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The Biggest Social Media Flaw on Your Web Site

Social Media ButtonsMost websites are doing it all wrong. I’m talking about the placement of social media buttons. It just doesn’t make sense. So I feel the need to address this so that all of you can benefit from the proper placement of your Social Media buttons.

What websites are doing wrong

Many websites have placed their social media icons at the very, very bottom of their web pages. Even below their disclaimers and policy statements. Why are they doing this? That’s the million-dollar question. I assume that they have just seen them there on other peoples’ pages and figure that seems like a good place to put it, why not? Who do you really expect to find them down there? Do you actually know anyone who scrolls all the way to the bottom of a page, or even bothers to look past the footer text on a page? No, probably not. So why would you want to put links to your social media profiles all the way at the bottom?

Where to put your Social Media Buttons

The best choice that I’ve seen, which seems to catch the reader’s eye easily is placing your Social Media Icons in the top right corner of your website along with your rss feed. An even better place would be to place it in the websites header right next to your Logo or contact information if that is where you have it. Having it present up front lets visitors know that you care enough about your social media presence to make it known upfront. It also makes it easily accessible for them to visit your various profiles. If you have built up a strong presence on social media, it’s imperative for you to make it visible “above the fold” of  your webpage. What I mean by above the fold is, the top area in which the visitor can see without having to scroll down at all. The further down the page a visitor has to scroll, the less likely they are seeing the social media buttons pointing to your profiles. Make sure that you take the proper steps to making them more visible, this way you can attract more traffic to them and help build a following for future messages you want to send out.

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19 Responses to “The Biggest Social Media Flaw on Your Web Site”

  1. Irene says:

    Great post. I have seen that on a few sites and have wondered that myself. There have been times where I have scrolled up n down a few times n still couldn’t find it. Its frustrating and yes you end up leaving the site altogether.

  2. I get so flabbergasted when I see this happen. That one detail is my deciding factor to follow or not to follow. If someone isnt savvy enough to place their social action/follow buttons in a proper place, I immediately know their not going to add the kind of value Im looking for.

    • Deena Safari says:

      I don’t want to be rude, but don’t you think your response is a bit…harsh?

      • Yes Dina,
        You are right. It was. But by looking at his ‘quote of the day’ one can easily see that he is one of the ‘chosen’….which to him gives him the ‘highest authority’ on everything. That is how I read it. A bit of arrogance, regardless of the fact that it IS true! I’ll be he is a ‘tea bagger!’ not to be rude…….

      • Not rude at all Deena. It’s difficult to gauge a person’s tone through merely reading.

        While it is harsh it is undeniably true. I make a living helping others grow their online presence. As a Social Media Consultant seeing a simple mistake like this is like an artist who sees someone trying to paint with the wrong end of the brush. They might get something on the canvas, but they could be doing so much more. It’s not their fault, they just didn’t know any better. I’m pretty sure though that the artist wouldn’t be taking painting lessons from them.

        In this case, it just shows me that the individual doesn’t have a distinct emphasis on their social media properties. I already follow more people that I can keep up with, so unless someone is going to be of incredible value to follow, I don’t need more clutter taking me away from the conversations that matter the most.

        Hopefully that communicates where I’m coming from a little better.

        P.S. Followed you anyways. 😉

  3. Not to be slightly contrary, but wouldn’t the biggest social media flaw be not having a way for others to share your content? It’s great to have a way for people to connect with you but many people might share your information that won’t connect with you.

    • I agree.

      I actually took my social media buttons off my website for a while, now I only have them on my blog and “about me” type pages. My thinking is I want to attract people TO my website, not let them click on a social media button and get taken away from my site (although the Twitter “follow me” button is far better now that you can follow directly from the website).

      Social media share buttons are far more important and I’m constantly amazed how many blogs make it incredibly hard to share their content via Twitter, Facebook etc.

      • Cathy says:

        That’s what I thought too. I’ve been back and forth on this. Why do we want to lead viewers away from the website immediately? The point of the social media accounts is to keep you visible, and ultimately get them to your site to buy/do whatever your action plan is. For my clients, the best scenario is for their clients to get to their site, see their stuff and then contact them.

  4. Glenn says:

    Absolutely right. Social media icons should be available quickly, even before someone has read your post. Generally, I don’t have to view SEOMoz’s Whiteboard Friday before I know I’m going to RT it. I can post it and then view it. As a matter of fact… once I’ve viewed it, I may have forgotten my intention to post it altogether ! (Yes, many of these videos are that good 🙂 ).

    Actually … my preference is a floating share bar on the left (as shown on this blog.) My second choice would be social media buttons at the top.

  5. Nicole Schuman says:

    Yeah right. even me, I really don’t take time to really navigate a page and scroll it down up to the bottom. Thanks for sharing this..

  6. Pienkfrangipani says:

    Thank you for this useful advice.

  7. Jessica VonEaston says:

    It depends upon the site and the goals. If a site has a huge social community on say, Facebook and is a charity organization, and the site is the place you DONATE, the last thing you want to do is feature FB, Twitter, LINKS etc. at the top of the page when you want to keep people on the site to donate. Just to clarify- I’m talking about social media links (link you to the company’s page on FB for example, I’m not talking about ‘share’ which should be more prominently featured.) I think that if you are on a website – explore the site- the first thing shouldn’t be ‘Hey, jump off this site to see all our other social media stuff”. That said, it should be peppered throughout the homepage and in appropriate places throughout the site. If you are on an ‘article page’ you will want to SHARE that, and social media share buttons should either be something that scroll with you or appear at the top of the page and ‘stick’.

    • Kyle says:

      Jessica is correct … All content (and the placement of content) should align with the goals of your business. If your goal is to get a donation, sell a product or service, then your site needs to display the right content (text, images, CTAs) in all the right places on the site. Keep visitors focused on the task you want them to complete. Social media account icons located at the top may cause your visitor to leave your site and they may not return. Is a sale/donation more important or a possible page like? Social media account icons should be placed in the footer. Social share button should be prominently placed, but do not scroll with you as this is somewhat distracting.

  8. Petra says:

    I’m wondering which social media sharing buttons should be included? I see this page only has facebook and twitter? As a real estate site, with lots of pretty pictures of homes, it seems like Pintrest would also be advantageous?

  9. Jeremy says:

    What if you’re goal of your site is web-form conversion or email sign-up? So you don’t want them to leave your site? Would it matter then? I honestly put them in the bottom of most of my site, but half the time I don’t even want to put them on the site to begin with. It’s wasted site real estate to me personally. If I want people to be social with a part of a site I’d prefer they just share the link to it or use the like / share / pin buttons. Just my thoughts personally when it comes to conversion. I’ve tested having buttons on the top and the bottom and honestly when it’s not a goal to get users to go to one of my client’s social media pages I say then why do we need to even have it? If it detracts from your overall goal then no sense wasting someone’s thinking time. I’ve got 8 seconds to get you from point A to Z.

    • Alessio says:

      Jeremy, you can have the social media links appear on the form’s submit confirmation screen. The user has already shown interest in your product/service since they’ve filled out the form,, so they are more likely to click on links.

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