending topics.
Great for: Twitter is a great platform to build awareness for your brand, engaging with readers/customers, sharing news and information and building relationships with supporting brands.
With Facebook being the largest social media network, it’s also usually the platform that most businesses will start with. Users generally use Facebook to build relationships and keep in contact with old friends.
Great for: Interacting through an official Page or Group for your website, and developing a niche community based on your business or website.
Instagram is a visual platform, allowing users to share photos and videos (including Instagram Stories). If your website or business is a visually appealing one, then you should consider Instagram. On the opposing side, if your website has little visual appeal linked to it then you can likely skip having an Instagram account.
Great for: Showcasing beautiful images and short videos that highlight your products and services. Instagram Stories are great for sharing more of your brand’s story, bringing a more personal element to your social media marketing.
YouTube allows you to discover, watch, share and upload video content. Users are also able to follow specific channels and can like and comment on videos. If you plan on creating a lot of video content, then you should set up a YouTube channel. If not, then you can just carry on with posting your videos directly on Facebook or Instagram.
Great for: Uploading your video content which you can then also embed on your website and share across your other social channels.
The ‘scrapbooking’ tool where you can ‘pin’ certain pictures or posts onto virtual bulletin boards. It is another visual-based platform that requires strong graphics to engage users. If done well, Pinterest can direct a great deal of traffic to your website with the potential for pins to go viral.
Great for: Pinterest is great for websites that focus on recipes, fashion, photography, DIY crafts or travel.
LinkedIn is a professional business-oriented social networking site that enables its users to showcase their professional portfolio and network with colleagues in the same industry. It is also used to get the latest industry news, inspiration and insights.
Great for: Showcasing your professional CV, networking, advertising jobs and sharing industry news.
Why You Need to Display Social Media Icons on Your Website
Once you’ve set up your social media accounts it’s important to display different social media icons on your website , and link them directly to your pages. The main reason for this is that if someone comes to your website via another route (i.e. not via your social accounts) they can see that you have a social media presence and may decide to follow you on those accounts. A website with social media pages also somehow feels more legitimate than one without..
It’s best to place the social media icons at the top of your website in the header near the navigation menu, and make sure that they are visible on all landing pages. Another great place to include social media icons is in the footer of your site.
As well as icons, you can also include social feeds on your homepage that show your Twitter feed, Instagram gallery or Facebook Like Box. There are a number of WordPress widgets that can be incorporated into your website to display various aspects of your social media accounts
Lastly, if your website includes a blog, then you should also include share icons at the within each post to make sharing easier. There are various social media plugins for WordPress that do this, our favourite of which is Elegant Theme’s Monarch plugin .
Divi Icon Party offers additional icon integration for the following 34 networks: