It’s insane! Why do you keep doing this on your website?

Real Talk, Website Planning

Your social media buttons are killing your website! It’s a completely insane statement to make, I know but please, hear me out.

If you’ve been around my part of the web before, you’ll know I like to dissect the stuff that doesn’t sit right with me. And this is definitely one of them. And it might just hit a nerve with you too.

The truth about social media buttons: They're killing your website

Why Your Social Media Buttons are killing Your Website.

Take a deep breath sister, I know this might be hard to hear. You’re probably even tempted to hit the back button and pretend you never saw this post because you love the way your Insta feed compliments your website.

So before I go further I need to make it clear what I’m talking about.

There are 2 types of social media buttons that you’ll see on websites :

  1. Social Share buttons – These make it dead simple for your visitors to share your content around the web.
  2. Social Profile buttons – These are direct links away from your website that open up your social media pages and are the ones I’m hating on today.

But everyone uses them. Are you telling me, those folks are all wrong?

Yes, everyone does use them but effective web design means that every element of your website should have a purpose. If you’re just using them because everyone else is, you might need to rethink your strategy.

The Purpose of Social Profile Buttons

The intention of social profile buttons are to take people to your profile pages with the hopes that they will follow you there. But as I explain in this post, it doesn’t always happen.

The real purpose of social profile buttons is to build social followings so you can build strong relationships over time but that’s not going to work if you don’t have a social media strategy in place.

Also, building your social following should not be the purpose of your website but if they’re plastered front and center and taking up prime real estate, you’re making it your website’s primary goal.

I’ve got some ideas to share later about better ways to do social from your website so bear with me.

The Problem with Social Profile Buttons?

Your aim as a website owner should be to keep visitors on your site for as long as possible and at the very least, get them on your email list so you can nurture a relationship with them.

But, by adding social profile buttons, you’re offering direct links away from your website and even more painfully, they are being offered up before your visitor has time to see how you can help them (ie; in/above/below the header).

Can you see just how insane that is?

Transactions happen on your website NOT social media sites furthermore, you have absolutely no control over what happens there. You can’t control what they’ll see, what they’ll do next or where they’ll go after that. You’re pretty much taking a big fat gamble that they’ll take the action you hope they will {following/liking your page}.

On your website however, it’s a different story. With a bit of foresight and strategy you can control what they see, do and even what they’ll do next by laying the path.

HERE’S HOW IT SHOULD GO DOWN.

  1. Drive leads to your website VIA social media sites.
  2. Once they’re on your website, get them on your email list.

Period.

The real purpose of social media buttons is to drive traffic to your website not away from it.

When is it ok to use these types of social media buttons?

That depends entirely on how social media fits into your business model. For all the Amy Porterfield’s {Social Media Experts} of the world, links to your social profiles would be beneficial since potential clients might want to see if you actually walk the talk before reaching out to you. It would also serve as evidence that you are an expert simply by seeing how engaged your social followings are.

Another good use of the these buttons would be if you have a social media community related to your business ie; Facebook groups {I know you’re a part of at least one!}. Facebook groups have become quite popular and seem to be a lot more valuable to a business than an actual business page these days.

So where do Social Media buttons belong?

Great question!

Social media buttons do have their place.

    1. ‘Thank You’ Page – When someone signs up to your email list they’re sent a “Welcome email”, sent to a “Thank You” page or both. I recommend that you set up a custom “Thank You” page on your website but if that’s out of your depth then take the time to personalise the “Welcome Email” sent by your Autoresponder. This is not just a really great opportunity to introduce your social profile pages but it’s also the perfect time to show them all the other cool stuff on your site.

 

    1. Comments on your blog posts – There’s a brilliant plugin by Yoast called “Yoast Comment Hacks”. It does a few different things related to blog comments but the most valuable is redirecting first time commenters to a similar ‘Thank You’ page.

 

    1. Email Signature – Your email signature is one of the most overlooked opportunities to engage socially. One of the easiest ways to add your links is by using the WiseStamp Email Signatures App. It’s free and looks pretty pro too.
      Gmail Cog Wheel

      If you’re a Gmail user, you can do this yourself by clicking the cog wheel on the right of your inbox screen then go to Settings >> General >> Scroll down to find “Signature”.This is where you can link to your social profiles with simple text or image links if you prefer. Make sure to use full URL paths here to make it as easy as possible for them to find you. ie; http://twitter.com/IndiePixelHouse instead of @IndiePixelHouse.

 

  1. Email Marketing – Add your social media profiles to your email marketing campaigns to let them know you exist on these social channels. If they like what they’re reading, chances are they’ll also like what you’re doing on your social profiles too.

 

Are you up for the challenge?

Like almost everyone, you’ve been caught up in the hype of one of the largest phenomenon to ever take place, Social Networking.

But I’m here to offer up a new perspective and challenge you to answer this: What role does social media play in your business?

Right now for me {and the majority of us}, it’s having my stuff get shared so it has the potential to reach more people than I can reach on my own.

If you can’t answer that right now, I’m going to challenge you to remove those social media buttons and text links to social media sites (especially from your homepage) until you know what role it plays in your business. If you must keep them, move them to a less prominent place like in the footer so your visitors at least get to see how you can help them.

Then leave me a comment below letting me know :

  • That you took me up on the challenge and lived to tell the tale.
  • Why you think this is the stupidest idea EVER!

Final Note

Don’t mistake Social Media buttons for the Social Share buttons. Those are the ones responsible for helping your content get spread to the masses and we all look forward to that right? So please use the share buttons below to do just that!

Have you downloaded The Essential Website Planning Checklist yet?

I invite you to go ahead and do than now. 

Discover what it really takes to build a website that actually works to meet your goals.

 

GET THE CHECKLIST!

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