Should I add social sharing buttons to my blog posts?

social sharing buttons

These guys can help you out

Have you noticed the social media buttons on everyone’s blogs lately?

If your blog doesn’t have them yet, here are three reasons I’d highly recommend adding them.

1. They make it easy for your readers to promote your blog

Every time a reader clicks a Tweet This, Share This and Like This button, every single person who reads their Tweets and Facebook posts sees that they’ve endorsed your post.

2. Social signals help your posts rank in Google

These days Google is taking social signals into account when ranking pages. That means that the more Tweets, Likes and Shares a page gets, the higher it will rank in Google. Easier social sharing equals more social sharing equals higher rankings. Pretty good for a button or two, right?

3. Social proof causes the snowball effect

Some buttons show the number of Likes, Tweets and Shares your post has received. High numbers act as social proof, further encouraging more Likes, Tweets and Shares, compounding the positive effects of social sharing.

So which buttons do you need?

I’d say at a minimum every post needs a Twitter button and a Facebook button. Facebook has very wide adoption and Twitter is a great place to share links. What if you’re blog isn’t associated with a Facebook or Twitter account? That won’t hinder your users’ ability to share your links, so go ahead and use the buttons.

I would use either the Facebook Like button or Share button, but not both. And of the two, I’d go with Share. Rand Fishkin at SEOMoz just wrote a post about how social signals (Facebook Likes and Shares, Tweets, etc.) affect rankings. He discovered that Facebook Shares affect rankings more than Likes.

If you’re on WordPress, I highly recommend the Socialize plugin for a quick and easy way to get social sharing buttons into your posts. If your blog has pages, like mine, excluding the comments call-to-action box and social sharing buttons from your pages is as easy as checking a box. Customize after installing the plugin by hitting Settings and then Socialize. If you are on Twitter, don’t forget to change the Twitter source to your Twitter handle, also in Settings and then Socialize.

Adding social sharing buttons is a small change that can offer big results. To get the most out of your buttons, ask your readers to use the buttons at the end of your posts.

Like so: Readers, if you liked this post, please Tweet This and/or Share with your friends on Facebook!

Photo via Sean MacEntee.

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