Social media is a pervasive part of today’s culture, whether you’re looking at it from a user standpoint or a marketing standpoint. The social web has the largest amount of traffic, endless user engagement and is the place to be to maintain any sort of web presence. Sharing buttons and integrated features are a commonly touted tool for Joomla templates, but with new social medias popping up practically every day, it’s important to figure out a good sharing balance, where to position your sharing buttons, and how many buttons are too many.
Which Sites to Share?
The first order of business is figuring out which social media sites are most appropriate for your website. You want to go with the high-traffic social media sites to start, such as Facebook, Google+, Reddit and Pinterest. Expanding further depends on your audience and your niche. Niche social media sites give you targeted traffic of those who are more likely to be interested in the topics you’re talking about, at the expense of having lower traffic volume. Take a look at where your target demographic likes to spend their time before deciding on other social media sites.
How Many Sites to Share?
The type of website that you run heavily determines the amount of social media sharing buttons you should include. Blog sites, such as Engadget, offer a variety of social media buttons alongside each post. They want to give each of their posts as wide an audience as possible, so they make it easy to share. On a company website or an e-commerce store, you want to limit the amount of sharing to the essential options. This helps to keep the user focused on your message or products, instead of overwhelming them with a list of 20 social media sites they have to share your content on right now.
Where Do You Put Your Sharing Buttons?
The positioning of the sharing buttons depends on the design and type of site you run and how many social media sharing buttons you have. Mashable, for example, splits its social buttons into two groups. The first group features the largest and most common social media sites, while an expandable button reveals less commonly used options. This cuts down on the screen clutter and makes the design smoother. These buttons are commonly placed at the top, bottom, or side of content pages. Generally you want to make it easy for the reader to share the content after they have looked through it, so placing buttons at the bottom lets them go from reading to sharing easily.
Please Consider the Mobile User
This might be the most important point I make today.
Your buttons NEED to be mobile ready: i.e. they need to be big and boxy so that the user can push them with his or her thumb. Mashable again does a good job of this. Take a moment to visit their site from your phone and you see how those those giant Facebook and Twitter rectangles became squares - - large enough to push with the fattest thumb out there. Proving that they know which social networks their readers like, they have been mindful to keep AND fit the same 6 social media options - - though they are now displayed in the same line and size.
Please share with our community any other ideas you have used and have created a great impact to your site.