By Sujain Thomas

Whether you like it or not, for you to be more successful online, you have to integrate social media on your website. A decade ago, this was not as important since few people knew of social media networks and search engines did not pay much attention to social media integration when it came to ranking. However, times have changed and social media integration is more of a necessity. But how exactly do you do this?

Most people are familiar with the benefits of leveraging the power of social media on their website but not many webmasters know how to do it right. For your social media channels and website to work seamlessly to promote your brand, it is imperative that you be hyper vigilant during integration. The following points will help you get started.

1. Use Visible Social Media Buttons

This is a no-brainer but most people do it wrong. Studies have found that social media buttons that are placed on the top, bottom or along the side of the page to yield the best results. It is also highly recommended for you to have buttons or links on the navigation that move from one page to the next as the visitor browses your website.

Another important point to remember when integrating social media buttons is to ensure that they are not the reason you have a high bounce rate. The last thing you want is to provide links on your website that drive traffic away. Social media buttons are nothing more than external links. With that in mind, make sure that upon clicking on the links or buttons, they don’t open the social media pages in the same window but on a different window.

As a side note, you are not obligated to link to all your social media channels in social media integration. Doing so will only clutter your website, especially if you have more than four active social media accounts. You should integrate at most four of your favorite and most active social media channels. Refrain from linking to inactive social media channels.

2. Only Integrate Social Media If It Makes Sense

Although it is important to integrate your social media channels on your website, it beats the purpose to do it in a pointless way. For example, linking out or displaying social media channels that are inactive will only succeed in crippling your online marketing efforts. You must never link to pages that are inactive.

Moreover, if your goal is to keep your customers apprised of the recent happenings in your business, you will need to focus on the channels that are the most active. Facebook posts or Twitter feeds will do great in this situation. You can display the latest posts directly on the website. However, for this to work, you have to actively manage your channels on a daily or biweekly basis.

3. Use Up-to-Date Social Media Buttons

This may not seem like much but it is very important for you to use social media buttons that are up-to-date. Social media changes fast so if you use buttons that are two years old, Facebook fans will conclude that your social media channels are seldom updated. You are a dinosaur and they will choose to ignore you. In other situations, if your buttons are too old, some people may assume that those are not real buttons but hacker tools designed to trap them through your website.

To maintain credibility in the dynamic realm, it is critical for you to stay with the times. Don’t lag too far behind or else your efforts will be impeded. However, this does not mean you should jump on all platforms that come up. Be tactful in your choice. Do your due diligence to ensure the option will actually benefit you.

4. Add Share Buttons

One of the most effective ways of social media integration is adding share buttons. You should do this on all your posts including product pages. The purpose of integrating social media on your website is to make your content go viral. This will not be possible if people cannot share the content on their social media channels.

Share buttons enable your visitors to seamlessly share or recommend products on your website with people in their inner circles. How easy it is for your visitors to share your content will determine how much success you achieve online.

5. Make Use of Analytics

Integrating social media on your website is just one step but you should not stop there. It pays to learn how your efforts are faring. This is why you need to make use of analytics. This will help you know who are using your buttons. Google Analytics is one of the best tools you can use for this. It will help you know how many people actually used your social media buttons to visit your social media channels.

The recommended way of handling this is to set up the Event Tracking in Google Analytics. There is a step-by-step guide on Google to help you setup and incorporate the codes into your site. If you learn that only a handful of people are clicking on your buttons, there is a good chance your buttons are not in a convenient location.

6. Understand the Terms and Conditions

There are ways you can use social media that actually violate the platform’s terms & conditions. For example, Google+ can’t be used for contest entries and you cannot use your personal Facebook page to operate your brand.

The above points will help you with social media integration. A critical point you should remember is that this is a very dynamic realm. You have to keep an eye out for new developments and embrace the ones that guarantee the best results. In addition to that, you must never be scared of hiring professional help.