A key part of any social media strategy should be integrating all of your social media activity with your company’s website. There are two key ways of doing this – adding the social media sharing buttons to the header, footer or sidebar of your site, or by integrating social badges from networks such as Facebook and Google+.
Of these two approaches, the most popular one by far is adding a horizontal line of social media icons to the top, bottom or side of your website. These icons – the “f” for Facebook, the “t” for Twitter – are instantly recognizable to anyone visiting your website. When they click on these buttons, they will be led to the corresponding social media platform that you have already linked using your account name and password.
This is actually easier than it sounds. For example, WordPress provides a “social media icons widget” that does all the hard work for you. Once you log in to your WordPress account, you will see a link for “widgets.” Just pick the social media icons you would like to add to your page. For now, WordPress supports only the most popular platforms with this widget: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, GitHub, YouTube and Vimeo.
Of course, there are ways to customize the look and feel of these social media icon buttons. Just about any free graphics resource on the Internet has different versions of these buttons. For example, maybe you want the Twitter bird rather than the “t” for Twitter. You would just need to obtain that icon image and that add it to your WordPress media library. From there, you can adjust its appearance and size.
Once you’ve added social media buttons to your website, you’ll also want to add badges from networks such as Facebook and Google+. In the case of Facebook, you have the choice of adding the Profile Badge (which shares your Facebook profile information on other websites, including your profile photo); the Like Badge (which showcases your Favorite pages); the Photo Badge (which shares your Facebook photos on other websites); and the Page Badge (which shows your Facebook Page on other sites).
As a business, you have a choice here of how you’d like to present yourself to people visiting your company website. You may just want to use the Page Badge, so that people know exactly where to go to “like” your business. However, if you are in a very visual industry – such as fashion, food or design – you may want to use the Photo Badge instead.
You could also add a Google+ badge to your website, usually in the sidebar. You would to this if you share a lot of content within the Google+ community, such as Google Hangouts. With Google, you can customize your badge considerably, in terms of color theme, layout, cover photo and tagline. It will still be instantly recognizable as a Google+ badge, but it will help to highlight your brand in a unique way to the world. Moreover, you have a choice of using a Profile, Pages or Communities badge.
Ultimately, the choice of which social media content you choose to integrate with your main business website is a matter of your overarching business goals. The best strategy is to highlight exactly those social media platforms that integrate best with your overall brand message and your company’s optimal positioning in the marketplace.