Social network buttons are ubiquitous. Everywhere on the Net, we like, share, comment, tweet, retweet, pin or add a +1. You do not know what we’re talking about? So you do not exploit the full potential of your website. We will show you how to integrate social media plugins into your website to increase the reach of your content with social networks.

Summary
  • What are social plugins?
  • Overview of the most popular social plugins
  • Social plugins for a successful website

What are social plugins?

Social plugins are optional modules that connect your website to social media platforms. Social networks such as Twitter, Google+ or Facebook offer specific plugins in the form of snippets allowing Internet users to interact with the online content of websites. Site operators who integrate them into the source code of their online project benefit from the immense reach of these networks.

Most social plugins contain so-called widgets. These are graphical elements embedded in dedicated areas of your website to allow users to access the features of the plugin. The most popular social widget of this kind is probably the Facebook “Like” button. It allows one-click to make your visitors content ambassadors. We are talking about viral marketing.

Facebook alone would attract nearly 2.13 billion active users per month. More than 85% of users come from countries other than the United States and Canada. In this context, it is hardly surprising that the social plugins of the World Wide Web have spread like wildfire. The signals social sent such as likes, shares, and comments are similar to the word-of-mouth modern! It is indeed the control of this word of mouth that is sought by companies in their marketing strategy of social networks. Social plugins help you create positive points of contact and reinforce your presence. Web 2.0 options will vary depending on the target platform.

Overview of the most popular social plugins

Today, social networks offer complete portfolios of plugins. People who are active on social media should be able to easily like and comment on the content or follow a business. In addition, many platforms offer the possibility of directly integrating content from social networks into websites. Here’s a list of the best-known solutions: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Xing.

Facebook plugins

The social network Facebook, which is no longer present, is the essential platform. Despite growing competition, the network remains unquestionably the number one user. With the following social plugins, you will allow your visitors to use Facebook to interact with the content of your site.

To insert social plugins Facebook to your website, only three steps are necessary:

  • Retrieve the URL of the web page: First, select the URL of the website in which you want to include the plugin.
  • Generate embed code: Insert the URL in the Facebook code configurator and customize the social widget according to your idea. Click Get Code.
  • Copy the code of the plugin into the source code: Facebook offers you two ways to integrate the desired button into your website:
    • JavaScript SDK: If you want to integrate a social plugin using the JavaScript Software Development Kit (SDK) , you will need two snippets of code. The first is loaded by JavaScript SDK and is inserted in the body tag of the web page that must be linked to Facebook. The second is implemented by the social plugin and fits into space where the widget should appear on the website.
    • Iframe: A second possibility is to integrate social plugins Facebook as iframes.

Through the Like, Share, and Comment buttons, social plugins offer a variety of features that make your content visible on social networks, helping you reach more users. However, the opposite principle can also apply. Facebook offers indeed social media plugins that allow administrators to transfer content from the community to their own site.

Twitter Plugins

The microblogging service Twitter is based on the principle of short messages called “tweets”. With more than 300 million active users per month, it is the ideal platform if you want to make your content known outside the confines of your website. Like Facebook, the service also offers various social media plugins to encourage visitors to stream your content.

Embed Twitter feed

If you want to embed more than one tweet into your website, Twitter’s feed integration plugin is ideal. It allows displaying an unlimited number of Twitter messages thanks to a scrollbar. This allows you to embed tweets from either one account or different accounts. Otherwise, you can also present visitors with recent tweets on specific keywords. On Twitter, search terms such as the one in the example below are preceded by a hashtag (#).

The integrated feed plugin allows you to add an unlimited number of tweets to your website. / What: dev.twitter.com

Embedded tweets and Twitter feeds can also be configured via publish.twitter.com:

  • Get the Twitter content URL: Find the URL of the Twitter content you want to embed on your website.
  • Select the social plugin: choose the desired social plugin from publish.twitter.com, copy the URL into the input-form and click Preview.
  • Code integration into the website: copy the integration code generated by Twitter into the source code of your website.

Badge

With the badge plugin, you integrate your Google+ profile directly into your site. In this way, you signal to visitors that you can also be found on this social network. The Google badge plugin includes a preview of your profile, a preview image (which makes the display more attractive), the +1 button and the Follow function.

snippet

If people share a link on the social network to your website, Google+ automatically displays a preview (so-called snippet) that includes the page title, a brief description, and a visualization image. The system extracts the content data from the page of the shared URL. The corresponding information can be extracted by the following technologies:

  • Microdata markup
  • Open Graph protocol
  • Title and meta-description

Google uses them less and less. If the information can not be read in the desired format, Google tries to generate title, description and image from the content of the website.

In order to integrate Google+ interactive social media plugins into a website, JavaScript SDK is required, just like for Facebook. To integrate the plugin, it is necessary to place the code in front of the Body close tag of each webpage you want to link to Google+. You can then integrate as many plugins as you want on the corresponding page. The necessary snippets of code are configurable individually on developers.google.comCode.

Log-in with XING

Xing also offers a social plugin that allows your visitors to connect to your website or application via an existing social network profile. A long and tedious registration process is no longer necessary, which can raise possible brakes.

To integrate a social plugin from Xing, simply generate the required JavaScript code using the Code Configurator available on dev.xing.com/plugins  and integrate it into your online support; the script is inserted exactly where the source code where the button should appear on the page.

In addition, Xing introduces a social plugin for Microsoft Outlook 365 that automatically imports data from your Xing contacts into this messaging service.

Overview Social plugins for a successful website

Google does not consider as a relevant criterion for Google rank the number of followers that a website administrator can earn for its content. The likes and shares are also ignored for SEO.

Google might consider posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks as individual web pages that could in principle be indexed – but social networks generate much more new content daily than traditional websites, and all those web pages are actually not very relevant. In addition, Google, although at an extremely high level, ultimately works with limited resources. We can, therefore, assume that the leader of the search engines does not even try to browse and index the entire social Web.

In addition, content and connections on social networks are not fixed and can be very variable. Users can delete messages at any time, change their status, block friends, or give permissions. Each indexing would, therefore, be only instantaneous, with little real value. In addition, Google does not always have access to all content on Facebook, Twitter or other platforms. This does not mean that social plugins have no influence on the success of your website.

Quite logically, one could explain that well-ranked websites often have a significant number of social cues in that the first places on Google are often occupied by major brands known. The latter usually have their own departments for social media and strive to be very active on all networks.

It would be a mistake to take a social plugin for a pure SEO plugin. Instead of focusing solely on natural referencing, we advise you to focus on the benefits that you can draw from them, namely:

  • Social plugins allow you to spread your content more widely and help make it available to a wider readership.
  • Items with a viral effect are likely to bring you new visitors to your site and increase your traffic.
  • A strong presence on the most popular social networks can increase the notoriety of your company, your brand, and your products or services.
  • Each social media plugin serves as a point of contact with potential customers and can enhance their user experience.

So do not consider social plugins only in the context of your search engine optimization, but also and especially for issues of brand awareness, reputation, customer service, and to build trust and legitimacy with your potential customers.

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