Widgets and badges… sounds more like something off of Harry Potter than you use in social media, doesn’t it? However, widgets and badges are both tools that can be used on your social media site.
A widget could be something as common as an advertisement on a page or anything from a voting poll to a weather forecast to a list of current headlines or a crossword puzzle.
Widgets are great for company pages because they can link to outside social media sites such as the companies Facebook, Twitter, Youtube page, or blog. For this blog, some of the widgets I’ve utilized include an RSS feed so people can subscribe to my blog, a drop down category list, a calendar, and blog statistics about the traffic to my page. Widgets also allow people who visit your page to have a more interactive experience.
On the other hand, a badge is a small image used on websites that has a link back to its source. A badge is great way to display one’s membership or presence in a community on the Social Web. Badges can also show products used in creation of a page or product, to indicate a specific content license applied to the content or design of a website, or to comply with an application’s terms of service. Web badges are useful because they can help give credit where credit is due!
Currently, I am the Assistant Director of Student Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland and the church website has widgets that link to its Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as a web badge that gives credit to the source that powers the web page for the church. A widget for a calendar is used to show what is going on at the church. I believe that the church could use more widgets such as a survey for church members or a Flickr feed of pictures from recent events.
Although widgets and badges may not be as cool as a Harry Potter magic spell, they have their benefits for your website.