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How to Create a Socially Friendly Website

Written by | Saturday, 01 June 2013 00:00 | Published in 2013 June
Social media is no longer just an option for companies looking to penetrate a tech savvy or youthful audience, it has become an irreplaceable tool utilized to market brands and ideas of every size, industry, and purpose. With this cultural shift towards accepting social media as an integral part of everyday life, and oftentimes everyday marketing, businesses are sometimes left wondering how to build a necessary bridge between their brand, website, and social presence. The process of creating what I'll refer to as a "socially friendly" website should not be considered a possibility to be explored, but instead must be understood as essential to a site's success in modern day marketing practices. In this article, I'd like to share a few tips which will lead every site you create (whether it's for your own business or a client) toward being socially engaging and positioned for success.

The first and perhaps most important step in the process of building a social site is to include social badges on every page, prompting users to visit your presences on whatever group of networks you deem relevant. According to Mass Relevance, 59 percent of people are more likely to trust brands that utilize social media, which means you should be doing everything possible to ensure your social accounts are seen. It's great to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, etc. - but your time spent there will have little value if no one is aware of it. Including social badges on every page of your site leaves no uncertainty in your customers mind, and positions you to maximize follower and friend counts. If you're worried about how the icons will affect the aesthetics of your page or visual identity of your brand, you can always customize uniform ones or download free existing ones.

A word to the wise: social badges and sharing buttons are similar, but not one in the same. A social badge directs a user to follow your social profile on a network, while a social sharing button allows a user to actually share a specific piece of content with their followers. For example, a headphone company might include social badges across their site inviting users to follow them on Twitter, and embed a "Pin It" sharing button on each pair of headphones available for purchase. To learn more about the Pin It feature, visit Pinterest's business section.

While we're on the topic of Pinterest, it's worth nothing that the quality of visual content on your page is a key ingredient in a complete social site recipe. In addition to incorporating social buttons and badges into your layout, also take care to ensure the contents of your site are "shareable". Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and many other social sites provides businesses with infinite opportunities for free promotion via the word of mouth, pending said business provides ample content for those users to share. To encourage sharing of your products or offerings, take time to capture engaging and unique photos of each one.

With these components in place, a website is well on the way to building connections in the social space. But one additional consideration should come into play before labeling this process complete (and as any good marketer will tell you, an inbound campaign is never truly done). When considering how you want visitors and customers to experience your site and build connections with your business through social media, take care to consistently provide something fresh on your site. This won't need to be something as dramatic as a quarterly redesign of the entire layout - it could be as small as a new blog post or photo share a few times each week. Whatever your "content" may be, keeping it up-to-date will not only give users a reason to visit the site, it will provide them with something tangible they can share or participate in.

With these tips in mind, I hope you'll be able to approach the "socialization" of existing and future sites with a set of guidelines to achieve success. If you have additional ideas or experiences within the realm of creating a socially friendly site, specifically in Joomla, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Tagged under Business Matters, English
Shannon Good

Shannon Good

Hello there! I'm Shannon, an Inbound Marketing Consultant at Savvy Panda and jInbound, and Instructor at Master Inbound. I enjoy driving growth for businesses through customized Inbound solutions, and learning new things each day about the evolving online marketing ecosystem.

Find me on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to connect!

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Very interesting and sharing this on my wall right away. Thanks once again.
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My one tip for helping with sharing social content would be sorting out your page's meta tags. So many sites I see on Facebook just have a generic tagline generated from the site's description, which gives no idea of what the content is actually about. A good meta description, unique to each page, will dramatically increase click-through rates from Facebook and Google.
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Thanks for the reminder, Joe! You're totally right, nobody wants to click through on a Facebook share with no relevant call to action or summary in the description. And of course, metas and Google go hand-in-hand!
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Good and interesting article about - How to Create a Socially Friendly Website!
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Hi Shannon,

I've set various pages on the various social networks, and despite writing mostly useful content, I'm finding quite difficult to build a following, despite social media profiles being displayed prominently without being in your face and intrusive.

Any suggestion on how to increase the following?
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Hi David,

Thanks for reading. If you're displaying your social buttons on your site and aren't building a following, you may want to take a look at how you're participating on those social networks. I suggest two basic tips:

1. Start following relevant users. For example, on Twitter you can search by a topic and follow the thought leaders in that category. You could even take it a step further and follow some of the most relevant people following them! This is important for getting your name out there on the network.

2. Diversify your content. You said you're sharing useful content, perhaps you need to take a look at shaking it up a little if it's not earning you the audience you want. Don't be afraid to share other people's content (articles, blog posts, guides) - this is a great way to position yourself as a resource AND get noticed by those who's content you're sharing.

Hope this helps, good luck!
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Shannon, yeah I tend to agree with both suggestions, though maybe I don't follow them enough! I do a bit of both, maybe I should beef it up a bit more :)

Thanks
David
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Good reading..will be helpful to us, the site owners to improve the sites to get success.
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Thanks for the right information to me here. i hope it will come more information to us.
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Hello, again.
you know what? Your last article about web design made me fresh about my work. And, now this article made me think more about my website building on how to make it "socially friendly" better. You know I used to make efforts for it but not so good as I imagine now I want to try another way to do so hope helpful. Any way thank you in advance. Plus, I do wait for your new articles about websites design and building.
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Great read. I liked the part about sharing and badges. I know a lot of people who confuse those two.
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This is an awesome post on how to create a quality website. I have to create one for a class I'm taking, and this gave me some insights on things that I can try, but never thought about. Thanks for sharing this!

Jason | www.finfunmermaid.com/swim-suits-and-sets/bikini-sets.html
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It's so true. Having a brand name and a mark that people will recognize is very helpful, as little as it seems.
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I think social media can be a great way to get people aware of your brand. It can be difficult to know where to start since we didn't even know what most of these websites were ten years ago. The younger people at my office do a great job with our social media, but I would love to understand more of what they are doing with it.
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I am thinking of building a social site to help promote my business. Most of the things you mentioned never even crossed my mind. I thought that creating a socially friendly site would be super easy, but I guess it is going to be a little more difficult than I expected.
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I really appreciate you sharing this info! I have to create a site for a class I'm taking, but I honestly have no idea what I need to do, or where to start with it all. I've been looking around for different tips and ideas on things I can try, and this has been the most helpful site that I've found today. Thanks so much for sharing this, I'm stoked to get started!
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My wife is starting up a site for her new business, and is trying to learn how to make it a good and friendly site. The only problem is, she's very busy trying to get things started that she doesn't have time to set up the site. So I've been online trying to learn about how to make a site, so I can take some of the load off her shoulders. This gave me some great insights that I'm excited to try. Thanks so much for sharing this, she's going to be very excited!
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Thanks for the insight! This is one of the most detailed instructions I've seen so far. I can't wait to give it a go!
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Irreplaceable is the right word! You can't hope to have a thriving online business without social media connections. Just about every one of them has a marketing platform application. Taking advantage of it should be second nature.
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Social media has come so far in the business world. It's gotten to the point that people almost never go somewhere without looking it up online. I know that I always check someone online before using them.
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