Social media pages are a good way of marketing your website. If you have any social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, it is important that you have a link from your website to your social media pages.
There are two main ways of doing this:
1) Social media icon links
2) Social media feeds
But what is the difference between icons and feeds and which is best for your website?
Well, the first important point to note is that if you are going to direct people to your social media pages, you must maintain them and provide relevant, current information about you and your work/business. There is little point in directing a visitor to a social media page that has not been updated for the last eighteen months. The whole point of a social media page is that it is an on-going conversation with your audience. If you are not active on social media, then there is little point in having social media links or feeds on your website. It’s a bit like sitting in a room full of people but not bothering to talk to anyone.
If you are active on social media, we recommend strongly that you have social media feeds, or link icons on your site, or both.
Social Media Feeds
You may have noticed that many websites have social media feeds on their pages showing the most recent posts. Social media feeds are a good way of keeping your site looking current and active. They are simply a window on your website that allows visitors to see your most recent posts on your social media pages. Visitors can see a snapshot of your social media page and can follow the link if they are interested in finding our more.
Note that most standard devices/browsers will display feeds but due to the vast range of devices/screen sizes/browsers now available, there is no guarantee that they will appear reliably on all browsers/devices. If a feed does not appear, more often than not it is caused by a problem created by the viewer’s browser or viewing device (or both). The feed code come direct from the social media provider (eg Facebook) and it’s most unlikely that they would put out a feed that is not cross-browser compatible.
Social Media Icons
Social Media icons are simple icons which link to the associated social media page. They are usually placed at the top or footer of each page of a website. Social Media icons are a way of indicating to the visitor that the group has a social media page which may be worth a look. If a visitor who is active on social media sees that a website has a social media icon, they can use the icon link to take a quick look at the social media page.
The difference between feeds and icons is that the feeds provide an immediate window to the social media page whereas the icons are just a quick way of getting to the social media page.
Social Share Buttons
Just to confuse things even more, well designed sites will also display social media ‘share’ icons. The purpose of share icons is to allow the visitor to share the page on their own social media page. Sharing is fundamental to the way that social media marketing works. Share icons are very different to link icons. You can see how they work on the new Steyning Arts website – the social links are at the top (and there is a Facebook and Instagram feed) and on the left are the share icons. http://steyningarts.co.uk/
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