I’ve found when I’m reading an article that I like, I want to share it with my friends. I’ll tweet it or share it on facebook. Now there are tons of ways to do this without forcing people to open up their twitter client or potentially navigate away from your page to Facebook.
These tips work with widgets that work with SharePoint, WordPress, or other blogging platforms. The implementation may be slightly different. I was able to setup all these things with SharePoint.
1. Add the tweet button to share this on twitter – This one is nice and tight.
On a SharePoint blog you want to put this on the actual posts page, not the default homepage of your blog. You’ll add this in a content editor webpart.
I like that it can add the “via username” so people can recognize where the page content is coming from. It also allows the user to customize what is being tweeted and add commentary.
2. Add the facebook like button (or like box I do see them as different) with or without faces – It’s fun to see the profile pics of your friends that like your blog. It also encourages people to get more involved. Facebook recommends the like button over the share button capabilities.
Simply add your URL and choose whether or not you want to show faces and click get code. I recommend putting this one on your home page or significant landing page since it’s working with a static URL.
3. Build community around your blog with a facebook page – this will allow you to communicate with your readers and promote events, activities, posts and articles.
4. Consider other widgets such as the Facebook page Like Box which will help your blog readers find your page, and you’ll benefit by having the popular pages linked.
Try Recommendations which uses your friends shares to determine which posts you might be interested in. This takes a lot of the logic that you’d have to do with counting up comments which would be less accurate than using likes/shares.
5. Social Comments: Now that you have a mechanism for people to share, like, and tweet your content make sure people will see the content in those networks as well through – I’ve been surprised how much more interaction I have with people as a result of not just automating the blogs such as with twitterfeed.com, but actually posting them myself and responding to questions. Definitely don’t be afraid to put yourself out there on twitter. But even if you don’t want to add all your fans as friends on facebook, you can still interact with them on pages, and with facebook apps. My favorite blog network is networked blogs. It can import posts automatically into facebook and creates a special place where people can favorite your blog and has a great catalog and listing of blogs for discovery. Don’t skip out on enhancing your comments with facebook comment widget or with Disqus which is designed to interact with both facebook and twitter and has open id login and comment filtering.
There are a ton of other things you can do, but make sure you take performance into consideration. Every few months I look at the weight of the page and look at the new widgets and keep what’s working and rotate out what doesn’t.
Watch your traffic reports to see if twitter and facebook and your social interaction is working. I think you’d be surprised. Search still rules, so make sure you’re being indexed and SEO is all good, but interacting with your users will only encourage loyalty.