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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.