When I mention to you that social sharing buttons are important for your website, what do you think of?
As it turns out, there are two types of social sharing button and I consider only one of them mandatory.
Take a look around this blog post.
You will see some buttons at the bottom of the page that let you share this post with YOUR networks across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linked In. Go ahead and give one of them a try – wink!
These are the buttons that I believe should be mandatory.
But there is another set of social icons that causes confusion, and on our site you’ll find them at the top of the right hand column.
These buttons will link you to OUR pages on the main social networks.
Can you see the difference?
One set will let you share our content among your networks organically – the recommendation of our content reaches them directly from you, which is much more valuable and persuasive than us trying to connect with your ‘social graph’.
The buttons that simply connect you to OUR places in social networks are nice to have but some would argue that once people have found your website, they have made it to your homeland and can now decided to buy from you, contact you, favourite you or connect with you by signing up for your blog, etc.
While this latter group of icons is not mandatory, in my opinion, I do encourage it if you are active on your Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google+ or Pinterest pages.
If you are not active there, I would suggest not using those buttons for now, until you have worked out whether being active in those places will benefit your target market(s).