UPDATE: As of October 2018, Google+ is no longer a viable social media platform.
Ideally, your author website should be a one-stop shop for all things concerning YOU. If people visit your author website to read your blog and become interested enough to keep following your writing career, they should be able to do so easily. But the more clicks or steps it takes to connect with you on social media, the less likely your visitor is to follow through.
By not integrating social media into your blog, you run the risk of losing potential fans within a few mouse clicks. Here are a few tools to help you integrate social networks into your author website’s blog.
Social Share Buttons
Use social share buttons along the top or sides of your blog and make your content shareable via the social media outlets you prefer. These buttons are quick and easy to use—something visitors to your site will appreciate. And you’ll appreciate the increased visibility!
Check out this special cheat sheet to add social share buttons to your blog.
Integrating Facebook and Twitter
Jetpack, which was developed by the makers of WordPress, is chock-full of useful tools. One of its features is “Publicize,” which will auto-share the title of your post with a link to the content on multiple social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.
In addition to automatically posting content to your social media profiles, you can use Jetpack to add Facebook and Twitter widgets to your site’s sidebar. They’re easy to set up and, most importantly, eye-catching enough to draw visitors seamlessly from your site to your profiles. With these widgets, your blog’s readers can Like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter—all without leaving your site. Read more about how to get visitors to stay on your site.
Note: Jetpack is specifically for author websites built on WordPress. If you’d like to add this functionality to your site manually—or if you don’t use WordPress to power your website—you can try any of the social plug-ins Facebook has to offer, as well as the official Twitter widget.
Goodreads is an especially helpful social media platform for bloggers with books to promote. If you’d like people to add your book to their Goodreads bookshelves, use the Add to My Books widget from the official Goodreads API. Simply punch in your book’s ID or ISBN number, paste the automatically generated code where you want the widget to appear on your site, and you’re in business!
Want to share the awesome reviews your book has been getting on Goodreads? You can add their Reviews widget to your site as well! Not only will it help show off the good things people have been saying about your book—it just might encourage other readers to chime in with reviews of their own.
TIP: Add these widgets to each of your book pages, as well as the sidebar of your blog. That way, potential readers don’t have to go out of their way to find them.
Integrating Google Plus
Like most social networks, Google+ provides easy-to-use widgets that anyone can add to his or her author website with a little bit of code. G+ badges are a great way to encourage people to add you to their circles, allowing them to connect with you on G+ down the line.
Showcase your Instagram photos on your blog by clicking on the three dots on the bottom right corner of your Instagram photo to retrieve the embed code. Instagram photos can add pizzazz to blog posts and increase your Instagram following as well!
When you integrate your social networks into your blog, you make it easier for readers to stay in touch and plugged into your writing career. That way, you can keep them coming back for more! But remember that social media technology is ever-evolving. The plug-ins and widgets you installed last year may be obsolete today, so test your website’s integration tools regularly. And don’t feel pressured to jump on the latest social media bandwagon without doing some solid research.
Question: In what ways have YOU integrated social media into your blog?