By Alli Summerford
October 15, 2008
As a follow up to a previous article on the power of social media to get the word out, I will focus this quarter’s Internet Marketing Newsletter on a step-by-step guide to adding social media icons to your site’s content. If you are already creating and posting good, quality content for your site on a regular basis (and you should be), this step-by-step will help you add a sharing function to your content. This sharing function allows you to tie in with the social media biggies (Facebook, Digg, Twitter, Stumblepon, etc) that your site visitors are already using to communicate and share information online. What does that mean? It means that when your site visitors find something of interest that they would like to share with others, you are providing them with an easy, one-click way to share that information on the social media networks of their choice.
The button that you add to your site looks like this (see right) and is customizable depending on preference and need. It has an automatic drop-down function that provides the user with a great range of options for sharing the page’s content with others.
Why It’s Important
In our introductory article regarding Dandelion Marketing, we discuss the idea that the more seeds you distribute across various sites and networks, the more your ideas will grow across the Internet. Dandelion Marketing is the next important step after you have your site in good SEO order and are making regular updates to your content. It takes your content and ideas and carries them beyond the confines of your domain, enabling potential customers to find you and your site in the social networks they frequent. Not only can spreading the word in this way bring significant amounts of new traffic to your site, but the inbound links created by exposing your content to a wider audience can have a direct impact on your organic search rankings as well.
How to Implement
It couldn’t be easier to implement this sharing tool on your site. Simply go to www.addthis.com, sign up as a new user, and go to the “Get the Button” option. The service is free. You make a few simple choices about how you’d like your share button to look; the site will generate the needed code. You then add the code to your site wherever you’d like to encourage visitors to share the information. If you are unfamiliar with adding code to your site, your webmaster can do with no trouble (and very little time, depending on the size of your site, of course). Be sure to place your share button in an easy-to-see place above the fold. You don’t want site visitors to miss it. Think of it as a call to action and place it accordingly on the page.
This service even includes “email to friend” and print functions. Your free account includes statistics so that you can see which pieces of content are most shared and in what way. There is a lot of bang for no buck here.