Social media integration has become an infamous buzzword used by marketers to connect the dots between their different online platforms. However, sometimes it appears that it is no longer about integration, but about how do I place a Twitter widget on my website or how to make sure I have all the social network icons on my next printed flyer.
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Real social media integration however takes a little more than that and means to create a strategythat includes all digital channels and make them work towards a common objective.
The ideal approach is to utilize the content you create in an efficient way across platforms such as your website or social media communities and allow users to easily share and consume your content. This way your social media activities contribute positively to your SEO and visitors of your website get exposed to your social channels.
Simple things like linking back to your site from social media content can make a huge difference. For example when curating content from other sources you link to their website. What ideally should happen is that content is posted on your site in form of a blog or similar and this piece of information is shared on social platforms. And of course creating your own content is always better than just reposting.
Another way to integrate social media and to make it a seamless experience between social platforms and your site is to integrate content using APIs and plugins. For example hosting your video content on video sharing sites like Youtube or Vimeo instead on your own servers, uploading your whitepapers and presentations to slideshare and embedding them into your site or hosting your image gallery on Flikr.com are just a few examples on how social media platforms can be integrated into your website.
The real issue is that a lot of good content that is generated by companies never sees the light of social communities, but yet there are many brand owned social media pages that engage with their fans on a daily basis using rather random content or competitions. The end result is communities full of marketing dodgers and competition junkies that never followed the brand because of their unique information, but unrelated incentives.
So what is social media integration? It is to create a content strategy that spans across all your digital channels, utilize your social platforms to distribute this content and integrate these platforms into your digital assets.