There is something very special about social media marketing and how it forces consumers to participate in it.
Hootsuite’s 2018 Social Media Barometer says there are now more than 3.2 billion global consumers active on social media. With such a large portion of the population actively engaged in social media, it is not surprising that 67% of business executives surveyed in the report said that social media marketing improves their bottom line.
As a web designer, you can take that knowledge and keep doing what everyone else is doing with it:
- Add “connection” icons to the header;
- Paste the “share” icons in the scrollable blog sidebar;
- Embed YouTube videos.
Or you can find unique ways to infuse your web design with a dash of social networking.
Unique ways to use social media in web design
Obviously, I’m not telling you to turn your site into a social network or a rolling photo grid. Instead, I would encourage you to think outside the box and consider how you can apply the strengths of social media creatively to your design.
Here are some real-life examples to inspire you:
- ADD HASHTAGS AND HANDLES TO THE DESIGN
When you think about what makes social media so different from other types of marketing, you probably think of hashtags (#) and identifiers (@). They are simple symbols that we used long before social networks were invented, yet they now have a special meaning for most of us.
If it makes sense for your brand (i.e. you have a younger audience and are also active on social media), hashtags and identifiers can add a really cool touch to your web design.
Hashtags can also be used for strictly self-promotional purposes and do not need to have such a predominant placement in the design.
As users scroll to a new topic on the page, the hashtag changes. Think of it the same way you would use heading tags in a blog post or on a website page. It just adds a bolder touch.
- USE NOTIFICATION TICKERS
Given how ubiquitous email and social media have become in consumers’ lives, there is no denying the appeal of the pending message notification. You know what I’m talking about.
- DESIGN A TIMELINE
With most social network feeds, we are presented with a chronological timeline of our activity as well as those we have connected to. There is something very appealing about this design, in general, as it allows us to get a sense of someone’s history.
And what is a website if not the “story” of a brand and its mission to serve its consumers?
When you think about it, this is really no different than why we, as consumers, take photos and post them online. We want to share the highlights of our lives, and brands can do something similar with their websites.
- TALK TO VISITORS WITH QUESTIONNAIRES AND CHAT UIS
Let’s face it: many times, a website feels like a digital brochure. “Here’s our business. Learn about us and get in touch.” I think that’s why so many people flock to social media today; to learn more about and engage with companies.
Of course, there are many ways you can improve your web design to make the experience less boring. A timely pop-up window or an eye-catching animation can help. Gamified elements such as timers are also a nice touch.
Besides placing a live chat on your website, which someone then has to manage, there has to be another way you can make your web design really talk to your visitors. Right?
Social networks play an important role in the marketing efforts of modern companies. But when it comes to websites, why do we only see small glimpses of them in the form of social media sharing icons or embedded news feeds?
I would argue that we should think more abstractly about the strengths of social networks. Then, apply those same principles and unique elements to web design to make it even better. If you need to outsource this work, do not hesitate to contact Acorn. Shall we talk?