What do you do when you come across instances of social icons on the websites that you visit? Do you check them out? What's your reaction?
I'm deep into several intense website reviews - for my volunteer role with the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York and for Simple Marketing Now. I've been checking out the social icons I come across and the result has inspired me to share with you 7 online marketing advice tips about social icons!
With social media and blogs becoming part of mainstream media, I've noticed an interesting evolution in how social icons are used on websites: from decorative elements to meaningful icons. That's not to say that every instance I come across today is meaningful, but more are and I think that's exciting!
When I come across social icons on a website, I have expectations. The presence of icons communicates that I can expect fresh content via another online marketing channel, that I will experience personality via those social channels, that the content shared will be valuable and that there will be interaction to experience.
I expect not to encounter an unclaimed profile with a generic avatar [or profile image] and no details added in the description.
I also expect not to come face-to-face with a firehose of traditional 'shout' one-way promotional marketing messages.
Is it the same for you?
In case it is, I'm hoping you will add to my online marketing advice about social media icons on websites. Here are my 7 tips:
- Think twice before placing social icons.
- Ensure that your social profiles have been 100% completed.
- Develop a content plan to keep your social profiles fresh.
- Remember to act like a human being in your social interactions: be courteous, interact, thank people.
- Spend more time sharing valuable content with your followers, fans and connections than promoting yourself.
- When in doubt, experience your social icons as your customer and ask "what would s/he think?" "how would s/he react to your online content?"
- Beware of automatically feeding content from one social network directly to another. Autoposting can often be considered 'anti-social'. It may also not be appropriate for your audience. If you do, make sure you intersperse original content in between your auto-posts.
Your turn. What would you add to my online marketing advice about social icons? Let me know in the comments!