Launching a new website can be a daunting task, from initial concept and design to platform choice and coding, there are hundreds of choices to be made. One universal truth in 2020 is the incorporation of social media into the site’s design. It doesn’t matter if the website is a personal blog or a 10,000 page eCommerce mega-store, social media will be the promotional backbone of the site.
You’ll need to use social media for your website to:
- Build trust through social proof
- Share exciting content with users to keep them engaged
- Spread your brand message
- Connect on a personal level as often as you can
- Manage your reputation
- Do initial customer support
- Find new customers
Before a single line of code is written for the new site social media accounts need to be created and populated with profiles, pictures, bios and links to the URL. This will start building the buzz about the new website and can help bring in initial traffic before the site is picked up by search. The best SEO will take weeks to bring people to the site even for the easiest keywords, social media can bring thousands of targeted viewers the second your website goes live.
This guide is going to show you each of the major social media marketing channels and how they apply to a new website and how you can rapidly build those social media accounts for your website. This is all written to give your new website a serious boost immediately, and help you reach your goals over the long term.
Your Website’s Social Media Accounts
In 2019, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers were active social media users. People spend their time sharing ideas, pictures, videos and blogs throughout the day and are a captive audience on these platforms. Tapping into this massive pool of people should be a priority for any new website.
There are hundreds of social media websites and no one will have enough time to effectively market the new website on every platform. Here’s a quick rundown on the top 6 platforms in the context of online marketing, and what each platform can do for you:
Twitter: The world’s #1 microblogging social network is a huge value for any website. You can keep visitors and customers informed and updated instantly, reach targeted users around the world, drive traffic, and better your SEO results.
Pinterest: Using photographs and hashtags can highlight products, show amazing before and after shots, and even highlight company culture. The key to keeping interest is exciting imagery, with real interaction a close second.
YouTube: An image is worth 1000 words. YouTube is showing us that video is worth a whole lot more. Video marketing is one of the best ways to promote a website, create sales, and make brand loyalists.
Vimeo: You can think of Vimeo as the Rolls Royce of video marketing because Vimeo users expect high end content. Brands which deliver it reap the rewards of a highly engaged audience with a longer attention span.
TikTok: TikTok is the newest social media phenom and with its short form videos, has the ability to hold anyone’s attention. Websites that incorporate new social media will immediately capture more viewers because everyone wants to get in on what’s new.
SoundCloud: SoundCloud is audio hosting, usually reserved for bands and musicians. New websites can utilize SoundCloud followers to drive traffic with things like Podcasts and recorded interviews.
Most people would assume that Facebook would be on the top 6 and for a long time, it was. To read about Facebook’s rapidly declining reach, read our blog about Facebook's continued decline in popular opinion.
This guide is going to focus on the first three major social platforms, you can find the second part of this guide here: Integrating Social Media Part 2
Integrating Social Media Sharing with Your Website
Depending on the platform of the website there are multiple ways to incorporate social media directly onsite. Platforms like Joomla, WordPress and Drupal all have plugins that are simple to use and will offer users to share the page on social media and also provide an aspect of social proof by counting how many shares were already posted.
Here’s an example of what they look like:
The higher the counters for each of these share buttons the higher the likelihood that your page will be shared on other platforms. This is the concept of social proof and it's essential for digital success.
Adding a twitter feed to your website is actually very easy. Twitter gives you developer access to your own tweets and gives you a copy and paste code you can use. This is an aspect of social proof that we are, in fact an active website and are producing content regularity. This will also direct them to our twitter account to follow and retweet furthering our social proof. Any new website should be tweeting regularly and have at least one feed on the site.
- Go to https://publish.twitter.com/
- Enter the URL of the timeline or Moment you’d like to embed.
- Customize the design by specifying the height and theme (light or dark) to match your website.
- Copy and paste the code into the HTML of your website wherever you would like the timeline to appear.
The Importance of Twitter
Twitter is a huge opportunity for any new website to rapidly gain exposure. A Twitter account with no followers is almost worse than having no Twitter account. This is a problem since it usually takes followers to get followers, but we have a refreshed guide for 2020 on how to get twitter followers
Keep your content fresh
Your tweets can not be 100% marketing. The general rule of thumb is to limit your marketing / promotional tweets to 20% of your total. The majority of tweets should be interactions with your audience, informational content from your website, and sharing content from others in your industry.
Use a variety of pictures, video, and GIFs.
Twitter gives you access to thousands of images to tweet with. Tweets with videos or images have an average 35% higher click through rate, according to Twitter. This engagement will lead to higher reach on Twitter and hopefully more traffic to your website.
Use relevant hashtags.
Watch for trending hashtags and feel free to join in on Twitter chats that are organized with hashtags. The more relevant the hashtags are, the better. Be sure to not overuse hashtags or use popular hashes for content that is not related. You may get a small bump from the initial push, but the lack of relevance will hurt you in the long run. Spend some time using free tools like https://www.trackmyhashtag.com/ to determine the best hashtags for your content, and use them religiously.
Integrating Twitter into your website is not hard and can make a huge difference in social proof and user engagement. Give it a try and let us know in the comments how your integration went.
Pinterest’s embedding feature has been helping new websites build relationships with their social media fans in interesting new ways. Embedding a popular pin on a page, particularly the landing page of a product, can capture those leads that aren’t quite ready to make a purchase. It can also help push them to actually make the purchase when they see how popular that pin is already.
Better Homes and Gardens understand the importance of integrating Pinterest on their website. It’s no mistake that they’re one of the most popular brand “pinners”. Tools like the floating Pinterest share button on their website show why they do so well:
Using Pinterest for your new website
Pinterest pins have some of the longest staying power of anything on social media. This is for two reasons:
- Pinterest users permanently ‘pin’ items to their virtual boards
- Rich Pins allow websites with products for sale to include prices in the pins they create.
Including Pinterest pins on the new site is incredibly important for creating brand recognition and long lasting customers.
The three most important things to do are:
Interacting regularly with those who take the time to repin or reply to pins.
If a person is engaging with the account, that means they are interested in the site and the products or services the site is providing.
Running with success when you find it.
If a certain pin is popular, create more like it. If one board is taking off with lots of followers, focus on growing it. If another board in your industry is very popular, go join in with the goal of building trust.
Use Pinterest messaging.
Among your followers, and in your industry, there are going to be users with larger amounts of influence. Having a direct chat with them through Pinterest messages can do a lot to raise the credibility of your account, and get them to share your content.
If you are selling products, especially in the fashion, home goods or D.I.Y./Craft spaces, Pinterest most likely will be the highest return on time investment. To learn more you can read our blog post about using Pinterest for your business success.
Have you had success building Pinterest into your brand and website? Leave a comment down below and let us know how it went.
Embedded YouTube videos have helped thousands of website owners meet their traffic and monetization goals. There are unlimited ways to use video on your site, if used incorrectly it can bog down the site making it slow to load and increasing bounce rate. If used correctly, video increases time on site, user engagement and experience and can lead to significant revenue and traffic increases.
Some uses of video we have had clients suggest:
- Increasing sales with product demonstrations that show the value of products.
- A visual FAQ that helps convey vital information.
- Creating video storyboards of popular blog posts
- App website showcasing how the application is used in the real world
- Video game tutorials and “let's play”
- Product Pitches
- Sales Presentations
The number of ways that video can impact a website are nearly limitless. Connecting the video efforts of your website to a successful YouTube channel, with plenty of subscribers, will give you the benefit of social proof as well.
Let’s look at a branded example. Vans sneakers have been around for years and are the defacto shoe for skateboarders. Vans has done the right thing on their website by using video from their YouTube page to establish their brand as one associated with skate culture. Their YouTube channel is featured prominently on their homepage, being the second module or section on the page. This is above the fold prime real estate, which Van's has dedicated to YouTube.
YouTube videos accomplish many things for Vans:
- Skate videos closely associate their brand with skate culture.
- Increases visits, leads to subscribers, and gives Vans more online sales.
- YouTube sends visitors to their eCommerce section.
- YouTube subscribers may not make a purchase today, but will very likely lead to one in the future.
- Brand loyalty to Vans is high, their videos that show the culture are a big part of this.
Video Marketing and YouTube
Video marketing is one of the most exciting things going on in online marketing right now. Using video properly on your website will be a decisive factor in your success. Every major brand is seeing huge gains from an honest video marketing strategy. I’m not talking about brands that publish their TV commercials and walk away. I’m talking about some of the most successful video marketing brands that have created their own online TV channel full of great content.
The keys to success on any video marketing channel:
- Gaining subscribers who will come back and watch your new videos as you upload them.
- Gain viewers month/month by creating targeted engaging content.
- Getting your branding right so that your website logo and style are properly presented.
- Producing content on a regular consistent basis
Going viral on YouTube, with a video that ties in directly with your website, is a goal of many video marketers. The hardest moments in any video’s life are the first few. A truly viral video gains some of it’s popularity from Paris Hilton syndrome – it’s famous for being famous.
Gaining enough initial traction to go viral is the BIG challenge. How can you push your views higher to gain that ‘famous for being famous’ feeling that really gets people watching your video and visiting your website? The easy answer to that is there is no easy answer, but if you create engaging content that your viewers connect with, going viral is as easy as one post on Reddit or Facebook hitting a group and then spreading.
Embedding Your YouTube Content on Your Website
Embedding your videos depends on the platform you are creating your website in. This website, Elm Street Design, is created with wordpress. To embed a YouTube video in WordPress you simply paste the link directly into the Gutenberg editor.
Joomla, Drupal and other CMS have modules and plugins that will allow you to embed a YouTube video as easily as WordPress does as well.
If you want to embed an entire channel or playlist, you will need a custom solution like the free WordPress Plugin: YouTube Embed. This plugin will allow you to customize the embed, either an entire channel or a playlist or a single video. You can see the embed in action on my client's website: Jake Steele Tattoo Artist
Using Social Media platforms to promote your new website
When you have a website that you want to promote you don’t have to sit back and hope that your visitors show up. You can get out there, be proactive, and engage via social media. The current online climate is very much in favor of those who put in the extra work to connect with real people and embed that work directly on their websites. You can not be passive in 2020, you have to actively work on winning your client's trust and the best way to do that is through social media outreach. The best outreach will lead them to your site where you other social media profiles are embedded, giving you the social proof you need to convert them into paying customers.
With the right plan, and by using the right social channels and a little luck, you can really kick start your social media accounts. This will start promoting your website right away. Don’t wait to see if it takes off all on its own – start using this advice, work on your social media, and achieve success today!