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Social Media Advertising: Why I Hate Share Buttons

12/14/17

Michael Getzlaff

Managing Partner - Content Strategy

I know, we live in a “sharing” world, at least when it comes to our online lives. You can barely find a website that doesn’t encourage you to spread the gospel of BRAND to all those you know, or somewhat know, or don’t know at all, but for some reason they accepted a friend or connect request.

Herein lies the problem. Sharing may be great on a personal level, but for a business website, you’re most likely sabotaging your leads.

The Complete Uselessness of Share Buttons

As far back as 2015 (an eternity in the social media timeline), Adweek reported that 99.8 percent of share buttons went unused on both desktop and mobile (1). In 2017, Moovweb backs this stat up, at least for mobile. Their study found that the 0.2% share of clickers is still sound (2).

Basically, your company is plastering every page of your website with ineffective marketing. You’re wasting valuable space and valuable time working those buttons into design. However, there’s an even bigger problem with those share buttons. It’s not just that their ineffective. They’re downright destructive.

Share Buttons Blast a Hole Right Out of Your Ecosystem

The whole purpose of sharing is to blast content and information out into the world. That sounds great and all, but for your business, what you really want is to pull people into your world. That’s a hard thing to achieve when on your website, those share buttons are actively driving potential leads out of your ecosystem.

Your website needs to remain the destination hub. Your entire digital marketing budget is designed with this purpose in mind. By encouraging others to share your content on social media channels, you are creating a viewing diversion.

Furthermore, when someone does share your content, it often acts as a marketing tool for them, not you. Your information boosts their name as the thought leader, helping to generate their standing in the industry. Someone may remember your name, but many more won’t.

As a quick test, what two sources did I site earlier in this article? Can’t remember both? You’re not alone.

Notice also that I didn’t include a link to these statistics. Why? I don’t want you to leave, even if the webpage is opening on a new tab. I’ve provided the sources in footnotes, knowing full well that you’re most likely not going to stop reading to scroll down to see the source. I do this because if there’s a rabbit hole I want you to fall into, I want it to be one of my own design.

What’s the Right Way to Share?

By all means, this article isn’t a rebuff of social media. You should keep sharing, but flip the script. All that content you create should be shared by you on your social media sites. Blast out those blog posts, paid social advertisements, eBooks, white papers, and videos, but make sure that the CTA links directly back to you. Whatever distribution channels you use, the purpose is to guide the reader back to home base and further down your marketing funnel.

What About SEO?

The argument is often made that those share buttons increase brand exposure and lift social signals, leading to more website traffic. However, that simply isn’t played out when looking at lead conversion. Scores of A/B testing have proved this point, with many websites posting double-digit gains in conversion simply by deleting social share buttons (3).

In addition, the new Google algorithms place a great deal of emphasis on quality, long-form content. You’ll be better served in search with that content staying put in your world, not someone else’s.

  1. 1. Adweek | http://www.adweek.com/digital/report-moovweb-social-share-buttons/
  2. 2. Moovweb | https://www.moovweb.com/anyone-use-social-sharing-buttons-mobile/
  3. 3. ThinkSEM | http://thinksem.com/blog/social-share-buttons-on-landing-pages-keep-or-throw/

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