Love it or hate it social media is a part of online business. While it is possible to build an online empire without using social media you will need a large advertising campaign and a lot of luck.
Social media is a shortcut to internet business growth. When used correctly it can grow your business at a much faster rate than most other marketing methods. Some call this “growth hacking”.
Cool and trendy buzz words aside, social media should not be the focus of your websites call to actions.
Stop sending people away from your website.
At some point, a crafty “design guru” decided to take up some space in the header of a website with social media icons. This quickly became the trend and everyone was doing it. I can not count the number of times clients have told me that their brand new website is “missing something”. They wanted to have the social icons in the top header, off to the right like (insert big name blogger here_________) does.
My response, Why?
Your website should be the endgame. It should not be a way for you to get more followers. If people are on your website, then sending them to social media to give you a follow would be like showing them the dessert menu before they even get their main course at your five-star restaurant.
The top of your website is prime real estate and unless your website’s goal is to help you grow your twitter following then having social follow buttons in the header is a waste of space. Instead, you need to be giving people a reason to pay attention to you and informing them what you are all about.
Think about what happens when you visit a social site like Facebook. You may have good intentions, but it never ends well. One minute you are scrolling through your feed reading about your aunt’s latest cooking catastrophe and then 30 minutes later you are watching cat videos on Youtube.
Keep people on your site.
So where do all these social buttons belong?
You will often see them in the header, the sidebar, and the footer of websites. Don’t put yours there just because the big blogger that you look up to does the same thing. Make sure the places you put your social follow buttons works for your audience and makes sense for your goals.
A place I like to place social icons is in the footer of my website. My thought is that if people are looking in the footer of my website, then they are looking for something a little more. They want some more information and checking out my awesome tweets might help them become a fan.
Link to profiles you actually use
I used to have a Facebook social icon in my footer. I recently deleted it because I rarely post there. I do however use Twitter and Google + quite often. People would benefit from following me there. So that is where I tell them I hang out.
Unless you have the funding to hire an army of social media posters you should stick with just a few networks. This way you can put your effort into providing awesome content for your followers instead of trying to find the time to post on all 15 of the latest networks.
Be creative with placement
Think of places people would actually want to follow you from. Instead of plastering your social media links all over the place, put them where people are primed and in the following mood.
Your about page is a great place to have social media profiles. If people are visiting that page they want to know more about you! Linking to your twitter feed where you share tips daily, is perfect!
Another place I would suggest showing people you are active on social media is your contact page. Tell them that you love getting questions over twitter, so send me a tweet!
Your email list (which you better have one!) is another place to ask for follows. People are already on your email list so you have a way to reel them back in and provide your value. If they are willing to give you an email address, they are probably also willing to follow you on Twitter or like your Facebook page.
Remember, there is no “one-size” fits all solution. What works for one person’s audience may not work for yours. You need to see what works for your people.
Share this article with your followers and take action by putting more thought into the placement of your social media icons on your website. If you have a question, leave it in the comments!