Ok, lets start by getting one thing straight.
You don’t need another BS social media post telling you how to add widgets to WordPress.
There are thousands of those, and the last thing you need is someone telling you about the newest social fad.
My personal rule with Social Networks is that Less is Always More. So even though there may be over 1,000 Facebook-related plugins, you don’t need to go crazy with them.
As a matter of fact, if you don’t want to use Facebook plugins at all, I support that. I’m going to address how to choose from all Social tools at your disposal in WordPress so that every widget you use adds to your community.
The goal: Pick the Social Channels your audience already uses, and focus your attention on one or two. Less is More.
You’re doing it wrong:
- When you use Pinterest for a Website Targeted at Dudes
- If your Twitter widget shows the last 4 tweets you’ve sent
- You aren’t using Google+ to boost your SEO
You’re doing it right:
- You have a site about Weddings and you use Pinterest
- Your Twitter widget shows your favorite tweets or the @Messages from your followers
- You know that Google+ is like steroids for your SEO, and you post all your content there
It makes sense that Pinterest is a site with a user base dominated by the ladies, but everyone is so excited about the potential for the network that they’re recommending everyone get on there and start pinning things. Lots of well-meaning people have gotten caught up in Pinterest, and this includes yours truly. But, in fact, while the social network has MASSIVE adoption by women, men aren’t using it nearly as much. Ask, do my users already use Pinterest? If they do, then develop that marketing channel for your WordPress site. If they don’t don’t force things.
WeddingChicks.com is using Pinterest extremely well, and rightly so. They post pictures of wedding stuff for women who are planning their wedding, even if they still haven’t picked a groom yet….
I’m on a freaking mission about this one. Everybody uses Twitter, but nobody really cares to see the last 4 things you tweeted on the sidebar of your website. It’s that thing that everyone has, but nobody pays attention to.
How can all of us be more interesting with Twitter and WordPress? Twitter is amazing because it gives your audience a way to learn about you and connect with your WordPress site from anywhere in the world. Twitter is also a way to amplify your audience’s content and their thoughts. Twitter makes most of this data available in their API, so let’s think about adding that to WordPress.
Since Twitter makes it simple to embed widgets in your site, here’s an idea. Try embedding a twitter search for people mentioning your site and put THAT in your sidebar. Here’s a screenshot of a search for WPKube.
That’s real people who are mentioning WPKube in real time, I just took the first 4 results that populated. Visit the link and try it for your own site. It’s 100x more interesting to hear what *other* people say about a website or a product than to hear what their official marketing message is. Let your twitter widget amplify what the folks who love you most are saying! What conversations do you love having on Twitter? Feature those!
People either love Google+, or they absolutely hate it. Plenty of folks that I know and respect have canceled their Facebook accounts, deleted all their data, and are using Google+ for a variety of reasons. Yes, there are advantages to the network, but only a minority of folks have left Facebook behind for good. So again, lets consider the audience. The chance that your audience has abdicated Zuckerberg’s personal data farm is slim, so don’t go overboard on Google+ yet.
BUT, you do want to make sure that your WordPress site has the rel=author tags included, and that your Google+ profile is linked to ALL your content. Google is using your content online, connecting it to your Google+ profile, and using the data they gather to measure your “authority” based on how much content, and quality of content, that you have produced online. Your authorship and credibility are now directly factored into your content search results.
Make sure everything you produce goes through Google+. Just posting content on Google+ will have the content crawled and ranked within a few hours. Your audience may not be on Google+, but they’re using Google and you want your content ranking as highly as possible.
To recap, with Social Networks, Less is Always More. Understand your audience before you start adding social networks, and pick the best one or two networks to add into your site.
I’d love to hear what other ways you all have pulled Social Media into your WordPress. Share what you think in the contents!