The appeal of social media is strong. According to Econsultancy, social media and blogs are the 4th most popular online activities, even beating out email. The mystery of social media is almost as great as it’s appeal, however.
There are a lot of social media terms thrown around these days, and sorting through all of the jargon can be tough. First, let’s differentiate between the “big three” social networks.
Facebook is a social network site that connects friends, family, and businesses. People can share updated statuses, pictures, personal information, links, and more. With more than 250 million users in the world, 120 million of which log on daily, there is a large market to reach here.
Twitter is another social network/micro-blog that allows users to to send and read messages (or “tweets”). Tweets can be up to 140 characters, and they are shared on your personal page and distributed to people who choose to “follow” you. In the last year, Twitter’s growth rate surpassed 1,000%. The potential here to reach customers is huge.
WordPress is a personal publishing platform that works as a blogging service and as a web hosting service that is run on PHP code and a SQL data backend. Confused? WordPress.com offers a free blog hosting service that requires no PHP code knowledge and a user friendly interface that allows easy updating, customization, and built in widgets to add to your blog. 77% of internet users actively follow and read blogs, so this platform also provides great opportunity to reach and engage potential customers. WordPress isn’t the only blog hosting application out there; there is also Blogger, Vox, and more.
Now that we’ve covered some basics, let’s go into more depth…
This graph illustrates that every social media account you possess should link back to your homepage. This type of infrastructure is what the search engine spiders and real web surfers like. There are even some applications, or tools, out there to help make interconnecting your sites simpler. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Place a Twitter widget, or “badge,” on your Facebook page, blog, website, and any other web presence you deem appropriate. Creating this widget is easy:
- Sign into your Twitter account and click on Settings.
- Once you’re in Settings, make sure you’re in the Account tab.
- Scroll down to the 5th field, “More Info URL”. Click on the link directly below it that says “(You can also add Twitter to your site here)”.
- Select which social media site you want to create a flash/html widget to.
- Depending on your blog layout, you can also have your tweets feed into your blog, alongside your posts. Usually having either the Twitter icon or the feeds on your blog is enough, but not both. You don’t want to spam.
- Add an icon for your Facebook page onto your blog and website. You can create the HTML for your Facebook logo right in Facebook.
- Notify your followers automatically, with a tweet, every time you update your blog. This can be done in a number of ways, but applications like TwitterFeed make it very easy.
- Set up a feed that displays links to your blog posts (anytime you update) on the sidebar of your main website. This requires some coding knowledge, and often it is more helpful to get the help of a third party such as Union Street Media.
With a little handiwork, keeping content fresh on all of your social media channels can be as simple as posting to one.