The benefits and opportunities of marketing a site via the numerous social media platforms out there are endless, helping to cost effectively open your site up to an often untapped market. Key to getting your content out there and shared is optimising your site for social media, that is ensuring your site is structured in such a way that you encourage people to share your content amongst their various networks.
In light of this, here are some things you might want to consider when optimising your site for social media.
Social Media Buttons
Allowing your users to bookmark, ‘Share’ or ‘Tweet’ is key to disseminating your content and encouraging visits back to your own site. Adding social media buttons for Facebook and Twitter are advised but be sure not discount the value of social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit.
When thinking about where to incorporate these buttons, remember their aim is to get people to use them to share your content. In light of this, make sure they are prominently displayed – I recommend displaying them close to the heading of the page, like we do here on our own blog.
I would also recommend placing these social media buttons on your home page. Often your homepage will be the most visited page on the site so putting these buttons in front of as many visits as possible will increase your chances of being ‘Shared’ or ‘Tweeted’.
Logins via Social Networks
The advantage of allowing your users to login via Facebook Connect for example is that any activity they carry out, such as a ‘Like’, will be published back to that users social channel and be shared amongst their networks.
User Generated Content (UGC)
UCG can be a highly cost effective way of sourcing unique engaging content. Adding functionality like allowing users to comment on blog posts or giving people the opportunity of becoming a guest blogger might be ideas one could implement fairly quickly at minimal cost.
Finally I would recommend you look to integrate your site’s blog within your main site to show search engines that the site is filled with new content and updated regularly.