Content is king, but if you want your content to succeed in today’s internet environment you need to court the attention of social media. One of the simplest yet most important ways to do this is through the use of social media icons, encouraging people to share your content or follow your profile. Even little tweaks in the way these icons are used can noticeably impact on results, so there are a number of factors to consider if you want to get the most out of them.
The first (yet often most underappreciated) step is to think about what sort of social media icons you like. Essentially, this boils down to the difference between “share” and “follow.” Do you want people who like your content to click on a button that will share it with their friend list, or one that will sign them up to “follow” or “like” your page so that they will be able to see your posts in the future. Some social networks introduce further options, but these still tend to relate to the main two. For example you can “like” as well as “share” through Facebook, but both serve the purpose of getting your content seen by the user’s friend list. The difference between sharing and following, however, is much bigger. The question of which is better depends firmly on your own, individual digital marketing goals. For example, sharing content bolsters SEO while following your page creates user engagement and the chance to generate future shares. Of course, it is possible to have both types of button and give people the choice, but if you are targeting multiple social networks beware of overcrowding.