I wrote an article recently for another site, but didn’t include everything that I had wanted to, so here is a bit more of a detailed post on 5 tips to help make your blog or website more social media friendly. Being social media friendly not only helps to increase the amount of sharing and traffic you can drive, but it can also help to generate more backlinks for SEO with the increased exposure, it can help to create a better user experience and also stop people from getting distracted and leaving your site. Here are 5 tips for making sure your blog is social media friendly.
1. Test it in sharing tools. One thing that causes people to not share a really great post is if the post doesn’t load in a sharing tool like Hootsuite. One thing you should do is download two or three of the major sharing tools and see what happens when you load a url into them. If the post’s title, description, etc… doesn’t show up, figure out why and fix the problem. It not only makes it easier to share, but it stops people from just deleting it from the tool instead of loading it to share. Having the title and description show up also gets the message and topic across to the person’s followers and friends without it being typed in or shown incorrectly.
2. Use hashtags in the tweet buttons. This is something I never remember to do on my own sites, but try to do on Client’s sites. By loading hashtags about certain topics you not only help to ensure that the post will get tagged properly, but you’ll have a better chance at starting to trend or getting the popular posts showing at the top of the twitter results for a specific topic. By hoping that people figure out and use the same hashtag, you end up not having as good of a shot in getting twitter to pick up the relevance of your post. One thing to be cautious of is to not overload or stuff tags in as that is tacky and looks like spam. You also want to leave room for you readers to add their own or change the tweet a bit.
3. Use sharing buttons that don’t leave your site. One thing that can cause someone to leave your site and forget to come back is distracting them by having a share icon that leaves your site or opens a new tab. By using a share button that opens a smaller window and doesn’t actually leave the page you are currently on, and has the option to close after your readers share the post, you not only keep the person on your site, but you keep them focused on your content and not on a Facebook news feed or something that will pull their attention away from your site.
4. Clearly label follow icons and share icons. One thing that is still confusing on some sites is where you follow the site or person and where you share articles or posts. You should keep these icons separate from each other and assume that your readers do not know the difference. Make sure you clearly label them as follow me, become a fan, etc… and keep both types of icons grouped with the same goal together and separate from the other type of icons.
5. Make sure you don’t overload images. When you test your posts on sharing tools like Hootsuite or are just sharing on Facebook, try to create a design that only pulls the images from your post and not every image on the site. Numerous sites end up pulling 20 or even 40 or 50 images including social media icons, logos, etc… into the sharing tool. Not only does the person sharing have to scroll to find the right image from the post, but you are making more work for them. By creating a design or way to share that only pulls a few images or just the one from the post you not only make it easier to share the matching image to the topic, but you can help to increase visibility on certain social sites when the post is shared and make your site much more friendly for the person to share so that they hopefully come back and share other posts in the future.
There are numerous things you can do to help make your site more social media friendly. You should always try to think of how can I make my site more clear, how can it be shared easier and how can I make sure the message will come across the way I want it to. By doing this you’ll not only begin to make your site more social media friendly, but it will hopefully become more user friendly as well.