Any Experience with Social Media Sharing Icons on Your Site?
I'm interested to hear if anyone's done any UX or A/B testing for placement of social media share icons on their site? I haven't found any conclusive evidence online whether you put the buttons under images, vertical in a side-bar, or hovering over a picture to be the most effective for engagement.
Whatever you do has to be consistent across the site. So image from blog versus product page should be shared in the same manner.
We always put them under the image when you have multiple share options. It there are additional thumbnails then they go under the share row.
We've never designed them to be beside the image in vertical line. That position is not conducive to click thru due to eye movement on the page. They are going to look UNDER the image before they look beside it.
If you are offering one share option, e.g. Pinterest, then a hover is another option.
At SalesEvolve we always have our social buttons at the bottom of blog posts for easy sharing, or under the contact us section. We find those have been the easiest places, and the most professional looking.
I use top bar & footer icons as well as sidebar icons. I use a link tracker in WP that says they are clicked daily an often. People expect a certain amount of social media access and i think if they don't see lots of "social proof" then that's a red flag of credibility. A lot of websites put icons on the footer, so be sure to at least do that. The hover icons are cool and I plan to use them soon as I think they will give you the best exposure. I base this on my own experience on other sites.
Hovering has had the best results for my clients. It also depends if you are asking them to like a company or a product of a company. Make sure if it is a product and you have visuals that you include Pinterest for this as well. Most toolbars (hovering type plug ins) forget to add that site. If your audience is younger, consider adding a Tumblr link as well. Good luck I hope this helps.
Hey Lauren, I think keeping the Button on the right side is more effective, like here we got in Mosaic... Because people looks for things in their right side first, If I am am now wrong...
Lauren, we have built websites with social media integration, where a user can easily share with multiple channels such facebook, linkedin, twitter, pinterest, googleplus, reddit etc..u d a log into the code that measures the number of shares.
Now we change the design like you mentioned: put buttons under images, vertical in a sidebar, or hovering over a pic. We measure user engagement and sharing, and use the data collected to decide which approach to take.
Hope this answers your question.
Take data driven decisions.
It depends on your goal, and the type of site. If you have a branding or informational site which expects the user to visit more than once, I recommend placing in both the footer and in or near the header for ease of access.
If you have a Direct Response/lead generation site or landing page, social media links can be a distraction from the main goal of the site- getting the user to complete the lead form. In these cases, I would recommend placing the social media links only on the "Thank you" confirmation page that is displayed after the user submits the form.
Script is used to share the social media icons. The Source has to be edited for each page that has to be shared or automatic social media sharing sites can be utilised to generate the code. I recently managed a Social media campaign which included website development where not only where the sharing icons placed, but also shared across targeted demographics.
I'd be interested in this as well. I think that it would really depend on your client's website, the overall design, type of content. I could imagine that there could even be cases where the optimal position for social share buttons might change on a post by post basis, i.e. the buttons should be located at the point in an article where the user is most likely to want to share, which would change for each post.
In order to click social media, visitors should have a reason. I would put my preferences in the following order:
1. use social locker, i.e. put something practical and useful content (ebook, pdf, checklist, road map, how-to, etc.) behind it so visitors would "pay" by click for access
2. make social icons sliding along the post so visitors can click any time they find something useful
3. locate just at the end of post so vistitos who reach to the end of post clicl them if they liked it
Lauren - maybe I am too simplistic, but how many times have I seen B2B sites only putting a FB share button or B2C sites with 35 channels in the footer where nobody will find it. Once you have your 2-3 personas get the right buttons next to the h1 and as suggested be consistent. If after a week or two there are 0 shares well it's maybe time to look at content. Wishing you nothing but success.
Irrespective of placement social media icons must be visible on your site. People will expect to see them so will find them when your content engages with them.
We have done the same .Its very simple. I can help you in that , if you need help..
So the answer to your question here seems to be that there IS no "right" answer, except just to make sure that you include them somewhere that's very easily accessible and visible, and I do agree with keeping it generally the same throughout the whole site.
Personally I am a fan of placing the icons right next to whatever it is you want to encourage viewers to share. I am also seeing more and more where there is a "Tweet this!" CTA being placed somewhere directly adjacent to a quotable sentence, phrase, image, etc....so that when the viewer clicks that CTA it connects to their designated Twitter feed with a pre-produced tweet that includes the info.