Best practices for integrating social media on your website

A look at innovative ways to seamlessly integrate social media into your website. From must-dos to lesser-known tricks.

Today the most successful digital marketing campaigns belong to those who seamlessly integrate their social media platforms with the website content.

Social media functions to build communities, amplify your brand, keep it top of mind, is a tool for customer advocacy, attracts more users/readers/customers, but also is reputation management and customer service tool.

It also allows you to generate more high-quality leads online, enable sales, and measure the impact of all your marketing channels with integrated or stand-alone analytics.

Adding social media content and engagement opportunities to your website makes the user experience more vibrant and interactive while adding the human touch websites so often lack.


Here is a list of currently-popular social media integration strategies that work:

Social media buttons are too often fitted in wherever there's is empty space on a web page - as an afterthought. Today it's essential that social sharing components are planned along with the page and category design of your website to ensure integration is always easily done but isn't overwhelming or distracts from your content or website goals.

Most websites include social media buttons at the top of the homepage or in the website's footer, or added to page scrolling sidebars or footer bars. Placement, size and design depends on how important social media is to your marketing.

Best practice is to prominently display key social media icons alongside content, and if you want to disseminate your content even further, use a plugin such as ShareThis to cover all other social media options.

Include activities that take place on your social media accounts on your website. This is made easy for you via plugins, widgets or other add-ons that you can use to easy display live feeds of the latest activity on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.

Allow social logins. Research conducted by LoginRadius shows that 73 percent of users would rather bypass creating a specific account for a website and instead sign in using a social login. By reducing the registration process, companies can quickly engage their customers and capture information. Search Engine Land confirms that Facebook-connected users are also more likely to make repeat purchases,.

Add a Twitter Search stream to your site to display tweets including your brand or products.

Add Facebook-powered commenting features to increase engagement with your content and keep users connected to your brand.

Make individual pieces of content shareable, such as videos, slideshows, galleries, images and infographics.

Add social media sharing buttons to your newsletters.

Social share counters are a little old-fashioned, but many websites still use them as 'social proof'. Add a Facebook Like, Google + 1, LinkedIn, Pinterest orE-mail counters to content to show users how many users have reacted to the content.

Embed the Twitter ClicktoTweet plugin that allows users to share a hand-picked sentence from your copy.

An example of how to use the ClicktoTweet. Source: Mention.com

Click to Tweet screenshot

Pinterest's Pin This overlay for images means users don't have to search for a sharing button to this social platform.

Use your website and newsletter to promote live social media events, such as a Google Hangout or Twitter chat and create hashtags for the events.

Create a page or section where you can publish user-generated content such as Instagram photos related to your company or brand.

Ensure your social media buttons are responsive so that they render and work well on mobile.

Facebook's Save button helps people save articles, products and videos from all over the web in a private list on Facebook, which they can easily access later from any device.

Facebook and Twitter allow you to embed comments or Tweets into your content, which adds current conversations around your topic to the story.

Use a social media monitoring programme such as Hootsuite to measure your social media marketing.

Remember to add your own social media details to your website's contact us page. All social media pages should provide a link back to your website.


The AWWWARDS has a category for 'best websites with social media integration'

Here is a snapshot from one of the winners in this category, #Nameourship with Twitter reactions on the homepage. Using only Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as their own social media channels, Britain's Natural Environment Research Council got people to help them choose a name for their polar research vessel. Visit AWWWARDS.com for more success stories.

Award winning social integration

Social media has enormous power, and, according to research by market intelligence company Crayon, up to 75% of websites employ social media integration.

However, not all industries embrace social media with equal fervor. Regulated industries like financial, legal and gambling are less likely to add social media links than, for instance, sports companies and non-profits.

Snapshot of industries most likely to make use of social media. Source: Crayon

Percent of homepages featuring one or more social media link by industry

Remember that when users click on a social media button, they are going to leave your site and unless they're going to do something with your content, it may be counterproductive to even have that social media. Minimize user loss by choosing your social media carefully and keeping social media pages freshly updated and monitored.

Also consider that running social media platforms takes time and talent and should be done right, or not at all.

Contact Indivirtual today to find out how you can better optimise your social media and website integration, and which channels are best suited to your brand and product.