5 Creative Ways to Incorporate Social Media in Your Design
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Wherever you go, social media is everywhere, and it’s an important part of turning visitors to your site into customers.
But just linking to social media isn’t always enough, because links, icons and placement can have a direct effect on user engagement.
The good news is that many social media channels have an innate aesthetic appeal, which makes it easy to incorporate them into your current design.
Of course, it takes a little bravery to step outside of your comfort zone, but if you’re ready to take the leap, here are 5 ways to use social media creatively…
1. Share and Follow Buttons
The biggest draw of including social media in your design is that it’s shareable, which not only helps increase awareness of your brand and content, but also provides an opportunity for them to interact.
It’s user experience at its best.
But it’s not just about including a few social icons on your page; placement matters to engagement. Best practices suggest including them at the top,
bottom, or side of your page.
But if you’re really brave you can also include them as a design feature in the middle of your site, like What’s Up Cupcake did in this example.
2. Social Login
If your website requires login, consider allowing users to create accounts using their social media logins instead of inputting an email address and password.
Studies show that 73% of users prefer to login with their social credentials. This could be due to the fact that signing in with social media is faster, which shortens the signup process. This is good news for sites using this feature as it can increase conversions rates.
It’s also helpful to collect social data, and you can use something like LoginRadius to collect that data to create personalized campaigns.
3. Social Video
Video usage is booming, and social videos are those that are created to be shared or to “go viral” among different social networks.
One example would be Taylor Vs. Treadmill, a video done by Apple with the sole purpose of inspiring users to sign up for Apple Music.
HubSpot has a list of other successful social videos for inspiration here.
4. Instagram Photos
With over 400 million users, Instagram has become a phenomenon with its focus on images and video to capture attention.
While many (non-visual) businesses overlook visual platforms in favor of content-heavy ones like Facebook or Twitter, having a visual option is great for brand marketing.
Take Framedrop, for example. Famedrop has an embedded a gallery of its Instagram images on its website to give users a relatable glimpse into its products as well as its production workflow.
Instagram is also great for creating visual ads and short video snippets for users to find while browsing. Other highly visual options include Snapchat and Pinterest.
5. Social Proof
Social proof – like reviews and feedback – provides visitors a way to build trust with your brand. In fact, 79% of consumers trust social proof as much as a personal recommendation.
That’s why it’s important to integrate the proper social widgets on your website to show visitors that people are talking about your business.
Facebook, for example, has a “Like Box” that shows how many people like your page as well as recent status updates or comments from users.
But many major social media channels have widgets, including Twitter and Foursquare (which is helpful if you’re a restaurant or any location-dependent business).
5 More Tips for Using Social Media
Of course, just using these techniques isn’t enough. There are a few unspoken rules to follow when it comes to integrating social media into your design, such as:
Use social media only if it makes sense. If you’re using social media to keep customers informed of what’s happening in your business, or you have an active social channel in general, it’s smart to feature your social media links, buttons and widgets more prominently. But if you only have Twitter for the sake of having Twitter (and nobody really uses it), then keeping an icon at the bottom of your site is fine.
Include up-to-date buttons. Social media is highly adaptive, which means that it’s prone to change rather quickly. If you added your social buttons a year ago, they may be out of date. Logos change (Instagram changed its logo earlier this year) and features are added and removed all the time. Do your research and make sure you’re working with the most recent terminology and imagery available.
Use the right function. You won’t be directing individuals to your Facebook page by installing a Facebook “Like” button on a specific website page. Instead, you are allowing individuals to “Like”/share the information, content or product that is found on that specific website page. Similarly, directing individuals to your Google+ brand page is different than adding a +1 button to a page, so make sure you’re using the right function with the right button or link.
Check your analytics. It’s important to pay attention to which channels are actually netting you the conversions you want. Tap into Google Analytics (or whatever insight tool you use) to track engagement. How many people are actually clicking on your links? Promote the channels that your visitors are actually using.
Pay attention to terms and conditions. This may not be knowledge that is readily available, but you can actually violate a social platform’s terms and conditions if you’re not careful. You can’t use Google+ for contest entries, for example, and a personal Facebook page shouldn’t be used to promote a brand. There are also other rules to follow when running a promotion on Facebook, so make sure you stay informed before running a social media campaign.
Using social media is a great way to boost conversions and add some creative flair to your site.
You can always do something unique and highlight your social channels in the middle of your website, or create a video that users can easily share. At the very least, social proof can be a great way to instill trust for first-time visitors.
Just remember that you don’t have to use every single channel. It’s okay to pick and choose. It’s also a good idea to stay up to date on each network’s logo and functions so that you don’t seem out of touch.
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