The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Social Media Buttons

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29544/The-Ultimate-Cheat-Sheet-for-Creating-Social-Media-Buttons.aspx

 

by Pamela Vaughan

 

Follow Buttons vs. Share Buttons

The first step in understanding the nuances of all the various social media buttons is being able to differentiate between social media sharing buttons/links and social media follow buttons, and identify which type of button you should be using. So let's clear that up right now.

Social Media Follow Buttons

These buttons serve to promote your business' presence on various social networks and help you generate fans/followers for those particular accounts. By placing these buttons on your business' website, you can help to create visibility for your social media accounts and easily extend your reach there. You can put these buttons anywhere on your website, but we recommend at least placing these buttons on your website's main homepage, your 'About Us' page, and your blog's homepage/sidebar. The Twitter Follow Button, Facebook Follow Button, and LinkedIn Company Follow Plugin (and more) we'll cover in this article all serve as social media follow buttons.

Social Media Share Links/Buttons

These links and buttons enable your website visitors and content viewers to easily share your content with their social media connections and networks. Adding these buttons to your content allows you to expand the reach of your content to new audiences and generate new visitors back to your website. You should add social media sharing links/buttons to every piece of content you create, including landing pages, web pages, individual blog articles, email content, etc. The Tweet/Share Button, Facebook Like Button, And LinkedIn Share Button (and more) we'll cover in this article all serve as social media sharing buttons.

Now let's dive into the most important social media buttons available for each of the top five social networks.

 

The Hidden Benefits of Social Media Marketing: Why Your Strategy May Be Working Better Than You Think

Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/03/12/the-hidden-benefits-of-social-media-marketing-why-your-strategy-may-be-working-better-than-you-think/

Stephanie Chandler, Contributor

Most businesses venture into social media expecting to see a big return on investment. The hope is that new customers will come in droves, and that the benefits and revenue generation will be huge. However, this is rarely the case. It takes time to build momentum with social media, and the benefits aren’t always as obvious as we would like.

If you’re feeling a bit skeptical about social media marketing and whether or not it’s worth the effort, following are some reasons why it may be working better than you realize.

1. Brand Recognition – One of the most powerful ways to use social media is as a brand-building tool. With social media, you get to decide how you want to position your company and what you want people to know about what you do. With consistent effort and great content, you can build a reputation for your brand around your company’s values, benefits, and advantages.

2. Community – There is nothing like social media when it comes to cultivating a community. When your followers become part of your community, you gain instant access to them. That means you can find out what challenges they are facing and what they like and don’t like about your offerings. You can engage in ongoing dialog that can be more valuable than any kind of paid market research.

3. Repeat Exposure – There is an old marketing adage that says it takes six to eight exposures to a product before a customer decides to buy. A clear benefit of social media is repeat exposure with your network. You have the opportunity to remind them over and over again about what you have to offer, which can shorten your sales cycles dramatically.

4. Authority – For coaches, consultants, authors, speakers, and other service-based businesses, social media can be very powerful in helping you establish authority in your field—making you the go-to resource for your target audience to seek out for help. Share great content, answer questions, and serve your audience, and you will inevitably build loyal fans.

5. Influence – As your following increases, your influence grows. Having a substantial social media audience creates a snowball effect that can attract new customers, media interviews, joint venture partnerships, and all kinds of other opportunities. It’s a bit like when you see a crowd hovered around something. You can’t help but want to see what all the fuss is about, so a large audience will only attract more interest.

6. Website Traffic – Many people don’t realize that social media can be a leading traffic generator. When you share blog posts, videos and other content from your website, you give your audience a reason to click through and visit your site. Once there, you have the opportunity to inspire those visitors to take action by inviting them to sign up for your mailing list, make a purchase, or call to schedule a free consultation. Install traffic monitoring service, such as Google Analytics, and if you are committed to your social media efforts, you will clearly see that social media brings traffic. Also, make sure that your visitors receive a clear call to action when they visit your site so that you can convert that extra traffic into business opportunities.

7. Ahead of the Curve – Whether you realize it or not, your prospects and clients are checking to see if you are engaging in social media. I always find it a bit odd when I’m investigating a potential service provider online and I can’t locate a social media presence or worse, I find Facebook pages that haven’t been updated in months, empty Twitter feeds, and a clear lack of interest in engaging. Social media isn’t a fad and it’s not going away. Even if it’s not your top priority, if you stay current with activity, your prospects will notice.

8. Mindshare with Lurkers – There may be days when you wonder if anyone is paying attention to your social media networks. But if your efforts are consistent, I guarantee that more people are paying attention than you realize. Give it time and you’ll start to understand what’s happening behind the anonymity of the internet. You will eventually hear from people who say, “I’ve been following you on Twitter for ages. I love your posts!”

9. Competitive Advantage – The reality is that most of your competitors aren’t likely doing a very good job with social media (most companies aren’t), which gives you the chance to stand out. Also consider the flip side. If you avoid social media, you leave a big opening that allows your competitors to capture your audience.

10. Big Wins – While many businesses large and small are trying to justify the cost and time investment for managing social media marketing, an important benefit often gets overlooked: Big Wins. For example, if someone from LinkedIn connects you with a significant government contract, then that would certainly qualify as a Big Win. If a major media outlet finds you on Twitter and interviews you for a national article, then that is also a Big Win—one that you can’t measure based on revenues directly generated.

Big Wins don’t happen often, but when they do, they make it all worthwhile. It’s easy to forget results like these six months down the road you’re trying to assess whether your social media efforts are paying off. But that one contract you landed could cover your social media marketing costs for years. And that major media interview could lead to subsequent interviews and a line item on your resume that impresses a corporate sponsor three years from now. Never forget to factor in the Big Wins in social media.

 

Squarespace vs WordPress – Ease of Use

Last updated on May 29, 2014 By Jeremy Wong
http://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/squarespace-vs-wordpress/

The learning curve of WordPress is a lot steeper than Squarespace.  WordPress is a very powerful platform and because you can potentially modify the codes, a skilled developer can customize a WordPress however he/she wants to. But are you a skilled developer?

With Squarespace, even though it is a bit more restrictive when it comes to customizing a website, Squarespace is built in a way that it is a lot easier for a non-tech savvy person to learn how to use it.

Squarespace is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website builder. Meaning that when you drag and drop pictures, text, slideshows, etc directly into the website builder, you immediately get a glimpse of how the website will look like “live” as you are building the website.

With WordPress, when you are inserting information, you can’t see what it really looks like on the page until your Preview the page or Publish it.

Further, with a drag and drop builder such as Squarespace, you can quickly and easily drag content into the website and position it however you want for each of your webpage.  In other words, you can pretty much create any layout you want since you just need to drag and drop content, however you want, on to the page.  You don’t need to know how to code or need any external tools to help you do this.

With WordPress, if you want to adjust the spacing of where the images sit, or add a slideshow on the top right corner of one page, and on the lower left corner of another page, this gets very tricky.  You may need to modify codes to accomplish this, or spend hours looking for the right WordPress plugin to help you accomplish this task.  Not to mention you won’t really know if the plugin will eventually cause issues with your website.

SUMMARY

Squarespace makes it easy for beginners to advance level users to build websites.  The fact that you can drag and drop content wherever and however you want, makes it a much user friendly way to build your website without committing weeks to learn how to use WordPress properly.

Although WordPress is a much more powerful platform, if you don’t want to dive face first into learning the technology of how to work it, or spend what can potentially be a lot of money to hire developers or designers to help you create a website, I’d suggest you give Squarespace a try.

Squarespace vs WordPress – Our Detailed Comparison

Squarespace vs WordPress – Flexibility

Simplistically, WordPress is an open source platform, meaning that their codes are open to everybody to use and customize.  So any developers / programmers can use WordPress to create their own tools (such as templates / themes or plugins) to share for free, or sell to WordPress users.

Due to a broad range of tools being made available, the WordPress community has grown to more than 65 million websites since the end of 2011, and has no signs of slowing down as more people start to build websites.

It’s hard to beat such a large community when every single feature you can imagine to be built into a website is available either for free or for purchase if you decide to use WordPress.

However, one of the biggest problems with allowing anyone to build plugins for WordPress is that the quality of the tools can either be great, or they can be terrible.  In our observation, there are probably way more terrible plugins than great ones.

Since the WordPress community is so large, it’s practically impossible to police the quality of all the tools being created.  So WordPress being an open source platform really is a double-edge sword – lots of tools, but most of them are mediocre or terrible.

As for Squarespace, which is not an open source website builder, means that their platform is gated off so only their own in-house development team can produce tools for users.  The benefit of this is that all their tools will be high quality and fully integrated into their website builder.

If you want to build a website, it’s nice to know that all the tools that you use have been thoroughly tested to ensure that it works perfectly every single time.  It’s also nice to know if you run into questions or problems, the Squarespace team will be there to assist.  Squarespace has made a commitment to answer all questions within 1 hour – you just don’t get that level of commitment from WordPress.

As for Squarespace, which is not an open source website builder, means that their platform is gated off so only their own in-house development team can produce tools for users.  The benefit of this is that all their tools will be high quality and fully integrated into their website builder.

If you want to build a website, it’s nice to know that all the tools that you use have been thoroughly tested to ensure that it works perfectly every single time.  It’s also nice to know if you run into questions or problems, the Squarespace team will be there to assist.  Squarespace has made a commitment to answer all questions within 1 hour – you just don’t get that level of commitment from WordPress.

SUMMARY

While with WordPress, you can have access to thousands of different tools and plugins to help improve your website, you should be aware that a significant number of these WordPress tools may not be built by good developers.

If you do end up using some of these poor WordPress plugins, it may potentially cause conflicts with your website resulting in poorer performance, cross-browser conflicts, or even crashing your website.

If that happens, you ask the developer of the plugin for help but keep in mind that:
They’re not obligated to help if the plugin is free. You won’t be able to pinpoint which specific plugin caused the conflict if you have multiple plugins installed

With Squarespace, everything is closely controlled, monitored and tested within their own environment.  This will give you peace of mind that your website will be conflict-free, so you can focus on more important things instead of fixing your website. Further, their support team is there 24/7 to help you.