How To Add A Social Media Toolbar To Your Website

social media

Photo: Gary Hayes

A social media toolbar consolidates your entire social media presence into your website and displays buttons that allow your visitors to interact with your content in a toolbar on the bottom of the browser screen. That way, your visitors can like, tweet, share, discuss, review and read all of your social media content without navigating away from your website.

What should be in your toolbar? We recommend these 10 features >>

Social media toolbars are available from several companies, and they are easy to add to your website, even if you’re a do-it-yourselfer. I like Meebo and Wibiya, but you can find other toolbar applications to suit your needs.

To add a toolbar to your site, sign up for an account with your favourite application provider, and then follow the instructions for copying the toolbar code into your website. Once the code is in your website’s HTML code, the toolbar will display at the bottom of the screen.

Once the toolbar is active, you can log in to the application’s dashboard to customise it. You can add and delete buttons or chat live with site visitors. All the changes made in your dashboard are automatically sent to your toolbar so you don’t have to keep updating your website code. You can also add completely custom buttons and features if you are familiar with simple JavaScript coding, or hire a programmer who is.

This list shows you the features you should consider adding to your toolbar, along with a description of what each feature does. Make sure you choose only the features that are likely to promote awareness and immediate sales. As with any website content, less is usually more.

1. Facebook Interactions

Enables visitors to like, share and discuss your website content on Facebook.

Also pulls your Facebook fan page feeds into the toolbar so website visitors can read your wall, register for events and interact with other applications such as contests and coupons.

Twitter Feed

Allows visitors to view tweets from your Twitter page, lists and searches without the need to devote a lot of space on your website to a Twitter widget.

Content Sharing

Allows visitors to share an entire page or drag content such as a photo to share on Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, Yahoo! or via e-mail.

Blog Feed

Pulls your blog's RSS feed into your toolbar.

Instant Messaging

Gives your visitors access to a chat room where they can have live discussions with you, your employees and others using any instant messaging ser-vice, such as Yahoo!, AOL, Facebook Chat, or Google Talk.

Bookmarking

Makes it easy for website visitors to add your website's page to a bookmarking site like Digg or StumbleUpon.

Navigation

Puts important links in a toolbar menu that's easy for people to see and stays on every page without taking up too much navigation space.

Commenting and Recommendations

Allows your website visitors to leave comments that others will see when they visit the same page.

Watching Video

Pulls videos from YouTube and other sites to your website.

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