Why you shouldn’t blend social media icons with your site design


Make sure your social media icons stand out – not blend in – so they’re easy to find.

“We created these beautiful social media icons that blend in with the design of our site, but we hardly get any new followers :(”

What do you think is going on in this scenario? Take a look at the above sentence again. Anything catch your attention?

…blend in.

If you want people to see something, it needs to stand out! While icons that are small or that blend in with the site will look aesthetically pleasing, you won’t be achieving your goal of getting more followers. People are used to seeing the icons, and may even be looking for them. So make sure they’re easy to find!


To do:

  • Make sure your social media icons are clearly visible at the top of your page, as well as in the footer.
  • Get a widget (like AddThis) that floats your social media icons at the top of the page as the user scrolls down.
  • Increase the size of the social media icons (to a reasonable size, of course – you still don’t want to be obnoxious!).
  • Make sure there is plenty of white space around the icons so they are easily visible and don’t get drowned out by clutter on the rest of your site.
  • If your social media icons blend in with the design of your site, switch them to icons that use the traditional colors instead (e.g. blue for Facebook, red for Pinterest, etc.).

5 tools to make infographics without hiring a designer

Everyone loves to share infographics. They’re a great tool to get your message across quickly in a way that’s easy to understand.

While hiring a pro is ideal, sometimes you have a tight budget or a short time frame and working with a graphic designer isn’t always possible.

That’s where these tools come in handy. All you need is some compelling information and an eye for design in order to create beautiful infographics on your own.


1. Piktochart

Use this tool to create beautiful infographics, reports, banners, or presentations. Start from a blank template, use one of their free templates, or upgrade to pro themes. Use their graphics or import your own in their drag-and-drop tool. Get access to the best features for $29/month.

Infographic Piktochart



2. Easel.ly

This easy-to-use web tool helps you visualize many different kinds of concepts and ideas. While it does have some chart tools, I think this tool is better suited for other kinds of visualizations. The free account includes 60 images and 10 fonts. Upgrade to pro for only $3/month.

Infographic Easelly



3. Tableau Public

This desktop app is great for visualizing data sets. Infographics using their free version can be shared via email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and/or embedded on your site. Upgrade to save it on your own computer and to integrate with more data programs.

Infographic Tableau Public

Tableau Public


4. Infogr.am

This tool has a lot of chart options and is great to work on projects with a team. Integrate with Google Analytics and Google Sheets to create infographics, charts, and maps. Upgrades from the free account start at $15/month.

Infographic Infogram



5. Vengage

This web tool has a lot of sophisticated templates for the user that’s looking for more advanced features to really customize your content. There are free templates and icons available, and premium plans start at $19/month.

Infographic Vengage


How to get one-time web visitors to take action

Before your website visitors leave, invite them to come back. Build a relationship before asking them to take action.

Before your website visitors leave, invite them to come back. Build a relationship before asking them to take action.

You may not be able to get your website visitors to donate, volunteer, or register for an event the first time they visit your page – these are big things to ask people to do. Signing up for an e-newsletter or following you on social media is a much smaller commitment. Once they get to know you, they will be more likely to commit to something more.

“But I want people to stay on my website foreverrrr.”

Yes, I do too. People will have to leave your site eventually, but before they leave, invite them to subscribe to your e-mail list or follow you on social media so you can invite them to come back. Then you can start building a relationship and the next time you ask your audience to do something they will be more likely to take action.


To do:

Take a look at your top exit pages in the last couple of months. These are great pages to add a pop-up to sign up for your e-newsletter or follow you on social media because you have nothing to lose. The worst that can happen is that people will leave your site – which is what they are doing anyway! If you can gather email addresses or increase your social media following in the process, this is a win for you.

Check with your email program to see if they have pop-up codes you can add to your site. This is a great way to get started. You can also check out these programs that offer advanced features such as A/B testing, customizable templates, and analytics:

  • Sumome
  • Screenpopper
  • Pop-up domination


E-newsletter vs. social media

In each pop-up, only ask for ONE thing. Subscribing to your e-newsletter or following you on social media are small, easy tasks your audience can do right away. So which one should you choose?

I recommend building your e-newsletter list. Having followers on social media is great, but email is one of the best tools for reaching your audience for most situations. You’ll also be able to reach a wider audience – not everyone is active on social media networks, but most people have an email account they check regularly.

The only exceptions are if you know your audience is very active on a particular social media network, or one of your communication goals is to increase your following on a social media channel. Even so, I still think collecting email addresses will be much more valuable in the long-run.


Advanced tip:

Create customized pop-ups for different sections of your website.

For example, let’s say your organization runs a summer camp for children with muscular dystrophy. One of your top exit pages is the “About the camp” page and another is “Volunteer opportunities.”

For the “About the camp page,” you could target your pop-up to parents and feature one or two testimonials from previous campers with an invitation to learn more.

For the “Volunteer opportunities” page, you could feature a testimonial from a past volunteer or camper and let them know they can also make a difference.