Nowadays, if you are into building websites for a living, you would well know that you cannot do so without including social media.
I say “bummer” believe it or not. I am not a fan of social media as it can be trap for bloggers. A big fat time waster! But I had to overcome this and do the job.
Now when I build a website I have my social media checklist to keep me on track.
Lay the Social Account Foundations
You should never make excuses about why you haven’t set up a complete package of social media accounts for each website you have. Here is the bare minimum you should have..
For example I like to set up these accounts:
- A Facebook page dedicated to this website only.
- A Twitter account, with a username resembling the website, using this websites e-mail.
- An Rss Feed through Feedburner.com for this website only.
When I build a website from scratch, I never open the website up to the world until my social media accounts are ready to go. It is the same with the newsletter optin forms, you might as well do all this from the start.
Does Google Care About Social Signals?
Well I cannot speak for Google so I found a video where Matt Cuts answers this burning question for you.
Expose Your Buttons for Your Social Media Checklist
Creating the accounts in one thing, but adding the social media buttons is another. There are two types of buttons you will need:
- Direct links to Your Accounts.
- Social Sharing Buttons.
#1. Direct Links to Your Social Media Accounts
These are usually the Social sharing icons you see at the top or the sidebar of a website or blog. See the screenshot below.
If your website visitors click on these buttons they will link directly to your accounts. For example the RSS icon will lead to your Rss feed page where they can press on the subscribe button. If there is a YouTube icon it will lead to your YouTube channel.
The most common sharing icons seem to be Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Digg, Stumbleupon.
#2. Social Sharing Buttons
This is the other type of social sharing. This allows people to share your content on their social media accounts so their friends and followers can see it.
If you do not provide these buttons you will see less sharing. Therefore we need to add these social media buttons to our websites as part of the setup so you can get some sharing straight from the start.
The key here is not to go overboard. Choose which accounts are the most important to your and your business and choose them.. Some websites do well with LinkedIn, others do great with Facebook.
The most common icons to use in this area are Facebook share, Google Plus, Twitter tweet or Retweet. Things change though as I remember when these sites did not exist and Digg was the most popular sharing button.
Automate Some Sharing
Social media is a lot of work and you will need all the help you can get. This does not mean you should employ a social media expert, but of course you can if you wish. I much prefer to automate my social sharing with plugins and software.
#1. Tweet old posts
I talk about this plugin all the time as it is just so helpful. All it does is tweet your old posts on Twitter for you. How simple is that? People often ask me where I find the time to tweet like I do and this is the secret weapon, the free plugin, Tweet Old Posts.
#2. Get a Social Media Dashboard
Just signing up for a free 30 day trial of HootSuite Pro can get your accounts rocking. Then you can cancel the free trial and have your social media status increased because that’s what this software does. It allows you to control more, schedule more, interact more. Many of the top bloggers use social media dashboards and I guess I should too, but I am just not a social media freak.
Choose Your Social King
You cannot be the king of every social media website, therefore you need to choose your favourite and concentrate on that. For example, I have chosen Facebook as my social King and this is the one I concentrate on the most. Well more than others anyway. There is no way I could manage too many social media profiles and if I tried, some would have to be neglected.
Participate A Bit but Find Friends That Do It A Lot
This is a sneaky tactic but if you are short on time or prefer to spend your time doing something else, find friends that are heavily involved in social media. This way you can get them to share your content with all of their friends.
Please note, I do not become friends with people for their social media status, it is just a bonus if they are highly into that stuff. Take Ana, for example, who has been conducting a Pinterest traffic experiment. Here is a friend that is involved with a new social media site, experimenting and testing the waters, then sharing her findings for all to benefit from. After reading Ana’s article, I now know that people are having success with Pinterest and it possibly could be worth trying. The first connection I would make on this site is with Ana, as I know she is now an active user.
If you have no idea about Pinterest, here is an article explaining what Pinterist is?
Guest Post Where the Button Pushers Hang Out
As I stated earlier, I am not really into social media so I try to get the sharing scores happening in other ways. Since I am a serial guest poster, when choosing a site to guest post on, I go for the social butterflies.
Hope my blogging friends are not reading this!! LOL
So if you see a website that has a lot of social sharing, this could be a great place to guest post.
Never Buy Likes and Followers
Buying likes and followers is easy but this will not help you gain the right social media status you need and should not be something on your social media checklist. Bought followers usually do not exist at all but are just fake accounts. There are also other ways to deceive these sites and get followers but this traffic (if there actually is any) is junk and actually brings your website reputation down.
A successful website social media campaign should only involve real life, targeted followers and nothing else! That is the only way it will benefit your website.
The Social Media Game
There is no doubt that if you have a website you are now tied in with the social media game. There is no getting out of this as people just love to hang out at their social media hubs. The trick is to attract the right followers, likers and pluses for your topic. The quantity is not the key, it is the quality that counts.
Hopefully my social media checklist will help you cover all the bases when laying your websites foundations.