By Paul Boag from Smashing Magazine
The term “social media guru” has almost become a dirty word within the Web community. In fact, despite most of us being early adopters of social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, we consider social media the purview of marketeers.
It certainly isn’t our responsibility—we build websites, we don’t run marketing campaigns. But are we justified in this point of view? Is social media really somebody else’s responsibility?
In my opinion, social media is very much our concern. That is because social media is firmly a part of the user’s experience, and we are user experience designers. The user experience does not occur within a single channel (such as a website or Facebook page). Users move between multiple channels and so all of these channels need to be designed as one consistent user experience.
At the moment, we largely fail to integrate the various channels through which we communicate with our users. Although most social media channels are great at driving traffic to our websites, few websites return the favor to anything at that same level.
There is a reason why marketeers are increasingly including the Web address to their Facebook Page in ads rather than the website itself—it is because if they drive traffic to the website, it rarely makes it any further. This is because as Web designers our thinking about social media rarely moves beyond slapping a “share this” button on the bottom of each page.