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Best practice: how to integrate social media into your website

Up your game!

Written By:
Kelly Molson
Category:
Website Design
  • 29/07/2016
  • Mins to Read
  • By: Kelly Molson
  • Share

Are you using social media to its fullest?

Social media is, whether we like it or not, bedded in and part of our everyday lives now. It goes beyond status updates and pictures of your breakfast, and it is integrated into everything we do across the web in more ways than you might think. Integrating social media into your website is not just about adding logos to your header or footer, but about intertwining social cues and functions to offer user friendly functionality. We think they are really important, and can really enrich the user experience, whether they’re adding content, buying a jumper or submitting a review. Here are some ideas to couple your website and social presence…

Embed your social media feeds

This is the first step most companies take, and easiest step to upscaling your social media efforts on your website, but you must proceed with caution! If you feel that your Twitter feed won’t look out of place embedded on your website, grab that code by all means. We’d advise adding it to your blog or news page rather than your homepage, if you can. Instagram feeds can look lovely on your website, either in the footer or your blog. They’re a good way of injecting life into a page, and of course for gaining more followers. What are the key questions to ask?

  • What does it bring to your site?
  • Does it convince a user to buy, share or engage?
  • Is your social feed ‘on-brand’ or relevant to the website at all times?
  • How often do you update? Only embed a feed if you regularly use a network

Implement social sign in

Social sign-in is becoming more and more crucial for ecommerce websites, helping to convert customers as they can buy with less hassle.

A survey by Gigya in 2014 showed that 77% of consumers had used social sign in always or often, compared with 53% just two years earlier. These results aren’t surprising; wouldn’t you take the path of least resistance? Being able to easily register and purchase with an existing login reduces password fatigue and makes shopping quicker too, especially on a mobile.

Can you integrate social sign in? It is often the difference between making a sale and not – do you want those extra customers? ASOS do this quite well (see left).

When using social sign-in it is important to consider data security and encryption, so that customer’s payment details are protected. You should also be clear how you will use the data to establish trust in the process.

Promote sharing – make it user-friendly

Social sharing buttons have been around for a long time, but they can often be clunky and cumbersome, so it is worth reviewing how they work on your site. User experience is so important when you are asking for a share; if everything works seamlessly then you are much more likely to get that exposure.

Key things to remember:

  • Test! Check all browsers and devices with your develop to ensure they work anywhere and everywhere
  • Match the design of your social sharing buttons to your website, it looks cleaner
  • Don’t overload the number of networks – keep it simple. Email share, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest will usually do.

Making social part of the retail experience

Social sign-in is already heavily used in retail, helping to simplify the process, but there are other ways to integrate social media to improve conversions, streamline customer services and drive repeat business and referrals. Setting up these simple additions could really benefit your business:

Share your purchase

Improve your post-purchase page with a range of social cues to enhance the customer experience, and also to spread the word about your business! Add a simple sharing section which allows a user to send a tweet or a Facebook status with a link to the product they just bought.

The post-purchase page can also include quick links to your social media channels, email newsletter and links to access customer services too.

This is also the place, as well as in order communications, to share any referral discounts you offer for customers who share with their friends.

Reviews and ratings

Reviews help reassure customers, improve SEO and encourage repeat business. Linking social sign-in to your reviews set up will more than likely lead to more reviews from customers, as it just makes everything easier.

Customer service

Make your social customer service easy and obvious to access by displaying it prominently on your help pages, so your customers don’t have to dig around. Social customer service is just as important as other functions like contact forms, call centres and live chat, so make sure you offer a good service that customers can access.

The good thing about social media is that you can start small, integrating sharing and customer service details, and then increase activity as you become more confident. It is an ever changing area too, so in the future there may be even more it can offer your business! Want to improve your website? Get in touch with us to talk social integration!

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