Last Friday I attended WebDevConf 2013 in Bristol where web developers, designers and even those just interested in making the web better got together to meet up and listen to some really interesting and inspiring talks.
One talk that I thought was really relevant was the one given by Luke Murphy-Wearmouth about not keeping social media separate to your website but to integrate it in the right way and that your website should be social by design.
Luke started by mentioning that there were 3 main social interactions: share, subscribe and discuss and that we want social validation and reciprocity.
Use common sense when sharing pages. There are certain websites that go the ‘easy’ way and just put “Share this page” as part of the template so that it appears on every page. This is not always the most appropriate implementation. He took an example of a booking site where it got to the payment screen so you could enter your credit card details but at the top it said “Share this page”. Why on earth would a user want to share their payment details on their social networks? He also discussed positioning where a website puts a summary of an article at the top of a page with “Tweet this” underneath it before the actual article itself or even have the share or tweet this buttons before the article. Not only does this break the flow of the page but would users really want to tweet or share pages before they have even read the article?
Two good examples of integrating social media are:
- On a retail site selling clothes asking you to “ask your Twitter followers or Facebook friends if this would suit you”
- On an event booking site adding a social media API such as Doodle so that when you are looking to book a ticket you can you can use this to find out what date and time is better for your friends.
Talking about making purchases on the web, some sites have a “go back to the previous page” on the booking confirmation screen where the last page was the payment details screen. Think about why a user would need or even want to go back to this page.
Above all, use common sense and think about the integration of social media rather than treating them as 2 separate entities.