How to Pick the Right Social Media Sharing Tool for Your Wedding Business Website
You've heard it from me before, social signals matter. If you care about your seo ranking and your overall bridal traffic, then you've got to focus on your social engagement just as much as your optimization efforts. That means making sure your content and your website inspire involvement and social sharing.
Naturally, one of the easiest, most automated ways to improve the interaction from your followers is by giving your website visitors social sharing buttons they can use when they want to share you and your ideas with others. When a "tweet" or "like" button is readily available to your visitors, they will be far more likely to share your website pages and blog posts with their own social network; increasing your social signals as they do.
There are two ways to add social sharing buttons, like the Facebook Like Button or the Twitter Tweet Button, to your website.
- Get the button directly from the social platform, such as Facebook or Twitter, and add it to your website.
- Get all your social sharing buttons from one place by choosing a Third Party App that offers a sharing tool where you can pick and choose the buttons you want.
What's the Difference?
Whether you get your social sharing buttons directly from the source or use a third-party application doesn't necessarily make a difference in the functionality of the buttons themselves. They should all operate in the same way, allowing a user to share your content with their own social network.
However, there are a few things you should be aware of as to the pros and cons of each option so that you can choose the approach that's best for you.
Pros & Cons of Going to the Source
In general, you can never go wrong going straight to the source and getting your social sharing buttons from Google, Facebook, Twitter and other networks. The code will be solid and you'll be able to track your social engagement using Google Analytics.
The challenge with going directly to the social media platform for the button is that it's slightly more work for you:
- You'll have to go to each individual network to find your buttons
- You'll probably have to pay your programmer to style the buttons so that they appear nicely aligned when next to each other
- You'll have to manually set up your Google Analytics to track the social activity occurring with your buttons
- Sometimes there are additional steps added after a user clicks the button, like recommending people to follow
Pros & Cons of Using Third-Party Apps
The beauty of third party apps for social sharing buttons is that they are super easy to use and already styled to align exactly as you'd like them to. It's for this reason, we heart them.
However, not all third party apps are created equal. Some work for all websites, some only for Wordpress. Some are pretty, others are basic. Some are glitchy, others work well.
So, to find the one that's the best fit for you, consider the following:
- Is the app easy to embed into YOUR website and/or CMS program?
- Does the app work with Google Analytics? (If it doesn't you'll have to separately track your social signals through the third party app, which isn't a good way to get a birds eye view of what's happening in your business)
- Does the app support all the social networks your are currently active on?
- Has the company who created the app been around for a while? Are they popular enough to indicate stability?
- Does the app give you a few options for how to lay out your buttons?
- Are you happy with the appearance of the buttons?
- Do the buttons work consistently when you test them on your website?
The downside to using a third party app for your social sharing buttons is that all your social activity will be tracked with that company. So if you ever decide to switch to a new third party app or even to start using buttons straight from the original social network, you run the risk of your buttons resetting it's tally back to zero (0). In other words, if you had a blog post that was previously tweeted 15 times, the new button may show a total of 0 because it's new code and new tracking with a different third party app. Thus, if you're going to choose an application, pick a company that's been around for a while who seems stable so that you won't be tempted to jump ship.
What We Use for Our Social Sharing Buttons
First, you need to choose the app that feels best for you, whether directly from the source or through a third party.
Now that my little disclaimer is out of the way, I'll let you know that we have chosen to go with the ShareThis sharing widget. This is certainly not the only option out there and we've tried many over the years, but Share This allows us to track activity with Google Analytics and not all apps do. That's a biggie for us. We're always examining whether this is the best decision, but for now, its proven to be the right fit for us.
Here's why we chose ShareThis:
- It works consistently well without adding in unnecessary extra steps
- It aligns evenly without us having to do extra styling work
- It syncs up perfectly with Google Analytics (with only 1 step on our part)
- It doesn't advertise anything additional to the visitor when they click the buttons
- The company has been around for a while and we don't expect it to go anywhere
What About You?
What's been your experience using social sharing buttons? Any favorites that work with Google Analytics while still being easy to install?