Social share buttons serve as a useful tool for bloggers to encourage people to post their content on social media networks. Most blogs include a slider with buttons for social sharing or icons in the margins of their blog. The emergence of optimized social share buttons has taken this process a step further as bloggers can now have influence over what appears in the tweets and posts generated by these buttons.
Optimized Social Share Buttons
Traditional social share buttons generate a brief message with a generic URL back to your site. Every button for each social media network will produce the same message for sharing on the particular platform.
In comparison, optimized social share buttons allow you to customize the message and cater it toward each specific social media site. For example, Twitter share buttons can be optimized to include your sites Twitter handle, relevant hashtags and a customized URL, as cited by Social Media Examiner. These optimized share buttons offer more specific organization about your company and allow you to communicate your brand’s identity more effectively.
How to Make Your Own
Creating your own optimized social share buttons for your blog is a fairly simple process. For example, visiting the Twitter Buttons page presents a straightforward series of options for creating your own button. This page prompts you to choose the action you wish the button to initiate, insert a custom URL and gives you the option of including hashtags and additional Twitter handles. From there you simply copy and paste the generated code onto your blog.
Customizing a Facebook share button is a similar process. You can choose the URL you want to share, the appearance of the button and its size and shape. Generating this code will give you a basic share button featuring the URL to your page.
In order to add a specific message or image, add your own open graph tags to this code. For example, <meta property=“og:title” content=“This is the Title of the Page”/> represents a tag including the title of your blog’s page in the content to be shared from your button. You can learn more about these tags from the Open Graph Protocol or speak with your web developer to create more customized messages.
These buttons are not limited to Twitter and Facebook, as custom buttons can be made for sharing your content via Pinterest, LinkedIn, email and Google+. Based on the different options these sites allow for customizing sharing buttons and your organization’s industry, you can select the tool that best suits your needs. For example, a clothing company might prefer to create a button for sharing images via Pinterest, while a motorcycle lawyer might want to focus on creating a button to share professional content via LinkedIn.
Monitoring the performance of your optimized social share buttons will allow you to determine which channels your audience is using. The social plugins section of Google Analytics will display general activity on your social sharing buttons while specific event tracking will offer an analysis of the performance of a particular button. Use this information to target your efforts to the social media sites generating the most shares for your content.
Optimized social share buttons give bloggers and organizations the opportunity to customize the way in which their content is shared on social media channels. Based on your particular industry and goals, you should choose the site with the sharing options best suited to your needs and audience.