Look around at labor union websites today and you’ll notice that most lack a social media strategy when it comes to those little “follow us” social media buttons found on homepages. By placing the icons in the wrong location or designing them poorly, many labor union sites are costing their social media channels valuable, potential followers.
In response, I’ve come up with nine tips to help you avoid others’ mistakes and start winning over more followers. The great thing about these tips is that they are easy and require very little time on your part, but they can make a big impact on your social media efforts.
1. Don’t Hide Your Social Media Icons
Sounds like common sense, yet this remains one of the biggest problems among sites. A large number of them bury their icons in the footer or below the fold.
The graph below shows a poll by Nonprofit Tech 2.0 revealing that 41% of responders said they put their icons on the bottom of the page:
A better approach is to place your icons above the fold to give visitors a better chance of seeing them.
2. Entice Your Website’s Visitors
Try to get away from bland social media buttons. Grab your online audience’s attention with icons that suggest that your social media is fun and, well, social.
3. Don’t Use Tiny Buttons
Seeing so many sites use extremely small icons makes me wonder whether or not they want followers, especially as more people are using devices like cell phones where small screens and big thumbs don’t play nice with tiny icons.
4. Literally Tell Your Visitors To Follow Your Social Media
This was the biggest surprise for me: hardly any websites tell visitors what the icons are for.
I was talking to a friend of mine who told me that she didn’t know that social media icons are clickable. She thought the icons were merely to inform people that a site uses social media.
Some of your site’s visitors could fail to make the connection as well. For example, you kno w that the “t” icon on your site is for Twitter. But some of your site’s visitors might not. And even if they do know, they might fail to recognize that they can click the icon to follow your organization.
Have some fun. Maybe do some A/B testing. Branch out and try completely different approaches that no one uses. Your imagination is the limit.
One of my favorite examples of a creative icon is the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s Twitter button:
6. Use Social Media Icons That Fit In With Your Site’s Design
Here are some examples of well-integrated icons:
7. Don’t Camouflage Your Icons
I have seen this a bit. Organizations blend their icons too much with the design of their sites, resulting in fewer visitors noticing them.
8. Hire A Freelance Graphic Designer
If you want custom, eye-popping, attractive designs that fit your site’s look and feel, consider hiring a graphic designer. They’re great at these kind of things and they often charge a modest rate relative to what you get in return.
9. Or Use Free Social Media Icons
Below are three great links of free icons that you can throw on your site in no time:
50 sets of free icons from Noupe
60 sets from Designrfix
And 50 from 1stwebdesigner
Need help with your union’s social media? I offer a free social media audit to pinpoint problems and opportunities for your union. Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Connect with me at Google+ at Sahid Fawaz