We’ve recently added some new links to our How To section describing how you can integrate social media with your website.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Delicious, StumbleUpon and Digg
  • Share This

In the simplest cases, you might just want to use a text link or button to link across to your Facebook or Twitter page. But you might also want to make it easier for readers to Like your post within Facebook, or to Digg your post, add it to StumbleUpon.com or Delicious.com.

There are a gazillion other social media sites, so you might want to use Share This to open up a lot more options. And if you like Twitter, perhaps you’d like options to automatically tweet new blog posts, and display links to all your tweets from your website. All of these options are described in the How To articles above.

But it all comes down to time. Ultimately small businesses have to decide where to allocate time. With unlimited time, we could easily keep posting to our blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as all the other social media sites relevant to us …

In practice however, I often suggest to clients that their first priority should be to use their blog (which will give you better results from Google). Each new blog post can help build authority for your website and attract new search engine visitors. And better still, attract new links to your website.

When your blog is working for you – keep it going, it just gets better over time.

So what about Facebook and Twitter? All of the small businesses I’ve worked with are getting a lot more benefit from Google than Facebook or Twitter. So if you had to choose, I’d go with Google first, which means using your blog.

Getting business value out of Facebook and Twitter involves different skills. You need to think carefully about what you are using these tools for, who you are aiming to reach, and what information needs to be shared to achieve this. Even if you do it all well, you may still find that when you look at Google Analytics for what actually happens, the volume of leads/sales coming from Facebook and/or Twitter pales into insignificance alongside Google.

But there are some businesses that have learnt how to use Facebook and Twitter really well – if you want to emulate them, do your research and be prepared to put in the time to follow through with your plan.