6 Quick Tips to Make Your Social Links Work Harder

If a reader likes your post enough to share it, the last thing you want is for them to be hunting for your social links. And you really don’t want readers to have technical difficulties with your social links.

How can you remove potential problems and boost the performance of your social links?

1. Does Your Tweet Button Include Your Username?

Try clicking the Tweet link on this post. It should display something like this:

Twitter share box with username

Notice the bit at the end: “via @quickblogtips“. This is so important, yet it’s missing from so many blogs. It means you’ll always see these tweets as “mentions” on Twitter. It also helps new followers to find you.

2. Homepage vs Post Page

If you display social links on your homepage as well as on the post page, make sure they share the content that they’re supposed to.

For instance, if I click the Tweet button on a post on the homepage, it’s not much good if it shares a link to the homepage. Even though I’m clicking from the homepage, it should share a link directly to the post.

How do you know if it does this? Try it yourself! You can test it without actually tweeting the link.

3. Keep Your Links Tidy

If your links are disorganised and messy, it can be harder to find the one you need. Also, it looks like you don’t really care whether people use them or not.

See the next screenshot for a good example of how not to keep things tidy.

4. Avoid Duplicate Links

I’ve seen blogs with a number of links that basically do the same thing. For example:

Messy social links

You don’t need “Tweet” and “Retweet”. You also don’t need “Share” and “Like”. They’re just getting in the way, distracting people from the most valuable links, and maybe making your blog load more slowly.

5. Pick a Few Links – Not All of Them

How many links do you need? I’ve seen blogs with over fifty different share links, all laid out in a  row.

Sure, you can hide them in a popup via services such as AddThis, but why?

AddThis

Notice the “More” link – 323 additional services! You know, just in case…

6. Test, Test, Test

Don’t just add a widget to your blog and assume it’ll work perfectly. Not all tools work well together. Sometimes you might break something really important by adding a fairly unimportant plugin to your blog.

Make sure you test carefully – try clicking the social links yourself. Better that you find the issue than someone else finds it – as they might just leave, and not tell you what the problem is.

Discussion

What plugin you use for your social links? Which social networks do you display?

  • http://www.probloggertips.com Yeremi Akpan

    Hey Ben,
    Guess what, just checked my blog and my Twitter Button leaves a via @sharethis footprint. That’s not good, obviously. Any idea how I can change that?

    • http://www.quickblogtips.com/ Ben Barden

      Hi Yeremi :) Here’s a support thread that might help. Perhaps a better option would be to try Digg Digg – I don’t use it here but it seems to be a good plugin :)

  • http://www.TimsMinions.com Andi the Minion

    Hi Ben, I never thought about the ‘Tweet’, ‘ReTweet’, ‘Share’ and ‘Like’ buttons being the same and possibly distracting.

    • http://www.quickblogtips.com/ Ben Barden

      Hi Andi :) Yes, I think you only need one of each type :) I’d also suggest removing any buttons that people don’t really use – I rarely get any votes on LinkedIn and have never had anything from Digg. Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus are the main ones for me :)

      • http://www.timsminions.com Andi the Minion

        Thanks for the reply Ben, yes, I think I shall streamline my social media buttons sometime this week, I also have the share and follow plugin that had 20 odd buttons bellow each post which probably only slows down the site when loading and not do anything else.

        In the knowledge that we need things sharing and want posts to go viral I like many others rushed to make sure every way is covered which probably is more detrimental than beneficial.

        cheers
        Andi