It’s Time to Audit Your Website’s Social Functionality (Checklist)

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Posted: January 24, 2013 | B2B Marketing, Social Media

I have recently been using LinkedIn and Pinterest more than Twitter and Facebook.  This didn’t happen for any particular reason, it just evolved from participating where my friends were more active. Because of this, I decided that I wanted to beef-up the feeds I was seeing from brands I liked on both of these sites. I figured I would do this by clicking on the Pinterest and LinkedIn Follow-Me buttons every time I was on an interesting brand’s website.  Simple plan, right? Wrong!

Sample Follow-Me type buttons (image from contentmarketinginstitute.com):

What I found is that many sites had one of the following issues:

  • Links to socially share the content on the brand’s site, but no links to follow their accounts/content on these same social media sites
  • Limited following links – i.e. links to follow the brand’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, but no links to LinkedIn and/or Pinterest
  • Links to join a company’s LinkedIn groups, but not to follow their LinkedIn company updates (or unclear wording so I didn’t know what their LinkedIn button would lead to– (group or company updates)

Alternatively, I found the opposite on some sites – where I could easily follow their social accounts, but did not have the ability to share their content easily to my social feeds.

It is possible that for all these sites the functionality is intentional, (the brands only wanted me to participate in a limited way), though I doubt it. I think that many sites are either forgetting to add social sharing and social-follow functionality, or are not realizing how useful it might be to their website visitors.

What do I suggest to fix this? An audit of your website’s social functionality.

How do you do this? Simply go through the checklist below, and note anywhere you have a check box in the ‘Want it’ column, but not for the ‘Have it’ column. Then, go and make the adjustments to your website as appropriate. Please note- I am not saying you have to list all of these options on your website. Instead, I’m suggesting that you should consider all the options and have a clear strategy of what you want to list, likely choosing to list the social sites where your company actively participates.

Social Sharing buttons:

Follow-Me Social buttons:

Also, when using these types of buttons it is important that the reader is clear about which buttons are there for following the company, and which are there for sharing content.

Maria Pergolino is VP of marketing at Apptus.

Related Resources

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    My advice here is to select just 2-3 social networks to focus on, else you end up with too many buttons.

  • http://www.BlitzMetrics.com Dennis Yu

    My advice here is to select just 2-3 social networks to focus on, else you end up with too many buttons.

  • http://www.callnerds.com/sacramento/ Computer Repair Sacramento

    Yeah I have to agree… look into your demographic market and which ones they are using the most. Not necessarily your personal favorites

  • Tamara Elodat

    Something that comes to mind here is that the “following” and “sharing” channels do not have to identical as well. For example, I find it extremely hard to follow people on LinkedIn and Twitter mainly, in my opinion, because of the interface. The volume of the people and the way the websites are set up create too much noise and makes it hard for me to follow the news I am most interested in, whereas Facebook on the other hand personalizes Newsfeed depending on my previous actions online. However, as ironic and irrational as it is, I somehow feel more comfortable sharing certain articles/items on Twitter and Linked in. Having this in mind, one might consider to integrate certain buttons for “following” and others for “sharing”.

  • http://twitter.com/InboundMarketer Maria Pergolino

    Hey All (Dennis, Tamara, and CRS), I totally agree that they don’t have to be the same for following and sharing, as well as it doesn’t need to be all of the channels. Those are good points that definitely enhance the ideas above.

  • http://twitter.com/TomChildrey TomChildrey

    Very good points. It is important to give customers what they want, not just what you want.

Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.

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It’s Time to Audit Your Website’s Social Functionality (Checklist)

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