Designed for Clickability
Social Media has taken over the world. Or at least it has certainly made it a much smaller place. By facilitating conversations being people who don’t even have to leave their home, it has made us all far more interconnected. Along with this rise to the forefront of our lives so have social media icons become instantly recognised symbols of our times.
Now by social media icons, I don’t mean those people with millions of followers but the icons themselves. From the f of Facebook to the bird of Twitter, they have invaded countless websites, especially businesses wanting everybody to follow and ‘like’ them. However quite often they are placed on a site with little forethought, put in the footer whilst everyone crosses their fingers hoping people click. Just like every aspect of your website should be crafted for maximum effect, so should your placement of the social media icons.
It’s all about context
To start simply, you should look at what pages you have the icons on. Sure they may be in the footer of every page but this will get you a low percentage result (people don’t read footers all that much). Instead you should place additional icons in places where a user’s attention is. Maybe near the title of the page, or just below the end for easy sharing.
It’s not just about putting on the extra icons though but taking a step back and thinking if it’s worth sharing. You need to ensure that what your saying is interesting enough for somebody to want to either connect to you, or speak with others who like what you are doing. Perhaps think about what types of pages have these extra icons. And for those that do, ensure the content is interesting and engaging.
Get it noticed
So you’ve got the placement down but now you need to get people bothering to click. Essentially you need to draw their attention to the button. In a world where surfing the internet is second nature to many and they see these icons everywhere, that might not be so easy.
Something you can try is to be a little different. Obviously you can get the stock icons and use these as the links but so are most people. Just like you have control over the design of your site, there is nothing saying you have to use these exact icons. Many websites on the net offer icon packages putting your only little spin on the icons. This itself may be enough to make somebody take a second glance – and often that’s all you need.
Another thing you might try is giving people direct incentive to click though and become one of your followers. Social media is a free resource for marketing, so why not give people a 10% discount if they like you on Facebook. Or maybe you could enter them into a prize draw if they follow you on twitter. Be a little creative and think of different ways you can ask somebody to spend 30 seconds of their day to become part of your social network.
Covering all of your bases
Competition is fierce between businesses. Much like social networks have made it easy to interact with your friends, it has made every similar business your competition. This is because of the global nature of the web and the easy of getting some services from companies hundreds of miles away.
Getting the social media icons right is a tiny part of a social strategy but with this close competition, it’s important to leave no stone unturned. Being clever and creative can be the difference between success and failure in this global social world.