Do you have a Facebook like button and a link to Twitter? If the answer is yes, then your site is social media ready -- for a given value of ready. And of social media. Surprisingly there is a depressing number of sites whose social media strategy has not progressed much beyond add links and widgets from the social network du jour.
Fortunately getting a site 'social media ready' isn't hard. As long as the fundamentals are in place, there is no reason your social media strategy should be limited by your site.
Getting The Social Onto Your Site
1. Where do you need to be?
Before you even look at one line of code, you need to know where you need to be. Is your audience on Facebook? Most of the time the answer will be yes, but what about Reddit or Tumblr? Perhaps Pinterest is a better use of valuable space on the site?
- Where is your audience?
- If any, where are you currently getting quality traffic and activity?
2. How to make it work?
Currently adding a like, pin or tweet button is no harder than a link to the site or brand's social media touch point. Ensure the code is properly implemented and that all the necessary tags are in place, such as the Publisher tag for Google+.
This is only half way there. Implementing Open Graph tags is important, as a number of social media sites use these to add additional detail to posted links. Some networks like Google+ also use information marked up using Schema.org.
- Are the buttons in place and work?
- Does the page have the required meta information?
3. Do you have something to share?
So you have a Pinterest button on your site. Are your images good enough to stand out on someone's board? Publishing content that suits the social media networks you want to target is important.
- Tailor your content strategy to the social media sites you wish to target
4. Is it working?
Are you seeing the results match what you were aiming for? There are a number of ways to monitor the effectiveness of a social media strategy, and the part that the site is playing in it.
Google Analytics is a good starting point for monitoring onsite activity, referral traffic and where social sits in your conversion funnel. Some social media sites provide insights but for those that don't there are other tools available for monitoring activity and sentiment.
- Use an analytics package to monitor social media referrals and behavior.
- Monitor activity and sentiment in social media.
This quick guide is a starting point more than a definitive work. While the specifics involved in ensuring that Google author attribution is properly set up and the Open Graph tags are working needs more detail, the idea that implementing these tools should be considered as a part of an over all strategy is a point worth considering.
It is easy to just focus on technical details when auditing a site for social, but if the strategy is poorly defined and the content does not support the site's goals, then there is only so much a share on Stumbleupon button can do.
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