Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Make it easy

Another principle for successful social media marketing (inspired by Mitch Joel’s project): Make everything as easy as possible for your visitors.

One of the reasons why you see YouTube videos posted everywhere online is that YouTube makes that extremely easy to do. When you upload a video to YouTube, you are given code on the side of the page that will embed the video. All one has to do to post that video on their blog or discussion board is to copy and paste the code. Sure, a techie could figure out the code on their own. But it’s hard to do, time consuming, and there is no way that non-techies could figure out the code to do it. YouTube has made it cut-and-paste easy for any of their video clips to be embedded anywhere. That is a large factor in their success.

At, we owe much of our success to the fact that we are constantly thinking about ways to make doing things online in the community as easy as possible for our members.

Make it easy for your visitors to:

  • sign up
  • participate in your community or project
  • find and connect with other people
  • find the information that they are looking for
  • share and re-use elements of your community/media for their own projects and sites
  • tell their friends about it

What are you doing to make it easier for your audience to spread the online word about you? Do you have a Refer a Friend button on your web site? Sure, the same thing could be accomplished via email, but having a button on your site reminds the viewer that they could be sharing this with someone who might appreciate and benefit from what you have to offer.

In order to make things as easy as possible for your members, you have to design your site and your processes from your members point of view. Imagine being in your visitor’s shoes, and walk yourself step-by-step through your screens. If you haven’t done this in a while, no doubt you will uncover some ideas for improvement.


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4 Responses to “Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Make it easy”

  1. Corby Fine Says:

    The concept of building programs with the ability to share and re-use elements of your community/media for other projects/sites is critical to any online endeavor these days. In my opinion, the one thing often missed as a reason for doing this is the savings that can be made in media costs. It is great to allow consumers to add impressions and their network to your program, but why not look at the financial savings as well?

  2. Morriss Partee Says:

    I just discovered that Dan Pritchett has written a very nice post about making it easy for your site visitors to start contributing to the online community immediately. If you do, you’ll create buy-in and engagement. If you don’t, you’ll most likely be quickly forgotten.

  3. Daniel J. Pritchett Says:

    Thanks for the mention, Morriss.

    My favorite example of permissive UI came from Coding Horror last year: Jeff really liked the way Reddit doesn’t make you register or think much until you start wanting to contribute to the site, and then they make it as painless as possible to sign up:

  4. Morriss Partee Says:

    @Dan Another good example of this is the Disqus comment feature on your blog. When posting a comment for the first time, you don’t have to take a separate step of creating a login and password; you do it AS you are making the comment. VERY nice and painless. If it were the traditional way of a separate step to create the account, you would lose countless comments from people who are not willing to put up with the extra aggravation. I would be one of those people. 😉

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