At one point the trend was to have as many social media buttons as possible and prove that we were incredibly popular by adding these in triplicate to our website.
I used to have every social media button I could think of but does anybody click them? I fear that take up from those little buttons is fairly low. There is nothing to entice the individual to click and follow, the buttons tend to go a bit unnoticed as they form a static part of so many sites. Also they tend to be out of context, their value is not explained – if indeed there is a value. Finding a modern website with no social media buttons is a bit like spotting a halogen bulb on Downton Abbey but you can bet those sites have found a better way to involve their visitors.
How many people who post these icons on their websites are active on the social networks they tout when “Follow me on Twitter” takes you down a blind alley? I am sure there are those that are not remotely interesting in sporting their wares on Facebook or Twitter but have the icons because it is the right thing to do. In this case it is better to have none or focus on one social media channel that has a real value.
Displaying an extract of what is available on Facebook might encourage a visitor to like a page. Equally this can work the other way, posting an article on a Facebook page with promises of lots more exciting stuff on the website. This could be genuinely involving with a value to the site owner and to the visitor.
Do I practice what I preach? Not entirely but I am getting there!