Increase Social Sharing by Moving Your Like Buttons
By Seth Price
About Inbound Marketing
If you want your website visitors to share the content on your site, you have to make it easy for them to do it. That means sharing buttons have to be on your page. Almost every site you see has “share” and “like” buttons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others. The question is, where is the best place to put them?
The decision of where you place those social sharing icons on your page can drastically effect whether your customers click them or not. Despite this, however, their placement is often an afterthought. They get dropped wherever they fit. Even sites with great content tend to place their social sharing buttons at the very end of the content, at the bottom of the page.
But what if I love your content after the first few lines? What if I want to finish reading your post, but don’t have time right now? I probably won’t scroll to the bottom of the page, which means I’ll never see your sharing buttons. With the thousand other things I have to do, chances are good that I’ll never come back to your article and, most importantly, I won’t remember to share it.
We’re a culture of impulse buyers, barraged by thousands of messages a day. As a consumer, I get it: there are share buttons somewhere on your site, and it is possible to share content without them. But let’s be honest: how much trouble am I really going to go through to share your content? The sad truth is, your website’s ability to attract its maximum social reach may have as much to do with the placement of share opportunities as it does with the quality of your content.
Here are a few things to consider when organizing content and share buttons on your website or blog, as well as some examples of sites that have done it right.
First, place your basic site share buttons and newsletter sign-up above the fold. Let people know right off the bat that you’re in the game. Make it easy for them to like your site and sign-up for more content without having to scroll.
Next, show attention grabbing snippets of your content on the homepage, and place small share buttons in-line with each article. Think of this as the point-of-purchase opportunity.
If you have a substantial amount of traffic, make sure your buttons indicate your social reach. How many people have tweeted, liked or shared your content? How many fans do you have? If your numbers are high, you’re showing visitors that your posts, videos, etc. are worth reading and viewing. (Be sure you only do this when you’ve reached some sharing critical mass, otherwise it may look like your reader is the first one to the party.)
When it comes to longer blog articles, be sure to place social sharing buttons at both the the top and bottom. Most people don’t read entire articles, they skim. You need to provide opportunities for consumers to share at the moments that the stop reading.
The value of social sharing is evolving rapidly and starting to play a pronounced role in SEO, especially since the advent of G+ and Pinterest. Using your website to maximize the reach of the content you create or curate is more important than ever. Take some time to think about how people actually use the web before you decide where to place those social buttons, and you will be rewarded in kind.
Published on March 25, 2012
Written by Seth Price
Seth is a brand and marketing strategist with 20 years of digital marketing experience. He’s the VP of Industry Relations at Placester, author of the upcoming book Road to Recognition and host of The Craft of Marketing and Marketing Genius podcasts. As a speaker, writer, and marketing workshop leader, Seth brings levity, mentorship, and a dose of reality to the businesses and entrepreneurs he coaches.