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Content sharingAccording to a recent dotCommerce report, over 70% of brands with social media presence fail to publicise this on their website.
For many retailers there are quick wins for content aggregation that are seemingly untapped. It costs time and money to build social profiles and generate compelling content, so why do so few companies ensure it has the biggest possible impact?
You don’t have to pay for the simple ideas. This blog looks at five quick wins for content integration, giving you easy to follow advice to increase the reach and impact of your content.

1. Link to your social profiles on every relevant website you own

The first rule is: don’t plaster websites with social media links if they are not relevant to that site and add no value to the visitor.

However, if you are running Twitter and Facebook profiles, it is a no-brainer to add links in your global navigation. I know some web owners are fearful of distraction but not every visitor is there to transact; giving them an additional source of engagement with your brand can build relationships and help bring them back when they are ready to do business.

  • Incorporate visual, keyword optimised links in your global navigation.
  • Add tracking code to links to measure click through.

Major brands like Go Compare and niche brands like Accessories Online use this effectively on the homepages:

Social media homepage links

2. Share video content across profiles

Customers are increasingly using and sharing video content online. Google has announced its move to index spoken content in videos to increase search result relevance. Videos can increase traffic and conversion rates. There is commercial value in spreading the reach of your video content:

  • Create a central video database that your customers can search and view on your website.
  • Tag videos with relevant keywords to help customers find what they want.
  • Add videos to a branded YouTube channel.
  • Embed the YouTube URL on relevant product and content pages via your CMS.
  • Post links to videos on other social profiles like Twitter and Facebook.

3. Integrate blog content with social networks

A key challenge with your blog is to get people reading it, coming back for more and telling others about it. To achieve this, you need to expose your blog content to relevant people. Tap into your social presence:

  • Set-up automatic tweets for each new blog post.
  • Enable people to retweet your blog using a tool like Tweetmeme.
  • Add blog links on your Facebook wall.
  • Add an RSS feed to your blog engine.
  • Register your blog on Technorati – it may not have the same impact in 2010 as previously but it is worth doing for little effort.
  • Seed your blog content with relevant 3rd party websites and other bloggers – build relationships.

4. Share your photostream

Photos are a good visual way to communicate the value of your brand and products; they can also create a more informal relationship with your community by providing glimpses of the people in your company and showing what you get up to.

  • Add new photos to your Facebook fanpage regularly.
  • Create a free Flickr account and upload all your photos; tag each photo to help increase search visibility in areas such as Google Images.
  • Tweet about your Flickr photostream and tweet links to photo content on your website.
  • Enable customers to upload photos via your website and add these to your Flickr photostream.

5. Support social bookmarking

By adding a simple piece of js code into your html, you can allow people to share your content across their social networks. Use a free tool like Add This and incorporate this functionality across all product and content pages including your blog posts, videos and photos.

Add This social bookmarking

6. Measure and monitor customer engagement

Every action should be measured to understand where your time is best spent. Make sure your analytics tools are tracking all this activity so you can compare each channel.  

For example, for YouTube videos:

  • Monitor channel views and video ratings in your YouTube channel.
  • Compare against the same metrics for the videos embedded on your website.
  • Create a segment in your analytics tool for YouTube traffic and compare performance of this segment against other segments.
  • If YouTube traffic drives greater on-site performance and conversion, invest more time and effort into your video content and seeding.

It’s not rocket science. I’m not exploding ideas that will change the world. But it’s often the simple things that go untouched yet can have the greatest impact on website performance (visits, engagement, conversion etc).

So take a step back from the social media obsessed world, think how you can make simple changes and then monitor the impact.

Please drop by with other suggestions and updates on results if you try any of the above...

James Gurd

Published 22 February, 2010 by James Gurd

James Gurd is Owner of Digital Juggler, an ecommerce and digital marketing consultancy, and a contributor to Econsultancy.He can be found on on Twitter,  LinkedIn and Google+.

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Comments (11)

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Kane Murphy

Great read,

Very easy to follow - many businesses would benefit from this!

I have a quick question - the picture with those clay-like figures, I'm seeing these alot nowaday... Where abouts do people source these from?

Thanks, Kane

almost 7 years ago

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Michelle Carvill

Couldn't agree more.  I see this all the time.  When working with clients on their social media planning and implementation - so much effort gets put into the actual development of the 'social media platforms' and resource planning - however, promoting the platforms often wanes very quickly.  

Social media activity isn't something that sits on the side of marketing planning - rather is should be fully integrated.  Review all touchpoints with customers via websites, email footers, signatures, contact forms, forums, blogs, support channels, point of sale (on and offline) - promotional materials (on and offline) - and ensure that your social media platforms are given a continual promotional push.  Use social media platform only promotions - driving users to follow you eg:  Twitter code only for Twitter followers - as you only push the code out on Twitter etc.  Whilst the platforms have the added benefit of viral - it certainly isn't a case of build the platforms and they will come... How do we promote our social media platforms is a key marketing campaign for all businesses participating in the space.

almost 7 years ago

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Michelle Carvill

Hi Kane

You'll find the image suite you mention on www.istock.com .ma

almost 7 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Morning all,

Thanks for the comments.

Rob - agree that using your own customer testimonials is a sensible idea and often a wasted opportunity - key thing though is permission. If your t's & c's state you may use testimonials in other marketing activity, fine. If not, you really should seek the permission of the person first. What's your take on the need for permission in re-broadcasting?

Kane - I actually got this image from a presentation I was sent but Michelle is right that you can often source images like this from istock.

Michelle - good point about email footers - that didn't make it onto my final 5 but is definitely a channel for promoting social media presence. As a freelancer, my LinkedIn and Twitter ids are on all my email footers. I also add a link to my Econsultancy blog that is tracked separately using a Snipr shortened URL - that way I can measure the impact of my email activity on driving people to the blog.

Thanks

james

almost 7 years ago

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Danielle

This is a great idea (Set-up automatic tweets for each new blog post.), but can someone point me in the right direction re: how to do it?

almost 7 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Danielle,

If you use Hootsuite, you can achieve this easily by:

1> Click on "Settings" - tab at bottom

2> Click on "RSS/Atom"

3> Enter the feed URL from your blog and customise settings to determine how the new blog post is tweeted

4> Click on "Save feed"

In 4 easy steps you can now automatically tweet new blog posts ia the Hootsuite API.

I would expect that other Twitter apps offer the same functionality though not used them myself.

Thanks

james

almost 7 years ago

Geno Prussakov

Geno Prussakov, Founder at AM Navigator LLC

Great points, James.

One thing that is worth emphasizing on top of these is what I call the Golden Rule of Social Media Marketing -- you can never take more than what you have given (don't broadcast, but participate; don't market at them, but converse and interract with them). First, add value yourself, and then the loyal following will build up.

Geno

almost 7 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Geno

Thanks for the comment and nice point, Social media is about engagement, dialogue not monologue, I think that is a key challenge for marketers and PR teams, learning to adapt to the new rules of engagement.

I think you need a balance of nature and nurture; nature to let your community grow organically and nurture to support, moderate and encourage.

Thanks

james

almost 7 years ago

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Susi Schuele

This is a great list and all great points.  I think engagement and being consistent are key.  Another suggestion is to make sure your brand image is consistent across all of your social networks.  Facebook Fan Pages should have a specific "landing" tab for new fans with your logo or image and a message welcoming and thanking them for fanning your page.  Your Twitter background should be consistent with your branding as well.  Keep your image visible and engage your brand!

Thanks for the great post!

Susi

almost 7 years ago

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Anna Haynes

Great post James. It's really easy to get bogged down with the detail and lose sight of the fundamentals so it's great to have them laid out. I agree with Suzi - social media is about presenting your company in the light you want to present it: It's so much more about PR than sales.

almost 7 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Morning Susi, Anna

Thanks for the positive comments, glad you liked the blog. Yes Social Media is a strong PR vehicle but don't under-estimate the impact it can have on sales. If you get the engagement and customer service piece right, your audience can be responsive to direct selling. Dell is the much quoted success story but niche UK retailers like Accessories Online are doing a great job of selling via their social profiles.

I think social media can be whatever you want it to be provided you bring your customers along for the ride and enable them to participate, shape and influence.

Thanks

james

almost 7 years ago

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