Agh! Those sharing buttons again.

I often come across a site, where I see those social sharing buttons on the side of the page, screaming like a naughty child, “look at me”.

I’ll not try to turn this post into a rant, but I have a real bugbear with social media experts and the use of social media buttons on websites.

Sharing buttons that stick.

I often see websites with these buttons stuck to the side, that stay when you scroll, they are distracting, and frankly annoying. I won’t even talk about how they hide the content on a mobile device. (Whoops! Did I talk about them!).

Sharing buttons should be natural.

There is nothing worse than that tweet or message you get asking to visit a Facebook page after following somebody on Twitter. If you are pestering users to share your post then they are going to be less reluctant to do so. a good way to get your content shared is to make sharing easy and less invasive, but allow the reader to absorb the content before asking for that share, I personally find it annoying to get an interstitial asking for a share, when I am in the middle of reading a post.

Ask, but be polite.

Try to test, where the best place to add your buttons, to get maximum shares. A button should grab a users attention but not be screaming for that attention like the child I mentioned before. I find that adding the share buttons at the end of a post is the best place, but may grab better attention if you add a little piece of text asking for the share.

Sharing buttons should be placed, not shoved everywhere.

The one mistake I see often on a website, is that website owners place sharing buttons everywhere on the site, to get the maximum amount of shares, but this can be visualised as desperately seeking those shares. If your content is good and the buttons are placed in an easy position and are intuitive to use then sharing will be natural. So test your placement, do go over the top with the buttons and spend more time on crafting your content. Once you do this sharing will come.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and yes I will be testing my own social sharing buttons.

Recommended Reading

Saying no to social media buttons by Paul Boag

Social Buttons = Poor UX by Story Weather