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Making Your Small Business Website Work Overtime

Author: Debbie Campbell   |   July 11th, 2010

Social media tools like Twitter and Facebook (once primarily the venue of college students, but now a highly effective networking and marketing tool in its own right) are great for small business owners. Twitter lets people get to know you by allowing you to post short 140-character updates – tweets – about what you’re doing, business news, resources you want to share, customer service responses, and more.

Nearly half of social media hits to websites now come from Facebook. With Facebook pages, you can create a mini-version of your business site and build your community of business “fans.”

But who has time to keep up with all of that?

If you’re using WordPress, you don’t have to.blogging

WordPress started out as blogging software, but it’s become an excellent content management tool as well. I always recommend that my business clients consider blogging; WordPress is my platform of choice because of its relatively easy-to-learn administration area and great flexibility.

Thousands of available addons means that you can do just about anything with WordPress. And website owners can use WordPress to grow their sites by adding new pages on the fly, as well as blog posts. Fresh content makes Google happy!

So –  what did I mean about saving time? You can integrate Twitter, Facebook and WordPress to the point where posting on one automatically posts on the others – saving you time and effort. You can get three posts for the price of one, in other words.

Here are just a few of the many ways you can integrate your WordPress website and social media tools.

Post an update and a link on Twitter whenever you post in your WordPress blog – and vice versa.

Add a new post to your blog and your Twitter followers will see a  link to your latest post. Or, make each tweet create a new post in your blog.

Resource: Twitter for WordPress

Post an update in your blog and display it in your Facebook page.

Add a new post to your blog and your Facebook fans see it instantly – or set it up for manual updates, so you can control what gets published on your wall.

Resource: Simple Facebook Connect

Add Twitter and Facebook social media buttons to your website.

Let your blog readers know that you have a business presence on Twitter and Facebook. Put the icons or button links in a place where they’ll stand out – in the header, footer or top of the sidebar. These will link directly to your page or profile in Twitter and Facebook. They can be the typical little square icon or a bigger, more noticeable graphical button, whichever works best with your site’s design.

Resource: The Best Social Media Icons All in One Place

Show your latest Twitter posts in your WordPress site.

Use a plugin to display your latest tweets in a widget (a WordPress sidebar element) – you can choose the number of tweets to show, and it’s updated instantly whenever you tweet. You can also display them in a page if your site doesn’t use widgets.

Resource: Twitter Tools

Show a live stream of Facebook updates in your WordPress site.

Use a plugin to display your latest Facebook page updates in a widget.

Resource: Simple Facebook Connect

Display your Facebook status in your WordPress site.

The status line shows up at the top of your Facebook page and changes with each wall update. Show your status in a WordPress widget.

Resource: Simple Facebook Connect

Add a  Facebook ‘Like’ button below each WordPress blog post.

Make it easy for people to ‘like’ your Facebook page (become a fan) by giving them a link following every blog post. It’s also a good idea to give your blog readers the ability to promote your site on other social media platforms – plugins like Sociable provide a list of icons under each blog post just for that purpose.

Debbie

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