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Marketing | Social Media

Social media are now so fully integrated into everything web related you can’t really ignore their importance. Your web presence is an important part of marketing. (I know ick) You should have a website, Facebook public profile, a twitter feed and a blog. Google+ is probably a good idea but I've been lame about that as far as a feed goes. You should also have a share button under your pages and blog posts. And in general keep in mind that a lot of what makes the web work is interaction. Once you have all these things you need to connect them together. Here is what I have gathered.


Twitter.
There are a lot of ways you can link Twitter to your webpage including the little window you see on my front page and the follow button at the bottom. All you need to do is check out this page and plug in the detail, yank the code and copy and paste.

The process from there is dead easy. You pick the option you want, plug in some information, the tool spits back code and you copy and paste it into the code for your website. The location you choose is completely up to you. You do not need to download an image for this. The widget provides the picture. (A widget is basically a component of a website that allows you to do a specific thing and in this case it is coded by Twitter.) The only trick is, you won't see quite what it looks like until it goes live so you are stuck looking at text while testing your pages offline. (such is the way of many widgets)

Twitter’s help pages are awesome. They are clear, simple and they allow you to personalize the look of the application. Unlike the other social media giant.


Facebook
I found Facebook's help profiles to be confusing at first. Now that I know the steps it is a little more simple. But if you just bumble around following links it gets very confusing.

Here is what you need to do in order to get a like button. (A prerequisite for any other function)

To get to the developers page you can either do a google search for "Facebook developer" or click this link. I’m sure there is a way to do it within Facebook but googling was faster.

Then you would select build for websites. At which point you may be overwhelmed by the slew of information. Facebook has a lot of applications for you to choose from and kinda tosses them all up there for you to look at. They have help files but they didn’t seem to help me much. Not to worry, it’s a lot less complicated than it seems.

First of all ignore the sample code in the pages. They’re only there for description which you don’t need yet. (But may be useful to check your work later)

In order to do anything at all you need to make an App.. To do this you can either navigate to tools in the top left hand corner or click this link. There you will see the option to make an App. in the top right hand corner. They will ask for your details and either a credit card or mobile number to verify you. (You do not need to pay money to make an App.)

And in case you are confused like I was, an App. isn’t always a game or something used in public. In these circumstances it is a way to interact with the Facebook system.

Once you have your App. you will need to use the open graph protocol to integrate your website with Facebook. You can read about it here. But the easiest thing to do is go straight to the tool that generates code for you, which you can find here

They say to get the like button first. I disagree. It’s your choice the tools are on the same page.

For the open graph protocol simply scroll down, plug in the details and let Facebook spit back the meta tags with all the information you need. You then copy and paste the information with the other meta data on the top of your website’s code.

For the like button there are some options to go with. The easiest, most pain-free way is to uncheck the send option and generate an iframe version. It’s basic but requires minimal understanding of anything.

You yank the code and paste it where you want it to be. Then if you are like me, you might have to rearrange things because the padding on the tool is wide. But that’s pretty easy to deal with.

And viola you have your like button. You can use a Facebook tool to check your work. And you have now opened your way to do all the complicated things Facebook offers like add comments and such.

As for the share button. I use a generic share button called addtoany. There are others that do the same thing (or more) and once you have the code you can fiddle with it manually so you don’t need to go to their website every time. Like the rest it’s plug and place. Or rather copy and paste. But you get the idea


Google Plus
Google+ is totally and utterly confusing. Which is why I don't have it. If you understand more about websites than do you can follow this link (Or do a google search if you insist). But frankly adding Google+ to my site is going to require reading a whole lot of documentation and it's all geared towards the advanced developer. I'll update this page once I learn how to tweak the javascript (Yeah I'm not kidding).


The whole social media scene is a confounding mess if you only know what you need to do but not how to do it. But once you have the basics under control it gets easier. Well so far. I haven’t tried to add comments yet.


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