I often questioned myself years ago when I used the phrase “social media integration” it almost felt as if I’d coined it myself, as it really wasn’t the common web design catch phrase it is today.
I can now safely say not only has it earned its position as one of the Internet’s most overused terms, but it’s also one of the most commonly misused catchphrases now being thrown about in the world of web design.
Some clients get really excited about integration when questioned if they’d like it added to their new website design. “Oh yes,” they say, “I definitely want social media integration.” But do they even know what it means? From the way I’ve seen it used, the answer would be a resounding . . . no.
Let’s start with what it’s not. If you have some social media icons on your website, sorry folks this is not “integration”. Worse yet, if clicking those icons just sends you to Facebook.com or Twiter.com . . . that too is not “integration”, and it’s just wrong, so please stop doing this!
On a really basic level, you could possibly get away with saying you have social media integration. For example, when clicking the Facebook icon on your website directs you to facebook.com/yourpage name — it’s really not what integration is all about, that’s just a link from your site to your social media channels.
So what is social media integration, and what’s the benefit of incorporating it into your website?
One of the biggest benefits of having your website connected to your social media accounts is that it can help with your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
The process of integration, means you’re distributing content directly from your website to your social media channels, and in turn driving traffic from your social media channels back to your website.
When you add a blog post to your website, the integration happens much the same way, except it’s an automated process. By simply posting a news story or blog on your website, that content can then be pushed to your social media channels and distributed to your email subscribers. Once the blog post reaches its final destinations, the automatically generated links are then directed back to your website.
And there you have it — Social Media Integration 101!