6 Ways to Add Social Media to Your Web Design

Web designers, social media experts and marketers discuss the impact of social media on Web design and offer tips on how you can integrate the two to reach more customers and prospects.

By Jennifer Lonoff Schiff
Mon, March 04, 2013

CIO — "Fewer people are experiencing your brand on your Website," says Jeremy Dedic, the user experience practice leader at digital agency Rightpoint.

"Many companies think of their Website as being the center of their online brand's universe. But more and more consumers use social media sites as a starting point for accessing information about products and promotions, gathering customer feedback, voicing opinions and seeking customer service," he says.

Web pages, Internet pages
Image credit: imagewerks

Indeed, some brands have done away with traditional Websites all together, and instead are using some combination of Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest to get their message out.

[Related: The How-To Guide for Social Business]

Should you ditch your Website? Not necessarily. But if you want your Web or ecommerce site to truly engage and convert visitors, you should take some lessons from--if not fully embrace--the popular social media sites.

Following are six simple ways to incorporate social media into your Web design and strategy.

1. Let Customers Know What Social Media Sites You're On

"Make sure visitors [to your Website] are able to see the social networks you are on and can socially share your products and content," says Erica Tevis, the owner of LittleThingsFavors.com, an online wedding ecommerce site, and LittleThingsBaby.com.

As for where to place social media icons (for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.), "a good rule of thumb is that the more visible your social buttons are, the more users will interact with them," says Jessie Jenkins, social media and content specialist at Thrive Internet Marketing.

"'Follow' icons should be included within the header/footer of your Website, preferably every page, as your social media profiles are an important source of information to users and an easy way to stay connected." Similarly, Jenkins says, include "'share' and 'like' icons on every blog post, as well as any Web pages that possess valuable, share-worthy information."

Also, include a call to action. "Ask your Web visitors to 'like' your Facebook page, 'follow' your brand on Twitter, or 'Join the discussion' on LinkedIn," says Alessandra Ceresa, director of Marketing and Social Network Management at GreenRope, a developer of business marketing software. Why? "Everyone has social icons on their Websites these days," she says. But people are more inclined to click on them if you tell them to. In addition, it's important to "design your social media icons to match the style and feel of your Website. These details catch the eye of the viewer, making it more likely that they will click on your social links."

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