Make your web content easy to share

Published: April 28, 2010 Author: Clearpoint Tags: Social Media Tips and Tricks Series

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Nearly everything I read online these days concludes with a string of colorful icons, like a handful of shiny pebbles strewn across the bottom of the page. If I want to share what I found with others, one click seamlessly connects me to my favorite social networking site and drops in the link. But where do the shiny pebbles come from? How did they get there? Should you get some? Yes, you should get some. Recent research indicates that internet users rely more and more on social networks to find content. Not only does Facebook now get more web traffic than Google, but it's increasingly important for sending traffic to other content publishers via the links that circulate among friends (a.k.a. "friendcasting"). If you publish web content, make it shareable. You'll increase your exposure, plus the larger number of inbound links to your page will boost your search engine ranking too. So, how do I get some shiny pebbles? Each icon consists of the graphic, a link to the social networking site, and a script that builds a link to your page using your URL and related information, like your page title. The script then drops the link into the sharer's post, tweet, email, etc. Individual sites like Facebook often provide a share button that you can paste into your page, but you can cast a wider net by using a free sharing service. Sharing services give you all the sharing buttons you need in one step, with the necessary programming already built in. Best of all, sharing services give you access to data about where and how often your content is shared. If you use a sharing service, here are a few things to know:

  • Read the fine print to find out what information, if any, the sharing service will collect about you or your readers and how it will be used.
  • Some sharing services will change the language of the icon array on the fly for your international audiences.
  • Sharing services can generate reports to show where and how often your content is shared.
  • Sharing buttons are fully customizable. Each service listed below gives you a few preset button arrays, or you can begin with the raw code and build your own buttons. You may need help from a web developer, but you can create exactly the look you want while still taking advantage of the service's analytics capability.

Sharing Services

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