How to Make the Most of Social Media Buttons On Your Website

How to Make the Most of Social Media Buttons On Your Website

They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and designs. But what are social media buttons? How do they work? And how can you maximize their power to keep people engaged with your website content?

Social media buttons make it super simple for your readers to share your content across their favourite social networks. They are a shortcut to your social profiles, making it easy for people to follow you and engage with your content.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at these handy little buttons and explain how they can help keep your website visitors coming back for more. Let’s get started!

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What are Social Media Buttons?

At their most basic, social media buttons are icons that link to your profiles on various social networks. These include well-known platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and lesser-known options like Reddit and Pinterest.

Although they may look simple, these buttons play a big role in your marketing efforts. When someone shares your content on their favourite social network, they spread the word about your brand to their friends and followers. As a result, you’ll get more traffic and a boost in engagement.

 


What are the Different Types of Social Media Buttons?

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There are four main types of social media buttons: follow us, like/favourite, share, and contact. Here’s a closer look at what each type does:

#1. Follow Us Buttons 

Follow buttons allow users to follow you on their favourite social networks with the click of a button. Although they differ in appearance and functionality, they all allow users to subscribe to your profile on social media.

For example, the Facebook follow button includes a thumbnail image of your brand and a description next to it. When clicked, this button takes visitors directly to your Facebook page. Other networks have similar buttons with similar functionality.

#2. Like/Favorite Buttons

Like and favourite buttons allow users to “like” the content on your website. It’s a quick and easy way for readers to engage with your website and show appreciation.

For example, the “Facebook Like” button is blue with a thumbs-up icon. You can also configure it to show how many people have already liked your content.

#3. Share Buttons

Share buttons allow users to share your content on their social network of choice. These vary in appearance and functionality depending on the social media platform. 

For instance, the Facebook share button looks like a typical “Share” link. In other words, it features various social media icons at the top (or bottom) of your page or blog post. When clicked, this button takes visitors to their intended destination, enabling them to share your content easily.

#4. Contact Buttons

Contact buttons allow users to contact you directly via your website. Depending on the social media platform, these can include a link to your direct Facebook messaging service, phone number, or contact page.

 


How Do Social Media Buttons Work?

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When someone clicks on a social media button, they’ll be directed to its respective social network, where they can post, like, or favourite your content as they see fit.

These buttons are an excellent way to build engagement and increase your content reach. Plus, they’re simple to install and can be easily added to any website.

Which Social Media Buttons Should You Use?

The most important thing is to choose social media buttons that are relevant to your niche. For instance, if you run a fashion blog, it makes sense to include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram follow buttons so that users can keep up with your posts.

A share button for your website is also a good idea if you’re selling products and services. It allows your visitors to quickly and easily recommend your business to their friends and followers in their network.

Do You Need All Four Types of Social Media Buttons? 

Not necessarily. You can pick and choose which types of buttons you want to include on your website. If all you need is a follow button, then feel free to keep it simple and only use that one type of button.

6 Ways to Make the Most of Social Media Buttons on Your Website

How do you capitalize on the power of social media buttons on your website?

#1. Button Positioning: How Low or High Should You Go?

When positioning your social media buttons, you must remember a few things. 

For starters, you want to make sure they’re visible on your page so visitors can easily find them and click on them. That means placing them close to the content you want users to share or follow.

But it also matters where you place these buttons on your page. Should they be visible on every page or only on specific pages? 

You have many options on where to place the buttons:

Top of Post: Placing your social media buttons at the top of your post or article gives users easy access to follow or share your content.

That means that visitors don’t have to scroll down to find them.

By now, you must be wondering, “why would readers want to share a post they haven’t read yet?” One reason could be that they liked the title. Another could be that they want to read it when they’re free but don’t have time for now or are simply interested to know what’s coming up next.

Studies also show that there’s no correlation between page shares and reading. So, why not let your readers decide? 

The Pros and Cons of Top-of-Post Placement

Pros: 

  • Ease of access for users, especially those scrolling down or reading your post
  • Increased visibility for your content
  • It may improve user experience since users won’t have to scroll down first to find the buttons.
  • It can encourage readers to continue reading your post since they’re already invested in it.
  • It can help improve user engagement
  • The buttons at the top of the page also act as social proof, encouraging readers to read on. If 1000s of people have shared a post, it must be good, right?

Cons: 

  • It may interfere with the overall design of your website. If you have a large logo or hero image at the top of your page, placing social buttons above may look cluttered and disorganized.
  • Users who see your content and don’t click on the share button may forget about it later. 
  • Users may have to scroll back up if they decide to share your post after reading it.

Bottom of Post: Some website owners prefer to place their social media buttons at the bottom of their posts. Readers must get past the post or article before they can find them. That may deter some readers, but it’s a good option to consider if you want to encourage people to share your content after reading it. 

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The biggest downfall is that if a reader doesn’t make it to the bottom of your post, they may never find a button.

Also, the button might compete with many other elements, like comments, related posts, and more.

The Pros and Cons of Bottom-of-Post Placement

Pros: 

  • Encouraging readers to share your content after they’ve read it can help boost engagement.
  • Lower placement may reduce clutter on your website. 

Cons

  • Users may not see the button until after they’ve already read the post or article
  • It may have a hard time competing with other elements at the bottom of your page, like comments and related posts

In-Line with Post: Some website owners elect to place their social media buttons in line with their posts or articles. That way, users don’t have to wait until they get to the bottom of the page to share it.

Usually, this comes as an added element to complement the buttons at the top or bottom of the page. 

It can be cleverly delivered to capture a powerful quote or moving statistic. If a specific line in your post is particularly share-worthy, maybe consider incorporating it into the social media button.

It’s prevalent with social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn, with blogging sites such as Content Marketing Institute using them to encourage sharing. 

The Pros and Cons of In-Line Placement

Pros: 

  • Ease of access for users, especially those scrolling down or reading your post. 
  • It may encourage more people to share your content. 
  • It can help improve the overall user experience of your website.

Cons: 

  • It may be more difficult to style and customize it into your website design.
  • Some users may find it distracting and opt not to share your content if they feel they’re being “pushed” to do so.

Floating Bars: Floating bars are another option for placing your social media buttons on your website. They’re often added to the side so that they move along with you as you scroll down the page. That makes it easy for users to find and click on them without having to search around too much.

The Pros and Cons of Floating Bar Placement

Pros: 

  • It helps to increase visibility and click-throughs. 
  • It can be a great way to reach more of your readers, especially if you have a long or scrolling website. 
  • Some users may find them more convenient than other placement options, as they’re always visible.

Cons

  • It may be distracting or annoying to some users if placed too prominently on your page. 
  • It can compete with other website elements and features, including calls-to-action and advertisements.

Ultimately, the right placement for your social media buttons will depend on your website, audience, and goals. Choosing where to place them can help you achieve greater visibility and engagement for your content – just be sure to test out a few different options to see what works best for you.

Here are some general tips for button placements that can help you make the most of your website’s social media buttons:

  • Don’t Put Your Social Media Button Close to the Navigation: Don’t confuse your readers. You do not want them to click on your social media button when all they’re trying to do is navigate somewhere else on your website. 
  • Try Using In-Line Placement: Placing your social media buttons in line with your posts or articles can help boost engagement, as readers are more likely to share content that they’ve just read and found interesting.
  • Place the Button Close to the content They’re Reading: Your readers must know what they’re sharing first, so try placing your social media button close to the content they’re reading. That will help them make an informed decision about whether or not it’s worth sharing. 
  • Experiment with Different Placements: There is no one “right” placement for social media buttons on your website – what works well for one site may not work well for another. You want to experiment with different placements and see which ones yield the best results. 
  • Keep the Buttons Visible: Whatever placement you choose, keep your social media buttons visible and easy to find. That will help you maximize the number of users that click on them and ultimately share your content with their networks.

#2. The Button Size: The Bigger, the Better?

Regarding button size, some experts argue that you should opt for something large and bold – especially if your goal is to capture a reader’s attention quickly. Others suggest that smaller buttons may be more effective, as they’re less likely to distract from other content on the page.

But you must have noticed that most sites use sizeable social media share buttons. They’re more prominent, and users tend to see them more easily. 

That said, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to button size. You may want to experiment with different sizes and placements to see which ones work for you.

What matters most is that your social media buttons are visible, easy to find, and simple for users to click on – no matter their size.

Larger buttons may come off a bit needy or pushy, but they attract the most clicks. Small buttons may be more subtle and less in-your-face, but they can be just as effective at promoting your content and growing your online following.

#3. Custom Social Button Vs. Classic Designs: Which One is Better?

When taking stock of the social media buttons websites use, you’ll probably notice that some websites have their own custom-designed buttons, while others rely on more “classic” designs. 

But which one is better? Again, there’s no definitive answer here – it all depends on your website and audience.

That said, custom social media buttons may have a few key advantages over their classic counterparts. For one thing, they tend to be more eye-catching and visually appealing than typical “share” or “follow” buttons – making them more likely to grab users’ attention and encourage them to click on them. 

In addition, custom buttons may be easier to brand and match the look of your website. And depending on their design, they may even help increase social media engagement by prompting users to interact with your content in unique ways (for example, by sending a tweet or writing a post on Facebook).

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Some sites modify the button style and shape to fit their brand but will stick with the colours associated with each social network to make them easily recognizable — royal blue for Facebook, red for Pinterest, light blue for Twitter, and so on. 

Buzzfeed has custom social buttons that are very similar to the classic design but with a more colorful and playful touch. 

If you’re looking for something more subtle or streamlined, classic buttons may be the way to go. They’re easy to find and intuitive for users to click on, making them an effective choice for attracting clicks naturally.

In short, the principle of less is more applies here. Choose a few social networks that align with your brand and audience, and display their buttons prominently on your website. 

Too many options can overwhelm users, paralyzing them from making a decision.

Instead, you want to make it easy for your visitors to share and follow – and one way to do this is to stick with a few well-chosen social media buttons.

Similarly, prioritize the content you want users to share or follow. For example, if you run a blog and want readers to share your posts on social media, consider placing your buttons right below the post’s title or at the bottom of the page. 

It all comes down to understanding your audience and what they want and need from your website. Once you’ve honed in on their preferences, it’s time to choose the right social media buttons to help boost your online following and reach. 

Having too Many Social Media Button May Also Slow Down Your Website Loading

Although some users may be tempted to cram every social network imaginable into their website’s design, it’s important to know that adding too many buttons can slow down your site and negatively impact your SEO.

Choosing Which Buttons to Include and Which Ones to Skip 

Ultimately, the key to success with social media buttons is striking a balance between having just enough while not going overboard.

To find that sweet spot, start by considering which social networks are most relevant to your target audience and business goals. Then, evaluate how well each button performs in terms of clicks, engagement, and conversions.  

To decide which social networks are worth including on your site, consider factors like: 

  • Audience demographics and preferences (e.g., what social media platforms do they use?) 
  • Industry trends and analytics (e.g., which social networks are gaining traction in your niche?) 
  • Competitor analysis (e.g., which social networks are they using, and how does this change your strategy?) 
  • Content strategy (e.g., which social networks are best for promoting certain content types or topics?)

You also want to check out your analytics to see which buttons get the most clicks and engagement and how different social media platforms drive traffic and conversions.

Overall, then, the key to succeeding with social media buttons is to choose a few networks that align with your target audience, brand image, and business goals — while also measuring performance and revisiting your choices periodically to ensure you’re always making the most of these powerful yet simple tools. 

What’s the Goal of the Page? 

When considering which buttons to include on your website, it’s important to consider the overall goal of the page. Is this a landing page designed to capture leads or drive sales? Or is it meant purely as an information-sharing resource for your audience?

Depending on your goals, you may want to choose different social media buttons that align with these objectives and help you to achieve them. For example, suppose your goal is to generate leads. In that case, you may want to focus on social media sites that are popular with your target audience and offer features like lead generation forms or paid advertising. 

#5. Should You Keep Score?

One final consideration when choosing social media buttons is whether or not to track their performance. Many social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, offer built-in analytics tools that can help you keep tabs on how many clicks, impressions, and engagements each button gets.

And must you display the share count? That’s something to think about since many people find it valuable to see how popular a piece of content is on social media. But don’t forget it’s a double-edged sword. 

If the shares are high enough, they act as social proof and may entice users to share them. On the other hand, if they are low, people will assume that your content isn’t very good – or is spammy in some way – and may not bother sharing at all. 

One genius trick is to use the New Internet Order share plugin. It lets you hide the share count until it reaches a certain number of shares. So you can ensure that it looks good with the perfect amount of social proof without damaging your reputation if users don’t share your content as much as you would like. 

#6. Calls-to-Action: Ask, and You Shall Receive 

As with any other part of your website, social media buttons should be carefully tailored to the rest of your content. And this means including clear calls-to-action that encourage users to share and engage with your content.

For example, if you want users to share a specific piece of content, you may want to include a prominent button directly on the page and a clear, action-oriented message that conveys the value of sharing the posts with their friends and family. 

Here are a few tips you can use to create effective calls-to-action for your social media buttons:

  • Transforming the Button into Text: Rather than using a traditional social media button, you can use text to create a more personalized and action-oriented call-to-action. For example, “Tweet this” or “Share on Facebook” are short, simple messages encouraging users to click the button. 
  • Adding Visual Cues: Another way to boost the effectiveness of your social media buttons is to add visual cues. That can include things like images, icons or colours that are associated with specific platforms or networks. 
  • Incorporating Motivational Language: If you want users to share a particular piece of content, incorporating motivational language into your call-to-action can be a great way to get them excited and interested in sharing.

For example, you could use phrases like “Spread the word!” or “Help us go viral!” to get users excited about sharing your content on social media.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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