Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Getting in Front of Your Target Market: How to Integrate Social Media in Your Blog Redesign

Social media is hot, hot, hot right now! It pretty much doesn't matter who you are or what business you’re in, you can't get away from the different social sites out there. That means you don't want to miss out on the opportunity to integrate it into your blog. And more than likely, you probably already have accounts set up and are active on them so it only makes sense you would 'advertise' it to your blog visitors by adding the different icons to your blog.

Your blog will very likely have two types of social media buttons: Those that drive traffic to your various accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and those that enable readers to share the content they find on your site.

The first type – those that link directly to your social media pages – typically appear in the header, the footer, or somewhere in the sidebar. I need to add these to my blog! The second type generally appear at the top or bottom (or both) of each individual page or post. You can easily tell the difference because the fist type will be just a button, while the second may have a counting feature that lets readers know how many times an article has been shared.  

This part of the blog makeover is a win/win situation. Not only are you giving your readers the opportunity to connect with you on a more personal level through your social media channels. But, this is also a way for you to show those around you that you're an expert at what you do.  

Adding social media buttons in your header or sidebar is as simple as making a clickable image out of a button. You can find hundreds of free buttons available on the web, and some themes come with matching buttons for you to use. You could even hire a designer to create custom buttons for you.

Sharing buttons are added via a plugin or a widget, and again, there are many to choose from. Some offer dozens of social icons to choose from, while some specialize in only Twitter or only Facebook. A search through the WordPress or Blogger plugin/gadget directory will help you find the right one to meet your needs.
There are a few things that are worth noting when it comes to social media engagement. First, make sure that you're actually interacting with people who take the time to connect with you on these different channels. Second, don't always be pushing promotional things down their throats - make sure you're sharing more of other content than promo type things. And lastly, don't make the mistake of being active, then inactive for a while and then active again. Stay consistent!