What’s the average number of shares your blog posts typically get?
Are you frustrated that your blog posts aren’t getting shared very much?
You may be making a few common mistakes with your social share buttons that can be fixed in minutes!
Let me explain. When I host Brag About Your Blog Day on my Facebook Page I promise to share every submitted post with my 33,000+ Twitter followers. But, when I visit many of the blogs so I can share their content, I am thwarted. On at least 50% of the blogs, it’s difficult for me to share the content.
I’m fairly patient, but if I have to work to share a blog post, most of the time, I’ll leave the site without sharing. So will most, if not all, of your visitors.
So, what did I discover? There are three mistakes I found over and over again. Fix these and you’ll get more shares on your content. I guarantee it!Fix these 3 mistakes on your social share buttons to get more blog traffic and visibility.
Each mistake relates to the social share plugin you’re using – or not using, as the case may be.
Mistake #1 – No Social Share Buttons
And that’s the first mistake. I actually stumbled on blogs that did not offer any way for me to share the blog posts. Well, of course, you won’t get any shares if there’s no way to share! Obvious, right?
If your site is self-hosted on WordPress, there are hundreds of plugins for you to choose from to add social share buttons to your blog posts. All plugins are not created equally so do your homework before you install one. I use Social Warfare premium plugin on this site. There is also a free “lite” version of Social Warfare you can install to test it if you wish. I’ll tell you why I like this on best later in the post.
I also can’t think of a single third-party hosted blogging platform that doesn’t include some type of social sharing option. If I’m wrong about that, please let me know in the comments.
So, if you’re not getting any shares, check your site and make sure you have a plugin and activate it right now!
Mistake #2 – Social Share Buttons Are Not Obvious
Ok, you do have a social share plugin, and still, no one is sharing your content. Why? It’s not in their face. It’s not obvious. Again, quite a few blogs I visited actually had sharing buttons, but I had to hunt for them.
Make your sharing buttons stand out. This is not the place to be shy. Make sharing your content a call to action. To build your audience, and your business, you need to increase your reach and visibility. One of the easiest ways to do this is by encouraging your readers to share your content. Make it easy!
Mistake #3 – No Way to Track Who Shared Your Content on Twitter
It was this mistake that provoked me to write this post. Here’s the thing: if you use Twitter and you want people to tweet your blog posts, don’t you want to know who they are so you can start a relationship and thank them for sharing?
Recommended: 5 Time-Tested Ways to Improve Your Twitter Profile
If your Twitter handle is not included in the tweet that your reader sends out, you don’t get a mention on Twitter and won’t know who shared your posts. This will take you a minute to fix.
Go to the Settings for your social share plugin and find the spot where you add your Twitter handle. In most plugins, when you do that, it will automatically include “via @yourname” when someone clicks on the Twitter share button. And, if you use the Share This plugin, make sure to change it! They put “via @sharethis” as the default which means you’re promoting their plugin and not your brand. Why would you want to do that?
ALWAYS check the plugin settings after installing ANY plugin to make sure it’s working the way you want. Every social share plugin I can think of offers some form of customization. Use it.
Less is more. Think about where you want readers to share your content and then offer ONLY those share buttons. If the audience you want to attract is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter, then use only those buttons. Many social share tools offer many choices for to which you can share your posts. But, too many choices creates paralysis and your reader may split before they share. My suggestion is to offer a maximum of five share buttons.
The other thing you want to check is that you’re not using two or more social share plugins. This not only looks messy, it’s confusing for your reader. Pick one plugin and stick with it. 🙂
- If you don’t have social sharing buttons on your blogsite, find a plugin you like and install it now.
- Make sure you choose a social share plugin that stands out. Subtle won’t do if you want readers to share your content.
- Check the settings for Twitter and make sure your Twitter handle is included.
- Only use one social share plugin. If you have more than one installed, remove the extras.
Why I Use Social Warfare
As I mentioned above, my social sharing plugin of choice is Social Warfare* (premium). The plugin incorporates many features that used to require multiple plugins and it’s highly customizable.
- Customize style plugins and match color branding
- Add or remove share counts
- Choose from 14 platforms for sharing
- Click to Tweet option built in (one less plugin!)
- Upload images customized specifically for social networks (vertical Pinterest image, landscape image for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+)
- Customize text to share on various platforms
- Add custom tweet content
- Responsive design so it looks good on mobile devices as well as desktop
There are more features, and these are the ones I am crazy about.
Over to you. Did this article help clarify how to get the most out of your social sharing buttons? If you have further questions about it, please post them in the comment below.
*This is an affiliate link. I get paid a small commission if you buy the premium plugin.