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Social Buttons- Think Twice!


While surfing the web for news and information, a reader is constantly presented with a plethora of colorful logos encouraging them to share, like or follow whichever article they are reading .  The battle for clicks is in full force between Facebook, Google, Twitter, and a variety of other social sites as they continue to crowd users website’s real-estate.

The logic behind having one widget to share at the bottom of each article is completely logical, and can benefit both the reader and the publisher. However, with the continuous development of new ways to spread online content the buttons have become excessive.  To have an effective social conversation, one must forget they are a social media guru, and recognize

the content’s audience may not be on every platform out there. On many websites, the average reader cannot even differentiate between the numerous colorful buttons being thrown at them.  Therefore, it is necessary to establish which social media platforms your reader is utilizing and then use minimal, non-obtrusive share buttons that do not distract from the rest of page.

Although somewhat distracting, the “Like” button has not been completely futile according to Marketing Sherpa’s Benchmark Report. The study’s results yielded that a total of 65% of social marketers stated that the “Like” button has had at least some effectiveness. Marketers must forget the meaningless race to numbers and interweave the “Like” button with an appropriate call to actions.  A prime example is Zappos.  As soon as people  “Like” Zappos on Facebook they are immediately presented with an opt-in form to join Zappos’  e-mail list.  By following up with a strong and appropriate call to action the brand and user get the most of the widget.  By adding more people to their listserv Zappos adds another communication platform for their consumers while the consumers reap the benefits of promotions and up-to-date information.  A site needs to test it’s top sharing options, track where the best conversations are coming from and then limit the social buttons they put on their page.  At the end of the day it’s not a matter of whether a site has these share options on their page or not, but if that they are using them in the most effective way possible.

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