Being a web designer today involves delivering a full internet marketing solution and that includes social media.
Social media and search engine optimisation go very much hand in hand and businesses are using social media to create interest around their product or service.
If you are in business then your social media streams should be driving business to your website. Social media becomes seemingly more complex with the likes of Rich Pins, Twitter Cards and Facebook Open Graph but what they all have in common is that they need a point of reference, a hub to refer back to: YOUR WEBSITE.
How to make your social media shares look good
When you click a social media sharing button on your website to share your content, you want the right result. You want that share to look perfect whatever the social media network.
These sharing services offered by the various social media channels all rely on one thing, the structured data that your website outputs. Providing your website outputs the correct data items (one for your web developer to worry about) then you are set to go.
If you have a WordPress site and don’t want to rely on a developer you can install SEO for WordPress by Yoast, that will enable you to configure the data correctly. As you can see from the following image, it is just a matter of filling in the boxes.
Social Media and Rich Data Experiences
Facebook Open Graph
With structured data your post will look lots better when people share the link on Facebook. See the example below. If we weren’t outputting the correct data then it would not be nearly so nicely formatted. Also it links back to the original post, which is very important for driving traffic back to your website.
Rich Pins (Pinterest)
If the data works for Facebook then it should work fine for Rich Pins. They look so much better with lots more detail.
Slightly different data required for this but a nice touch. If you Tweet your content from your website then lots of extra data will show up on Twitter. You can see below it is showing the image, a bit more of the content than the Tweet itself displayed (the Tweet is shown above the image). Plus of course the all important link back to my website.
Think about automatic posting
There are plugins, if you have WordPress, that will automatically send a snippet of your blog post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more. Have a look at WordPress to Buffer (needs a Buffer account) or an aut0-poster like Blog2Social.
The search engine optimisation benefits (Google!)
All of these items are linking back to your website. You are posting quality data from your website to the social media platforms. For every one of these that gets shared then it is a link back to you and a notch up on the Google popularity contest. All good news for getting your site ranked.