How to integrate social media into your website

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Posted 3 years ago

How to integrate social media into your websiteSocial media is rapidly becoming a way of advertising various products and services in the marketplace. When someone suggests that a particular product is worth your personal attention, others (who know that person) trusting his opinion, will definitely visit the website of the product to determine whether it has value to them. This type of advertisement works much better when organizations integrate social media with their website. The easiest way of doing this is by adding social networking buttons to your site.

Here’s a complete guide to integrating your website with social media. I’ve also mentioned useful plugins that can be used with WordPress, Drupal and Joomla websites. Though there are many way of integrating all kinds of websites with social media, I’m concentrating on only the top three methods and top five plugins.

WordPress

There are many ways of integrating your WordPress website with social media. All you have to do is get social media buttons and strategically place them on your webpage.

  1. The first thing to do is to download social media icons from the internet. For this you can install and activate the simple Social icons plugin. Under the Appearance option go to Widget, from where you can choose your icons and add them to the sidebar of your site. These social icons can be edited according to your choice. You simply need to enter the URLs of your social media profile to the installed widget.

Once you’ve entered the URLs, don’t forget to save them and preview them. At this step, you can mix and match the background with different colors if needed. You can also play with the icon size and try out various other combinations.

  1. You can also choose to place graphic social media icons on your website. Search for such icons at Google by typing “Free social media icons” and several options will be visible to you. Download the icons and save them to a folder in your PC. Edit the size and color of the icons just as you do with your image files.

To start, need to click on Add new option in the sidebar of your WordPress page. Then click Add media, opt for Select files/Upload and select the icon for upload. Once you have selected the icon, you must click ‘Insert into post’. Once you are through with the last stage, you’ll see the appearance of the icon on your blog. It’s as simple as uploading images to your blog.

Next, click on the icon and go to Add link in the editor, and insert your social media profile URL there. Select open in new window/tab and click update. Go to the text editor and copy the codes. Visit the widget sections of your WordPress website. Click Appearance and select widget to drag and drop the text widget to your right sidebar primary widget section. Paste in the code you created and even put a title if you want. Finally save and close the file to see the icons in your website.

  1. You can also put social media icons in each blog by simply downloading a WordPress plugin. There are several plugins available but the Sharethis plugin is perhaps the easiest to use. Simply select Plugins  in your WordPress Admin area and then click on “Add New”. Search for “ShareThis” and install the plugin and activate it.

Once the plugin is installed, select “Setting” from your WordPress admin menu and go to the ShareThis option. You can change the setting to customize the appearance of the buttons and many more tasks. To get the codes and the commands, you can go to the ShareThis website. Finally you have to click the “Update shareThis Options” to save the settings.

Here are the Top 5 WordPress plugins to enhance social media networking and sharing capabilities of your website:

  1. Social Marketing: This plugin allows you to use WordPress as a marketing tool. It gets directly installed from the WordPress admin Plugin menu. Download
  2. Simple Social Icons: With this plugin you can easily customize the way your icons get displayed on your webpage or blog. Change color, size and alignment of your icon according to your need and wish in few easy steps. Download
  3. Twitter Auto Publish: This plugin lets you publish posts automatically from blog to Twitter. With your text message you can also add image while sharing in twitter with the help of this plugin. Download
  4. JQuery Pin It Button: This is perhaps the easiest way to pin images in your blog posts and pages. It not only highlights the images but also puts a “Pin it” button over them whenever a user moves his mouse over the image. Download
  5. Microblog Poster: By following the automated sharing process from Microblog Poster’s log section, you can auto update your social media profile on every new blog post. You can also add an edited message along with a backlink just by configuring your social media accounts with Microblog. Download

Joomla

You can add social media buttons by either choosing a module or installing a plugin, depending on whether you want to promote the whole site or just a segment. Let’s discuss the top three ways of getting started at Joomla:

  1. To choose a social media module you need to download and install the PGT SocialWeb module first. Then go to Module manager and select filter by PGT. Open the module and change the title, disable the title and enable the module. On the right side, hide all the buttons except for share and tweet. Now select the URL of your home page and save to apply the changes.
  2. To add a social media plugin you will have to download Joomla Social Bookmarking plugins. Install the plugin and it will automatically update your web page or blog with social media button which can be customized according to your preference.

Let’s discuss the five best plugins and module available for Joomla sites to add social media buttons:

  1. Joomla AddThis: This plugin inserts the AddThis button wherever it’s needed. You can customize the buttons according to your choice. With Addthis button you can include all the major social media bookmarking and sharing applications. Download
  2. CoalaWeb Social Links: It is fastest and easiest way of integrating your Joomla site with your social media network. It automatically inserts small social media bookmarking and sharing links. You also get the option to choose from all the major social media sites. Download
  3. Simply Digg Button: Simply Digg is a new plugin that adds a Digg button for Joomla. Download
  4. Ultimate Social Bookmarking plugin: This plugin helps you to add social bookmarking links below your article. It is a full-featured plugin that helps you to incorporate all the major social media bookmarking and sharing applications and allows you to pick from 60 different applications and style. Download
  5. YouBumpIt Plugin: It lets your visitors vote for your articles. YouBumpIt Plugin features Joomla category filter, Hide/ show intro text, and a lot more.. Download

Drupal

There are different modules available for Drupal and we’re going to discuss few of them.

  1. You can use the Social Media Setup Wizard to integrate with social media profiles and share content. Install the Social Media and Widgets modules which you can either download from Drupal.org and follow the instructions, or do a one-click install via the LevelTen Apps Server. You can also start your site with the Open Enterprise Drupal distribution which includes Apps server connectors.

If you follow the first option then you’ll have to launch the wizard, while for the next two options, you’ll be automatically taken to the setup wizard. To launch the wizard you need to go to the admin panel and click configuration. From the menu, select the media option and then social media option. Now click the + setup wizard quick link.

After this you’ll be automatically taken through the four-step process, which includes setting up your social media profile, configuring the link widget of your profile, configuring your sharing widget, and setting up the place where you need to place the widgets.

  1. Log in to the admin panel and select the configuration. Select the media, followed by social media from the menu. Now select the social media site with which you want to integrate your Drupal site. You can setup site profile by clicking on your profile tab and selecting admin followed by configuration, media, social media and finally profile. Enter the information for your social media profile.

You can review and configure a widget by going to the admin followed by structure and clicking widget sets. You can modify the widget by selecting the Edit option from the widget set admin. Widget set is displayed by clicking block admin, followed by structure, and finally, block.

The plugins that are available for the Drupal sites:

  1. Janrain Engage: It’s a free Drupal module that lets users login to Drupal sites using their existing profiles for 21 social networks. This module also offers a social sharing feature which encourages visitors to share content with their friends. Download
  2. Easy Social: This is a free social media plugin which helps you easily add the share buttons to your Drupal site. Major social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google are already included in the module by default and you are given the option to add new widgets for any other site that you want. Download
  3. Facebook Subscribe Button: This free Drupal module offers you an easy way to add a Facebook subscribe button to every page of your site. You can also customize the button size, color scheme and position through module admin. Download
  4. Twitter: This free Drupal plugin allows people to follow you at Twitter by helping you to display your latest tweets on your website. This module also enables the user to login to Drupal site via Twitter. Download
  5. Shorten URLs: This free Drupal module automatically creates and displays a truncated URL for the current page which can be copied to the posts and tweets. It further prevents users from creating more than one truncated URL for a single page. Download

By integrating social media into your website, you’ll be able to stay in touch with the fans and followers as well as with your loyal audience. These plugins and modules provide an easy transition across digital platforms, without making an audience leave the site they are visiting. Social media can be used to inform people about events and promotion along with other news related to the business. These social media buttons make sharing of content easy, and in return, will increase the amount of traffic and user engagement on your site.

– Ady Sachdeva

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