Putting the Puzzle Together
Before you start reading, please watch the above video. It will give you a very good introduction to this article. In previous articles we have looked at the benefits of social networking, specifically the massive benefits that a Facebook fan-page and a Twitter account can provide when promoting your website. Today, we are going to link it all together.
Remember, social networking via sites like Facebook and Twitter are powerful ways to advertise your product or service in a viral way, at almost no cost and in a way that does work. In the hands of your socially networking fans and followers, the links to your website and its contents will be paraded around the Internet and the awareness of your website can increase many-fold.
It would, however, be a disastrous mistake to imagine that your Facebook fan page and Twitter account are the most important things when you are marketing your website. They aren’t. YOUR WEBSITE AND ITS CONTENTS are the most important things, foremost because a well SEO’d website will appear high up in the search engines natural listing of websites.
The mission should always be to get at least one person to “Tweet about” or “Like” each piece of content, each blog, on your web pages to get the network “ball rolling”. You can be sure the social network users will not share your website or contents with their own friends, fans and followers if they do not find it useful, interesting or something that their friends will enjoy.
Unfortunately neither Facebook nor Twitter accounts contain an awful amount of information about your products or services independently and are intended as both a gateway to your website as well as a way to keep up with recent events from your site without them having to go looking for them. They are designed, certainly in the marketing world, as an add-on to your website to get word out about it.
So, when your visitor finds that pearl of wisdom on your website, can they easily get word out about it?
Today I’m going to show you how to link it all together and how to get word out about your website from its visitors and how to make it social. To do this, we will be decorating your website a little with Twitter and Facebook buttons and badges and making it little more social-network friendly.
BADGES AND BUTTONS AND WIDGETS GALORE
If you visit the VodaHost home page at http://www.vodahost.com you will see buttons that offer the user the opportunity to follow VodaHost on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube. They catch the eye and let the viewer know that they can create social network links to VodaHost when they think that this information will be useful to one of their friends and followers. It is these that we’ll be adding to your website today.
The Official Ones
There are plenty of badges, buttons and widgets available for you to add to your website to advertise its social network connections and get fans and followers liking and tweeting about it. On any site like facebook, twitter, YouTube, Digg you will be able to find buttons that let you share your content on the social networking sites
We’ll look at Facebook first:
Visit http://www.facebook.com/badges/?ref=pf – This is the official Facebook page for badges for your site gives you the opportunity to fine tune a button for your site as you like and with various purposes. You can have a simple little advert about your Facebook page, you can have a badge that shows your status and latest pictures, your. Facebook provides extra goodies if you have a fan page that are not available for your average Facebook account.
For Twitter badges and buttons, visit http://twitter.com/goodies . You can add their badges, buttons and widgets in a similar fashion.
With both of these sites, their “goodies” are available with many different purposes in mind. Some of the code that you will add to your website will take your viewers straight to your twitter account … some prompt the user to log-in and automatically mark you as a follower.
You should use these banners in different ways. You could have a simple link to your Twitter page on the front page of your website and then on each of your blogs you could have a Facebook “Like” button or “Tweet This” button. Always, ALWAYS give your visitors the chance to socially bookmark all the content on your website. Your pages should be saturated with such links but make them small and out-of-the-way, so they do not overshadow the contents of your website.
3rd Party – The Unofficial Ones
There are very, very many 3rd party buttons and badges you can get your hands on too for your website which have been created by a community of online users. You have only to search Google for “Facebook buttons”, “Facebook badges” , “twitter buttons”, YouTube buttons and Google will return several million results.
On adding HTML to your website…
Adding these badges, buttons and widgets to your website will, nearly always, involve you adding some HTML code to your website. If you’re using website building power-house BlueVoda, you can quite easily add the HTML code of banners and buttons … Check out this tutorial on adding HTML to your Page (Badges, Banners, Buttons, Counters, etc…):
Facebook and Twitter are massively powerful tools but they do not hold any significance over your website. Your website should be more impressive than either of these two things combined and the social networking aspect should be used to promote your website, not make up for its failings. Facebook and Twitter users will follow you based on the quality of your website and then will they be unknowingly be promoting you and your services. Always follow the below 3 rules of social networking. Let your website inspire the social networking crowd into sharing your site and its links and they will take care of the rest of the work. Good luck!
1) ALWAYS make sure your website advertises your connections to the social networking websites you use to advertise your business. There is no excuse! There are plenty of buttons available to download to do this or to link to.
2) Make sure that each social networking site you use has a clear link or URL pointing back at your website. This makes sure that anyone who finds your social bookmarking site first and wants to know more can visit you. If your website impresses them, they will let their friends know about it.
3) Always make sure your website is incredible first in terms of content and ease-of use.
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