ProTip: Avoid social feed widgets if you aren’t active on social media

One of the dangers of installing social feed widgets (the ones that pull the latest and greatest from your social profiles) is that they can look terrible if you let those social profiles go stale.

Just recently, I was working on a project and one of the first things I noticed about their site is that they had a social widget at the bottom of the homepage. One section had the “Latest Tweet”…. from 2 years ago. The other section, which was intended to be a testimonials/reviews widget was completely blank.

Outdated Social Media Widget

Few things signal “we’re not really paying attention” better than 2 year old content, except maybe a big blank hole where content is supposed to be.

This can happen for a variety of reasons.

  1. You’ve let your presence on Social Media presence (in this case Twitter) go stale because you lost the time and/or resources that you used to focus on that area. Or maybe you decided that the return on investment wasn’t worth the effort. Whatever the case, the “Latest Tweet” really was 2 years ago.
  2. The connection between the widget and your social media profile has broken and it’s simply not picking up the latest and the greatest the way it was intended.
  3. The widget itself is no longer functioning. Depending on the platform you use, plugins come and go. Widgets come and go. You need to update or replace them on a semi-regular basis to make sure that they function.

No matter what the cause, the result is a terrible reflection of your company’s ability to maintain current content on your site. It’s almost as bad as… scratch that, it’s actually worse than… companies that forget to refresh their copyright line so that it says Copyright 2014.

Social Media plug-ins and widgets can be a nice addition to your site and a good way to connect between your website and your social media profiles. But if you’re going to add one of these widgets, make a point of checking on it at least once a month to make sure that it’s pulling fresh, relevant information.

Set a reminder on your calendar. It may take 15 seconds of your day (if it’s working), but it will save you from a LOT of online embarrassment (if it’s not).

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