For every blogger who uses social media, and social media managers who post content on websites. Will it be Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Why social sharing buttons?
In content development for websites, the best source of traffic is usually social media. It has overtaken backlinking and older organic search methods of traffic generation. Websites are having not less than 35% of their traffic coming from social media. Most content managers find themselves sharing links on social media too. It is now a common practice for websites and blogs to have buttons for sharing to social media. So, which are the ones you should give priority?
Let us look at the statistics. The big 2 scorers here are Twitter and Facebook. They do not tie, Facebook beats Twitter. Other services follow the two giant sites. While google plus scores poorly, Instagram simply drives nothing to your website. Instagram does allow a link on your profile, but the link is not clickable. LinkedIn for professionals is the third-biggest traffic source for websites. At position four comes Reddit and Pinterest. That is the general line up for your first 4 social sharing buttons. You may want to Read a Report on the same, published by Forbes magazine with data from Shareaholic.
What influences social media traffic to your site.
- Traffic. The above statistics are not adequate for you to decide which buttons to prioritize. You need to integrate analytics into your website. That way, you will easily see where the most traffic is coming from. It is those sources that you need to prioritize. If Twitter is the site that delivers more traffic to your website or blog, prioritize it. It is also important to note that your social media presence and the size of your following are determinants. Larger followings usually mean more traffic. There are ways to slightly level the playing field, but they do not help much.
- Activity. Knowing who works for you is important. For me, I have a more active audience on Twitter than on Facebook. That means that I prioritize Twitter over facebook. If your audience is more active on Facebook, or you have thousands of connections on LinkedIn, capitalize on it.
- Your target audience. Different social sites have their unique audience sets by age, interests and other demographics. Know your target, and where they are to be found. Older social media users are on facebook. Younger ones are on twitter, with teens on Instagram and Snapchat. Professionals are to be found on LinkedIn. We do not consider Whatsapp to be a social media platform in this post. In general, Google-sites have a lot of developers and tech geeks. Who among all these are you targeting?
Now, let us take a sample scenario where one has a larger following on Twitter than on Facebook. However, their LinkedIn audience is more active. How do they arrange their social sharing buttons on the website? I would advise you to start with Facebook. Placing the button as the first one helps you engage the smaller audience there. Hopefully, they will turn into active readers and sharers of your articles. Next go for LinkedIn. It is where your strength lies, do not make it difficult for your LinkedIn audience to find their place on your blog. At the third position, have a Twitter button. Your large audience from Twitter will work for you in that position.
After first big three social sites, you can add another two buttons. These will be for the sites that are biggest in your circles. Reddit, StumbleUpon, Google Plus among others will do. I would not advise more than five buttons, it somehow starts cluttering your blog post or web article.
To happy sharing.
While we are speaking of sharing, hit a social media sharing button for this post.