As social media continues to grow, marketers, bloggers and businesses are experimenting with different ways to leverage their marketing efforts through the use social media buttons and profiles.
There is no doubt that providing an easy mechanism for users, customers and readers to share your content can definitely increase the exposure of your blog or website.
Before you decide which social networks are best for your organization, you may want to take a look at my article on the “Top 9 Social Media Websites for Marketers“.
Make sure that the buttons and icons you use to represent the social networks you’re associated with are recognizable. When possible, you should use the official buttons sponsored by the particular social network such as the official Facebook buttons and the official Twitter buttons.
If you create your own social sharing buttons, you’re taking the chance that a user doesn’t share your content simply because they didn’t recognize or couldn’t find a way to do so.
This strategy may seem obvious but, if overlooked, can really hamper the success of your social sharing campaign. Make sure that your social buttons are within or close to the body of your content. Placing social buttons in the dark corners of your blog is not going to produce the results you’re looking for.
You also may want to think about placing buttons both at the top and at the bottom of your content, as you can see here on AnsonAlex.com. This will make it harder for your users to skip right over or never read far enough down to find your social networking buttons.
More simply put, the more Facebook “likes” or “tweets” your articles receive, the more likely that other readers will deem your content social share worthy. That being said, if one of your articles is very popular on a particular social network, advertise it to new readers and hope that they continue to follow the trend of sharing your content.
Believe it or not, there are times when social sharing buttons can actually hurt your marketing efforts. Many users make a judgement on the quality of an article before actually reading it based solely on the number of Facebook “likes” it has already received.
If your website is not currently receiving steady enough traffic to gain some social klout on recently published articles, the perception your readers gain of your site may be negatively affected by the constant “0 likes” that they keep seeing on every article.
This strategy is something that I have implemented on AnsonAlex.com and it was one of my main inspirations for writing this article. If you look at one of my category or tag pages such the Technology Trends category, you will notice that near the excerpt of each article, I’ve placed social sharing buttons for that particular article.
Implementing this is valuable for two reasons in particular. First, it gives your readers another chance to share your content. Obviously most people won’t share an article before they read it but maybe they’ll share an article that they’ve read before but forgot to share.
The second advantage this placement strategy allows, is an easy way to monitor the social engagement of your content. Before I implemented social buttons on category pages, I would have to look at each individual article to see how many Facebook “likes” or “tweets” it had received. As your blog’s traffic increases, this task becomes daunting and it is easy to lose track of which articles are receiving the most social attention.
Now, by looking at a particular category page, I can see how many “likes” 10 different articles have received, all from the same page.
Hopefully these social media button strategies will help you increase the exposure of your online venture. If you’re looking for more tips on improving your website, take a look at my article, “Blogging Advice for New Bloggers.
If you want to see an example of successful social sharing buttons at work, take a look at my most “liked” article ever, “How to Prepare Your Facebook Profile for the Timeline Update.