social media how toAre you leveraging the power of social media on your site?

Together, social media channels and your website should work seamlessly to promote your online brand.

However, if you’re like most businesses, you’re probably missing out on potential interactions, impressions and ultimately sales.

In this article, I’ll dive into a quick how-to guide to ensure your business website and social media platforms are working together to maximize your online exposure.

I’ve included examples from small- to medium-sized businesses that specialize in a whole host of fields to illustrate that you don’t have to be one of the big players to take advantage of these simple tips.

#1: Include Visible Social Media Buttons

This seems like a no-brainer, but double-check. Best practices suggest that social media buttons be displayed on the top, bottom or along the side of your home page. Links or buttons that remain in your navigation as the user moves from page to page are optimal.

To ensure that users don’t exit your web page altogether, you may want to create the buttons or links so that they open your social media pages in new windows.

Also, do not feel obligated to link out to all social media channels you’ve created or dabbled in. If you’re fonder of Twitter and have completely abandoned your Facebook page, there’s no reason to link to any outlet that is not being actively managed. In fact, linking out to inactive channels can ultimately cause more harm than good.

There are several ways in which to display your buttons or links and none of them are wrong. In this case, it is more of a design preference focused on how the user will be interacting with the site.

Below are some examples of ways in which websites have successfully displayed their social media outlet(s).

big and bold buttons

Big and bold button catches your eye.

This eCommerce site specializing in alternatives to dog and horse supplements only links out to Facebook and chooses to do so in a big and bold manner.

subtle buttons

Subtle buttons suit some sites well.

This farm credit services business subtly displays their social media buttons at the bottom of their page.

front and center buttons

Front-and-center buttons ensure visibility.

This artist decides to feature his along the top.

#2: Integrate Social Where it Makes Sense

If you use social media to keep your customers or clients apprised of your recent happenings and are actively managing your outlets on a daily or bi-weekly basis, it might be wise to showcase your Twitter feed or Facebook posts directly on your website.

Linking out or displaying inactive social media channels will only cripple your online efforts. If you choose to go this route, it is important that you maintain your presence.

Below are two examples of how vastly different businesses (a web design firm and an online gift card site) have integrated their social media feeds into their websites.

visible tweets

On this site, tweets are visible along the right-hand side throughout the website. Tweets vary from deals and contests to interactions with followers and customer service responses.

recent tweets

On this B2B site, recent tweets are found at the bottom of the homepage and are mostly comprised of industry-related blogs, recent events and projects in which they've participated.

These businesses vary significantly in what they do and the way they make use of social media, but both have found a logical method of incorporating social media into their sites.

#3: Include Up-to-Date Buttons

Social media changes fast—dare we say in real time? So if you added your buttons a year ago, they are probably palling around with the dinosaurs. Facebook fans morphed into Likes, group pages died, +1 is spanking new and LinkedIn improved significantly. Do research to find the most current social media terminology so you don’t get caught mumbling about “The Facebook” and “The Twitter.”

staying up to date

Social Media Examiner stays up to date.

In order to maintain credibility within this ever-changing realm, it is important to stay with the times. However, staying up to date with your terminology does not mean that you need to jump on every platform that springs up. It is important to be tactful with your social media choices and do your research before blindly forging into unknown territory.

#4: Include Share Buttons

If you sell a product or run a full-fledged eCommerce site and you haven’t added share buttons to your product pages, you are missing out on a whole host of potential social impressions.

Share buttons should enable website-goers to seamlessly share or recommend a product.

If you find yourself hard up for a broad solution for this, check out AddThis or ShareThis. Both provide efficient and easy-to-use solutions for social media sharing across eCommerce sites with the added benefit of analytics to see how the content is getting shared.

As illustrated below, these buttons are easy to see.

make it easy to share your product

The easier you make it for customers to share your product, the better.

Similar to eCommerce sites, if you have resources, articles, a blog or other valuable content on your site, you should attempt to make it as simple as possible for readers to share it with others. Social media share buttons should be displayed somewhere easy to see. Nicholas Creative does a decent job with this, as seen on their blog below.

sharing content

If you enjoy an article, you won't want to keep it to yourself.

#5: Use Analytics

Pay attention to the way in which individuals are using your social media buttons by tapping into Google Analytics. How many people are actually clicking on your outbound social media links?

An easy way to explore this is by setting up Event Tracking in Google Analytics. If you’re unfamiliar with Event Tracking, Google provides a step-by-step guide on how to incorporate the correct codes into your site.

track metrics

Google Analytics allows you to track the number of individuals who click on outbound links by setting up Event Tracking.

If you find that few individuals explore your social media outlets once landing on your page, perhaps your social media buttons aren’t in a convenient location. It’s always best to have actual numbers to back up your choices.

#6: Pay Attention to Terms and Conditions

This goes hand in hand with staying up to date and knowledgeable, but I continue to see major brands using social media in ways that violate platforms’ terms and conditions.

You cannot use Google+ for contest entries, a personal Facebook page shouldn’t be used to operate a brand and there are certain rules to adhere to when running a promotion on Facebook.

The way you use social media reflects on your website, as well as your brand as a whole. If you’ve accidentally violated some terms and conditions in the past, delete those pages and do not link out to them even in the interim.

facebook page marketing

I'm not sure what Pita Pit is doing with this personal Facebook page or if it was created by an unaffiliated party. Whatever the case may be, steer clear of using a personal page as a brand page.

#7: Don’t Over-Do It

You want to make sure that compelling information is easily shareable, but littering social media share buttons all over your webpage isn’t the way to go. Before adding share buttons to a page, ask yourself, “Is there information here that people would find worth sharing?”

If you find yourself on your “About Us” page and don’t see any added value to website-goers being able to share your administrative assistant’s contact information, then forgoing buttons in this instance is totally acceptable.

#8: Stay Knowledgeable

Don’t get it twisted. With the changing social media landscape and array of rollouts these days, it is easy to confuse social media features. Keep in mind:

  • You won’t be directing individuals to your Facebook page by installing a Facebook “Like” button on a specific website page. Instead, you are allowing individuals to “Like”/share the information, content or product that is found on that specific website page. There is no correlation between Liking a specific website page and directing users to “Like” your branded Facebook page.
  • Similarly, directing individuals to your Google+ brand page is different than adding a +1 button to a page. At this time, there is no correlation between the two.

As illustrated below on this pool supplies website, social media pages and social media share buttons can be found on the same page. Verbs such as “Tweet” and “Share” often help distinguish between share buttons and social media pages.


Be sure you know the difference.

#9: Use Social Media Insights Alongside Google Analytics

Many types of software allow you to see your social media insights alongside your web analytics in order to pick up on trends and to better understand the successes or failures of campaigns.

SproutSocial allows users to compare web analytics and social media reporting information from specific timeframes side by side. Being able to see the way in which your social media and website analytics relate proves useful in establishing goals, measuring successes and identifying areas in which you can improve.

example of the correlation between website traffic and a social media campaign

Here's an example of the correlation between website traffic and a social media campaign via a SproutSocial report.

There you have it—a quick-and-dirty guide on immediate steps you can take to make your social media and business website play nice.

Do you have any tips or things to avoid at all costs? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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  • Great article…. I already implemented social share bars and social share icons after post.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for reading!

  • Lyndaruth49

    Love the article. I am passing it onto a friend who I know is interested in making her website more visible.

  • Very clear. Thanks!

  • Great post Mallory, I’m guilty of not being active on my Facebook page enough, I just have the blog posts on my website go there, I need to set some time for this. I’m actually embarrassed to admit of having a link on one of my websites to a Facebook page that isn’t active :S

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks, Jamie! The best of us have been guilty at some point in time. For instance, I am not much of a Google+ fan, but I link out to my profile on my resume pages. Anyone who only visited my Google+ page would assume I rarely go online. 🙂

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  • Nish Mailbox

    Nice reading Mallory,
    The strategy for integrating SN greatly depends on the type of business and the objectives set. No straight jacket. What do you think should be the SN strategy for a Telco’s business page?

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  • Great article. We recently discussed the same top with a large client with an international clientele.

    Our recommendation for our web clients is to avoid a social media management company at all costs! “No one can sell your business like you do” is what we tell clients again and again. “Using a company to help manage campaigns is completely different, but interacting with YOUR client base IS your job.”

  • Thanks for the clear article! You haven’t suggested using a toolbar like Wibiya? I thought this could take care of a lot of stuff centrally? What’s your opinion?

  • Cressmj

    Thanks! Great clarification of the “like” for the website vs the “like” for the facebook page.

  • Caridad Pineiro

    Good article.  Thanks for sharing.

  • good post, Mallory! How important are social media buttons as opposed share buttons?  I hate it when I see a twitter button and want to share and then I’m sent to the website’s twitter page. It’s like, “why would anyone want to go to the twitter page?”

  • Tom

    wish I had this info when I started, well done 

  • great post! Are you guys using Pintrest? (the photo sharing site) If so, how do you recommend using it for Social Media and business? 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thank you for reading! I think Wibiya is a great solution- It especially looks awesome on tablets! No particular reason why I didn’t include it. It is more of a design preference thing than anything. I see as it as being another method in which to display your social media buttons- it works for some businesses and for others, it isn’t the best fit. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thank you reading! I’m glad you found it useful. I always find that our small business clients have difficulty with that so I tried to make it as straightforward as possible.

  • Thanks for another helpful, informative post,

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for reading, Anna! I think that both serve a purpose on any business website. I believe social media share buttons are better suited for portions of business webpages where there is content users might want to share with others (blog, article section). Social media buttons that direct users to their business pages are a must on homepages, but can fit well into footers or along the top of pages. I also think verbs help tremendously. “Find us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter” links make it perfectly clear what the user will be doing when they click the button or link. I actually wrote an entire blog post about the confusion between social plugins that share and others that direct users to business pages here:

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Glad you found it useful! 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for reading! I think before even attempting to devise a social media strategy for a telecom company, I would need to know more. B2B and B2C would vastly differ. 

  • Carrie Keenan

    You had me at number 1… I am always amazed at sites (especially ones geared towards social) that you have to hunt down social connect buttons. The social share are often made prominent, but show me how to find you! If people have to dig it’s bad UX.  

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thank you very much! I actually do use Pinterest personally and I have used it for clients. I think, like any social media outlet, you have to find a way to use it in a way that makes sense for your business. I have a client that specializes in beautiful, luxury cedar homes. For them, it was a perfect fit. They had ample photos already on their site and people had already pinned a few of them. Establishing a branded page for them was the next logical step in order to interact with the people already pinning their content and to push out additional content. If people are talking about you, you should be a part of the conversation.

    I’ve also seen other brands, businesses, and campaigns use Pinterest quite successfully. (Shout-out to my home state’s Pure Michigan Campaign: Obviously, if you have a product that has some visual appeal, it makes it easier, but I wouldn’t just continually push out your own content. Interacting and pinning others’ content is crucial as well- having a one-sided conversation is pretty boring…and kind of rude. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thank you for reading!

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Glad you found it relevant, Carrie. If you want people to interact with your business in the social sphere, you should definitely make it as easy as possible to do so. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for reading, Lynda!

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    I agree. However, there are definitely some cases where (smaller) businesses simply cannot get a handle on social media or simply do not have it in their budget to hire an in-house individual to do it. In that case, a social media company aimed at maintaining can be useful. I always would prefer to teach and consult than for someone to hand the reigns over to me completely. Research can prove to be useful, but being in the trenches automatically makes you more of an expert on your own business and its services or products. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for reading!

  • exceedonline

    I used Sprout Social and it is brilliant for social monitoring. Thanks for the article too. If only they didn’t make it so difficult to set up social interaction tracking!

  • Liza

    Awesome artcile. we do a lot but we missed the  sproutsocial. tx for all the great tips! LF 

  • Absolutely. Don’t get me wrong, we help clients manage their strategy. We also suggest that the typical client take no more than 15 minutes a day to respond to Facebook posts, Tweets, YouTube comments, etc. The smaller the business, it seems, the more time needs to be spent nurturing those social contacts. 

    For example, real estate agents seem to have the least amount of time in a day and typically are one or two person operations, but social media is so crucial for them because they are, after all, selling THEMSELVES more than anything! That’s why articles like this and other tips on making social media so manageable are so important! Keep em coming!  

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for reading, Lance! I agree. That is a bit more complicated. I do, however, like SproutSocial overall. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks, Liza! Glad it proved to be useful in some way. 

  • Hey Mallory, where is the link to your Google Plus author’s profile? ;))

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  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Oh gosh, don’t get me started on Google+! 🙂

  • Sara

    Hi Mallory! Great article! If google plus brand page is different than and +1, is there a social media icon for google plus that people are putting on their pages? If so, can you direct me to where I’d see one! Thank you!

  • great article with many helpful and insightful information

  • True. Those social media buttons shouldn’t be “dead” buttons. When people click on it, they should see that you’re really into that social network.

  • Great article about integrating social media. It’s amazing how just making one little adjustment can make all the difference in your activity. I put the Twitter box on my site and I started seeing increased traffic in days.

  • carissa coles

    Great article! Now I know there are many ways to integrate social media button to my site or specific pages.

  • SME again with another great list 

  • Lara Colvill

    Great post, makes so much sense and gives me back up to make changes to our own social buttons!

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  • Thanks for the tips, Mallory. 

    Although not strictly “website” related, we’ve seen a good ratio of success with putting links to our social channels in our email newsletters. Often folks reading your newsletter are a mixture of hard core fans and dive in, dive out type readers, we definitely see a correlation between those who click-through and end up becoming new or simply passive followers.

  • Thanks Mallory, your tips here make perfect sense.  Now, I have a question for you:  You see, there are some small businesses who may be doing all these and yet, their social media marketing efforts are in vain.  Do you think it has something to do with their brand message then?  Like, it takes only five seconds for people to get a clear impression of your website and if your business is not defined clearly, you may as well attract the wrong type of leads/clients in the first place ( like, getting plenty of traffic that don’t really convert into sales ). Just a thought.

  • Good tips..Thanks!
    I’m trying to incorporate SN into my lab web site of university..
    Would you recommend any good example of it?

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for reading, Anthony! I would definitely agree with you- alerting e-mail subscribers to things happening on your social outlets is a great way to push your social media outlets to individuals that might really be interested in connecting within the social sphere. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for reading my article! I’m really glad you found it useful.

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thank you for your kind words, Carissa. I am glad you found it useful. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Robert, thanks for reading. I completely agree- the tips I included are rather simple to execute, but can really be highly effective. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Agreed. Maintaining your presence on the social platforms you link out to directly reflects on your brand as a whole. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for your kind words! I’m glad that you found it useful in some way.

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Hi Sara, thanks so much for your kind words! There is indeed a button that directs users to your Google+ brand page or personal Google+ page. I have been having difficulty linking out to external websites when replying to comments so if you’re like me to show you where you can find it, hit me up on twitter: Malloryloren. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks, Lara! I appreciate your kind words. I’m so happy you found some useful information. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Hi Devani, 

    Thanks so much for reading! I wrote you a novel yesterday, but it seems as though the spam filters didn’t like the fact that I linked out to some external posts on the topic. We’ll see if it ends up showing up later on- but in the meantime, I wanted to rewrite the major points about Pinterest so you didn’t think I was ignoring your question. 

    I use Pinterest personally and for clients. Ultimately, I think Pinterest can prove to be a great tool for businesses to push products or content and interact with customers (if they make use of it in a way that makes sense for their particular niche.).

    I have a client that specializes in luxury cedar homes. Pinterest was a shoe-in for them because they already have hundreds of beautiful photos of their work. Some individuals were already pinning my client’s content so it made sense to make a branded page for them. With the page, we could actively interact with those who pinned pictures from their site and also were able to push out more content. 

    It has been a great success so far if only as a link building project (Pardon, my SEO reference.). I think it is rather difficult to see the ROI here since pinners don’t often buy the products that they add to their “dream home” board, but being able to interact with individuals talking about your products and getting in front of an audience is certainly important in building any brand.

    Obviously, Pinterest is best suited for businesses with products (ideally, highly visual products), but I’ve seen other businesses use it in a whole host of non-conventional ways: Pinning interesting articles by topic, DIY tutorial boards, showcasing inspiring website design elements, user-generated contests, and more. It really is all about getting creative and the possibilities are endless at this point. But, if at the end of the day, it doesn’t make sense for your particular business that specializes in something like steel wire, then there is no harm in deciding to opt out of the Pinterest game. 

  • Hey Mallory! You definitely offered up some great tips here for integrating social media into your website. I think it’s definitely important to make it easy for your customers to find you and interact with you on social networks. 

    And thanks so much for mentioning Sprout Social!

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Hi Aaron, thanks for reading! I’m glad the article made sense to you. I think I understand your question, but forgive me if I’m off base here with my response. I think the first step in this scenario you’ve laid out would be to ask what the intention of their social media efforts was- What was the goal?

    A lot of times, small biz simply get on social platforms because they think they have to and don’t have a basic understanding of what they are attempting to accomplish so they never really know if they are accomplishing anything or not. A goal cannot be “I want a lot of likes”. A goal for a social media campaign really calls for businesses to dig within their company culture and brand and have a plan for what they hope to achieve. I think small businesses often have difficultly mustering support on social platforms due to the fact that they lose sight of the fact that social media is supposed to be about conversation. I see many small biz simply push out content without interacting with their users or making an attempt to use social media (like twitter) to reach out to individuals talking about a topic that relates to their product or service.I think the overall brand message is always important. I think attracting social media followers that are interested in your content, services, product (or whatever) is very important. An example of this is holding a sweepstakes giving away an iPad when your company sells pet products. You’re attracting all these users that might not even have pets. It is always best to tailor your social media campaigns to your target market.

  • Hi Mallory! 

    Thank you for the explanation! That was my first impression.  I have also been experimenting with it (for now only as a personal thing) — As with all social media sites, everything in moderation and it wouldn’t be a fit for everyone.  When it comes to new social media sites, everyones first impression is normal “Cool, something new!” then after awhile we relies, it’s just another “time sucker”.  

    Thanks again for clarifying!

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for reading, Brittany! Of course- Sprout Social offers some great reporting features. 

  • I like that you are communicating with the readers, very few internet marketers understand the importance of that! 😉

  • Nice tip #3, never really gave it a lot of thought, but it sure is right. Thanks for the great post.

  • Neeraj

    Great article…really very interesting 

  • You can use for free RSS Graffiti to publish website news on facebook

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for reading! I’m glad it make you think. 🙂

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thank you for reading! 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Totally agree! Thanks again for reading!

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  • Wow, thanks – an idea just hit me while reading your response and everything made sense.  I guess, social media is not only about the conversation, but the culture around the conversation as well.. and it helps when you know the what, why, where, how and which of your plan.  Cheers! 

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  • Nice informative post. Integrating social media on our website is more helpful to us especially to improve our business with rapid rate. It improves the communication with more number of different people so that it helps in improving the business. I like your way of presentation. Keep updating.

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  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Thanks for the kind comments, Henry! Thank you for reading. 

  • Mallory L. Woodrow

    Great tip! Thanks for sharing.

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  • Mellissa Thomas

    In-depth and straight-forward post. Thank you so much for your insight, Mallory. I especially thank you for the social media violation info in #6 and the social contrasts you illustrate in #8.

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  • hi mallory, thank you for your good article,:) it’s really helpful for me:)

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  • Great article Mallory. For those that feel they favor one particular social media platform over the other, my advice would be to integrate content/posts from one to the other. For example you can post your tweets directly to Facebook using apps or software and vice-versa. By doing this you’ll still be able to reach the users that prefer the opposite platform as you.

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  • Neethumolvtm

    hi………….thank you for your good article,:) it’s really helpful for me:)

  • Shishir

    Very nice article. Really informative.

    What all tools can I use to target a particular audience.

    I have a jewellery client in South India. I wish to advertise only to the people of that region.

    Facebook is a major options. Blogs are the other.

    How do I go about it? are there any tools to measure the activity of the target audience?!

    My mail id is :

    Look forward to hearing from you


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  • Good article but it is very common.

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  • Have a great Article, so informative post nice Blog thanks for sharing.

  • good

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  • Karthi Keyan

    Great article. I just came here for a research and got a perfect idea after reading this article. Thanks to Mallory Woodrow .

  • Great visionnary article from 2012 !

    Now in 2015, question is no more why put social media feed on website but how ?

    Some tips:

    – use photos rather than text alone in your social feed posts and use several networks (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Youtube…)

    – focus on displaying all social feeds in one page. Use for example a social wall from specialists (like Dialogfeed)

  • HumanCommodity3


  • very helpful. it’s a big struggle to us to build a strong online community without reading all this tips and connecting with all professionals. Cheers!