Using platforms like Instagram and Facebook, small businesses can connect with customers in a direct, personal way. However, some regular customers may not be aware of your social media presence. One way to build a stronger online following is to embed Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest feeds and profiles directly into your website.
"In my experience, this has only been advantageous," said Kadeem Fyffe, a NYC-based fashion designer and head of design at WOLACO. "Small business owners should take full advantage of social media. In this climate, not having social media embedded into your website makes your brand look unprofessional and out of touch."
The overall process for embedding a feed or profile on your site is to build a widget and directly input its HTML code into your website's code. Building each widget or plug-in will vary depending on which platform you're looking to include. The process, however, is relatively simple, if you have a general understanding of website coding. If you're working with a site through WordPress or Wix, you can use separate widgets provided by these companies.
If, however, you're interested in doing it on your own, we've outlined the steps for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. [Related: Interested in social media marketing tools? Visit our sister site Business.com for a list of the best social media marketing tools.]
Unlike other social media sites, Facebook provides a plug-in generator for embedding your profile or feed on your website. Creating a page plug-in is as simple as inputting your Facebook Page URL, setting the width and height, and toggling the display options.
Instagram doesn't provide users with a plug-in generator like Facebook. In fact, Instagram only offers instructions for users on embedding an individual post. If you're looking to embed an entire Instagram profile or feed, you may have to work with a third party.
Luckily, there are a few free tools to help you include your Instagram feed on your website. InstaWidget, for example, is one of many resources small business owners can use. It works like Facebook's plug-in generator: Input your Instagram username, toggle the features and sizing, and copy and embed the code. In addition to InstaWidget, there are other solutions like LightWidget and Stadget. Regardless of which tool you use, including your Instagram feed on your website can help drive sales.
"We link Facebook and Instagram, and have found Instagram to be the most useful for traffic and sales," Fyffe said.
Embedding a Twitter feed involves creating a widget on your business's profile. There's no generator – you need to go into settings and create a widget to copy and paste the code. The overall process is as follows:
Click your profile picture in the top right > Settings and Privacy > Widgets > Create New.
Twitter will then ask if you want to create a widget that embeds a profile, list, collection, search or likes. Depending on what you click, enter the twitter URL and follow the instructions on the screen. Click Copy Code to add the widget to your website.Credit: Twitter
Pinterest provides users with a widget builder, so you can follow the site's instructions to get code for your business's website. You have the option to create a save or follow button, pin, board or profile. Once you input your Pinterest board URL and adjust the size, the proper code will be ready for your website.Credit: Pinterest
In addition to embedding social feeds on your own, you can partner with another company to display your social media feeds in various places on your website. This is also ideal if you have limited coding experience.
These companies will add social feeds to your website, keep them up to date and ensure that your feeds remain sleek and natural in your website's progression. The pricing model varies depending on which company you decide to use.
Embedding social media feeds and profiles on your website can help verify your web presence and increase interactions with customers. As a small business, connecting with web visitors is what can separate your business from larger enterprises. By including social media feeds – even if they are only in the form of follow buttons – you can ensure that valuable customers are aware of your online presence.
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