What is the best position for placement of Social Media icons on a website page? And why do some branded websites ignore these on their home page? Is it because they do not care for social outreach? Or are they so popular already that these buttons do not count in their online branding strategy?
Since arguing with my colleagues was not getting me much information, I posted a question in Quora (my trusted resource center) “What is the best practice of showing social media buttons on website?” To my surprise, I got answer from Lee Jackson, Inbound Marketing Consultant:
“In my opinion however well known the brand it’s important to showcase your Social Media profiles on your website. I recommend to my clients that they should display the following on each page of their site;
- Social feeds (i.e. Twitter feed, Blog RSS, Facebook Like Box)
- A prominent link to their blog and RSS feed
- Links to each social profile
- Share buttons so that visitors can easily share the webpages.
There’s a lot more you can add, such as the ‘Buffer’& ‘Pin it’ Pinterest buttons, and also features like the Twitter ‘Tweet this page’ and ‘Follow us’, but you could then argue that this will clutter up the webpages whilst taking away from the main content.
The bottom line is to determine your social goals, and then design the pages as to not look cluttered.”
Now that I have an expert’s opinion behind me, here are some tips and suggestions on how to showcase your brand’s Social Media profiles on your website.
Where do you place the buttons? – For web pages I believe the best solution is to place at the top, so that the visitor can see the icons near the top navigation, which is the most clicked/viewed/used by the visitor. Don’t place those valuable buttons at the footer.
There is an interesting eyetracking study that supports an F-design for websites and the heatmaps also shows that the visitor’s eyes move to the upper right corner a little more than other parts of the webpage. So utilize that space to show your social presence and phone number.
The social media profile icons in the website helps in sending the message to the visitor that you care about the social presence of your website. Adding these icons will also help the potential customer to go to your Facebook or Twitter profile and ask questions regarding your services or appreciate you for solving their problems pretty easily. Even forB2B companies, social media content is the most popular content.
When creating a Facebook page for your brand, you will link to your website from that page. You need to do the same from your website too. This will help the users and search engines to identify the different properties you have on the internet. Whenever someone searches for your brand name Google loves to show your different social media pages in the first page. This will help in online reputation management by moving negative reviews, if any, to the second page. Also placing the Google+ button on the website and getting more +1′s has a high correlation with Google rankings.