2012

Methods of integrating your website with social media and how to learn more about your visitors

In today’s society, Social Networking has become an essential part of the World-Wide Web. People communicate, share information, observe media content and even maintain commerce throughout various forms of social networking.

That being said, it not difficult to conceive that Social Networks have accumulated a substantial amount of information in regards to the wants, needs, and desires of the world’s Internet users. So why not take advantage of all this information? In the process of developing your website, utilizing social media will allow you to:

  • Establish direct contact with the target audience
  • Enhance customer loyalty
  • Increase visibility of your brand or product
  • Clearly convey the main competitive advantage of the product
  • Obtain a marketing tool for the analysis of socio-demographic parameters of the target audience
  • We integrate your website with a social network by means of API (application programming interface) - a set of ready-made functions, structures, & constants provided by web-based application (in our case - a social network), which can be used to develop the website. Some functional integrations takes just minutes, others may take months to develop depending on Client needs.

Below we present the main methods of integration of a Web site with social networks. These methods can greatly simplify the process of developing the portal and bring new features to your project.

Module "I like"

“Remote Content Assessment Module” is available in most modern social networks. Its functionality is to allow you to evaluate any content on the website in one click. Some social networks have expanded the functionality of the module to include an option of reposting the entry unto itself. Using this module is useful in the process of development of the portal. It will contain a significant amount of unique content and a powerful flow of people who will be able to evaluate this content. This new customer, which goes to your site, will be able to understand the previous estimates, what material is worth reading. In their turn, the owners of resource will able to evaluate - what content is interesting for users and helps the website promotion.

Comments module

The use of the finished comments module from VKontakte and Facebook simplifying the process of web portal development providing you ready-made functional for discussing your site content.

Example of facebook comments module usage you can see on the news site of the bookmaker company PariMatch (here).

The benefits of using pre-fabricated comment modules include:

  • Easiness of integration – it’s enough put a few lines of code to place the module on a page.
  • Extensive functionality - in units implemented most of the necessary functions for the reference of discussion.
  • Absence of necessity to register - if the user is already logged in the social network, he has no additional need to login - he can immediately join in the discussion.

The main disadvantages of these modules are:

  • Very limited ability to be customized - finished comments modules have a range of standard options that can be changed, but if you want to change something in the module appearance - you will have to develop your own module.
  • The inability to extend the functionality - if, in addition to the functions available, in the future you will need to add the ability to assess the content and the comments of other visitors - still be a need for creating your own comment system.
  • No comments portability if necessary - if you really become necessary of implementing another commenting system - you will not be able to extract information about the old comments from the built-in module - so all the discussion will have to start "from scratch" that may adversely affect the users attitude to the resource.
  • Dependence on the availability of social networks - of course, the probability that any of the major social networks will cease to function in the near future is very low, but at the same time, in many companies, employees' access to social services is limited (to increase productivity), which, in its turn also prevent them from spending their time on your site, as part of the functionality will not be available to them.

Registration and authorization using social networks

This module greatly simplifies the user registration on your site - instead of filling required to register or login fields, user simply clicks on the button corresponding to the social network, and in one moment - he is a registered user of your site. Using this module in the development of the portal can significantly increase the number of registered users, and therefore increase the user activity potential on your site.

Example of registering through social network, you can quickly assess on one of our projects - service planning weddings WedNav. 

The advantages of this module are:

  • Easiness of using by the user
  • Opportunity to obtain additional information about the visitor, as well as his contacts (in case of confirmation of the user's permission)
  • The ability to publish entries on the users wall on his behalf

Some disadvantages are:

  • The lack of information about the user's email address (you can not contact the user when necessary)
  • Dependence on the availability of social networks (but in this case in contrast to comments module, if social network is not available to the user, then it was not available at the moment of registration and, therefore, he used the usual check-in)

Contact information Users

A very useful option of social networking - through social network, you as a site owner, can get information about users contacts. And then make a decision how to use this information. For example, service Foursquare when a new user registers on the site, checks – who of his Facebook social contacts is registered in the system, and in the case of a match shall notify both the fact that their friends are in the same service. 

More information about the user

If the user provides your portal access to the information in own social network profile, you have access to a very important and useful information - namely, his interests, information about social status, preferences, and date of birth. Only your imagination limits the use of this information - so that you can collect statistics about your target audience, understand - where are they from, what kind of music / movies / sports they like, what are their hobbies, and use this information in your ad campaigns , promotions and so on.

The above are only the basic methods of integrating Web site with social networks, which on the one hand, the most easy to implement, on the other hand - provide website owners a significant amount of new marketing tools to extend the functionality of a site, or to increase the level of conversion (depending on the tasks to be performed by site).

If you have any questions about ways to integrate your website with social networks, or questions about the practical implementation of this integration - you can ask them to representatives of our company, and we will be pleased to give you further clarification!