Social Media Integration Basics

By Patty J. Ayers

Social-Media-IconsAll clients who come to me these days want their website “to have that social media stuff”. Some are social-media savvy, but many just know enough to know that they don’t want to be left out of the revolution.

As I explain to beginners, there are two main ways that social media should be used on a WordPress website. This may seem very obvious to those who are comfortable with social media, but I’m surprised at how many clients don’t understand even these two ubiquitous, opposite types of integration:

1. A prominent set of icon-links, allowing site visitors to “friend/fan/follow/join” your client on the social media platforms where your client is already actively involved, and

2. Icon-links to allow visitors to “share” content from your client’s website on the visitors’ own social media accounts.

Providing either or both of these types of basic social media links for a client can be as simple as using a plugin. There are many plugins for these purposes, and more seem to appear every day. As with any plugin, choose carefully and test well. At the time of this writing, I tend to use Jetpack’s module for these basics on a lot of sites.

Another common request is to display the client’s Facebook or Twitter feeds on the website. Again, this is easily done with a good plugin.

There is a lot more that can be done on a website to integrate and utilize social media in creative and effective ways. The fact that the social media landscape changes so rapidly, and it’s importance overall in marketing, means that it’s necessary to do new research for almost every new project and every new client request in this area.