How do you link Facebook and Twitter

Network your website and social media properly

When it comes to networking, the right way to link websites and social media is often forgotten. Fans are more likely to be bought than to make it easier for those who would like to become followers to find the relevant presences. The respective platform is scolded because the content of your own website looks so strange when it is linked, instead of worrying about the right equipment for this website. Therefore, it is intended to show in six steps what to look out for when networking the website and social media.

We originally published this article in March 2015 and last updated it in March 2019.

The website is seen as the basis and therefore the point of reference for all communication on the web. Presence on Facebook and Co. represent outposts of this basis. Via these outposts own content and that of others can be passed on, information exchanged, questions answered and the network maintained.

But just having these presences is not enough. Each and every one of them must be easy to find, regardless of where the visitor gets in. All presences together should be meaningfully linked to one another.

Step 1: ensure recognizability

Yes, there is often a lack of such basics. And the different, constantly changing dimensions of cover and profile pictures in the various social media channels don't exactly make it any easier. Nevertheless, one should make sure that at least the profile picture is the same everywhere and can be easily recognized. Cover pictures are more of a decoration, but should also promote recognition.

If you use a logo as a profile picture, you should make sure that it is legible in both a square and a round cut, as the platforms like to change their appearance from time to time. Since it is also included as an avatar in a smaller form with every post, it should not have too many details and good contrast. If the profile photo is a person photo, it should be the same everywhere, come across as personable as possible (smile at the camera) and match the occasion.

Even more important than the design is the name given to the Facebook page, Twitter account and Co. Wherever possible, this name should be the same as the one used on the website. And without slogans or other additions.

The freestyle is then the name address (vanity url) of such a presence. This should also - if available - be as identical as possible, e.g. and on Twitter and Instagram.

Step 2: Link the website and legal notice from social media

A must when creating social media presences is the linking of your own website and the imprint there. Some platforms offer separate form fields for this, such as Facebook or Xing. There you can, on the one hand, link the website and, on the other hand, enter the imprint information directly. Where there is only one link option, a link must be made directly to the imprint, e.g. on Instagram. The imprint link should be meaningful, i.e. it should be called if possible. It is important that the imprint - regardless of where you enter the respective platform - is directly accessible with two clicks.

Step 3: Make social media presences findable from the website

There are several ways to refer from your base to the outposts on the social web. Usually you use the logo icons of the platform you want to refer to. These icons either come from the layout of the website in question (some WordPress themes already provide some), or you can use the ones provided by the individual platforms:

There are various options for the sensible placement of these icons on the website. It is only important to place them in the same place on each individual page of the website and to clearly differentiate them in appearance from the share buttons (see step 4)! Usually they are therefore placed in the head, at the top of the sidebar or in the footer of the website, but not in the content area.

Step 4: facilitate sharing

In order to make it easier for visitors to your own website to pass on the content there, share buttons should be installed. As already explained in step 3, these buttons should be clearly different from the icons that are used to refer to your social media presence. Nevertheless, they should be able to be assigned to the individual platforms at first glance.

For data protection reasons, you should not use plugins or other solutions that are not based on static links. This prevents data about the visitor from being transmitted to the respective platform before the visitor has even clicked on the share button.

  • The Shariff Wrapper plugin is recommended for WordPress: https://de.wordpress.org/plugins/shariff/
  • For other systems, look for the heise Shariff solution or another one that uses static links

Share buttons are usually placed at the end of a piece of content (blog article or static page). Some recommend placing them at the beginning as well. Others choose a variant that scrolls along with the content. It is important that the chosen solution works both via desktop browser and mobile.

Step 5: Optimize your website for sharing

The share buttons alone are not enough. If you want to achieve optimal relay results, you have to prepare your website in the source code for what is especially important for Facebook:

Facebook therefore provides its own metatags (lines of code to supplement the source code of the website, called Open Graph Tags), but they also work elsewhere. The two most important are:

  • for the preview image:
  • for the description:

These meta tags only need to be entered in the header of a website or they can be added using an SEO plugin.

All Open Graph tags can be found at: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/web/webmasters/.

By the way: To check whether the optimization works, test the URL of the relevant page with the Facebook Debugger at https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/.

Step 6: How it works with sharing

Now the technical prerequisites have been created on the website to start spreading the word. Unfortunately, many get it wrong there again. So here's a little sharing guide:

Share your own content

Posts in social media that should refer to your own external content (e.g. in the blog) can be implemented in various ways. In most networks, external content can simply be attached as a link, which then produces a preview that uses the optimization shown in step 5. Alternatively, you can post a photo or video and include the link in the text of the post (Pinterest, YouTube).

There remains the special case of Instagram, which does not allow any links to photos / videos in the text of the post except in advertisements. There you usually refer to the URL used in the bio as text and set it up in such a way that the desired link can be found again at first glance.

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Share posts from others

When passing on third-party contributions, you should include the author or the source through which you became aware of the contribution via @mention. This achieves that

  1. the author or the page from which the post originates is informed of the forwarding, because an @mention generates a notification for the person mentioned.
  2. the readers are given a reference to the source within the social media service they are currently in (see also step 3). On the one hand, you recommend the author and give your own contribution more trustworthiness.

This not only creates a link to the outside of the article on a website, but also an additional link within the relevant service to the presence of the author.

Share within a service

In addition to the contributions that are explicitly posted by linking to an external web address, your own content can of course be passed on again from there. If this is done using the forwarding functions built into the respective service, the reference to the posting from which the message was shared is automatically established. The direct sharing is counted under the relevant contribution and thus made traceable.

Additional networking of the social media presences with one another

If all of this is not yet networked enough, you can also link your individual social media presences to one another. This can either only be used to refer to one's own presences on other platforms, for automatic cross-posting or optional sharing (e.g. via "linked accounts" in Instagram). In some cases, however, cross-posting via ifttt can be the better alternative to direct sharing, such as in the case of Instagram to Twitter.

In my opinion, however, posting individually is preferable to automatically distributing the same post across different platforms. And even those who use planning tools like Buffer to publish content can vary their introductory texts. Because at a certain point you can overdo it with networking. ;-)

Also read the article: "Tips and tools for social media automation"

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