Use Sharing Buttons to Make Your Website Interactive

Social sharing buttons are handy tools for website owners who want to increase traffic and brand awareness. You can choose a particular button style that complements your website, or rearrange the order in which the icons are displayed. In some cases, you can even track how they’re used to further improve your site.

These buttons allow your visitors to share your posts and pages on their social media accounts without navigating away from your site. Make your content easy to share by adding buttons and customizing how they look.

Use sharing button icons or text

Social sharing buttons are everywhere. They’re so common that we recognize their symbols at a glance, even if they look a bit different from one site to the next. Sometimes they’re presented in colorful icon formats, while other times they’re housed within formal text boxes, or displayed in a text-and-icon style.

The look you choose depends on your website’s theme and the design choices you’ve made. For example, a rainbow of icons pairs nicely with images of sprinkled cupcakes on a bakery site, while simple black-and-white text-style boxes are more suitable for a prestigious accounting or legal-services website. The latter option won’t clash with your site’s color scheme or logo hue.

How to add and customize buttons

So, how do you add share buttons to your site? Start by setting them up with just a few clicks:

  1. Sign in to your WordPress.com site and open My Sites.
  2. Under Configure, click Sharing, and then click the Sharing Buttons tab.
  3. Select which services you would like to add buttons for.
  4. Under Button Style, select how you want these buttons to look. You can also choose if you want to display the Reblog or Like buttons under Reblog & Like.
  5. Click Save Changes to save your work.

After you save your sharing settings, return to your site to see how they look. You can play around with different customizations.

For example, the label text that appears above the buttons reads “Share this:” by default. Rather than using the default label setting, you might want to customize the text to say “Please share:” or “Like what you see? Share it!”

To tweak this message, select Edit label text at the top of the Sharing Buttons tab and type in your custom text.

Reordering how sharing symbols appear

You can also change the order in which share symbols appear.

To add or remove sharing symbols, go to Edit sharing buttons and click on the social media channels you want to include. If you don’t want to display a certain channel, click on it again to make it disappear. Alternatively, if you want every social platform to appear, but don’t want to overwhelm your site’s theme with icons, hide some of them in a dropdown menu labeled More.

Changing sharing settings on WordPress.com

Another option is to rearrange the order of your buttons from the most important, popular, or relevant to the least (depending on personal preference or the preferences of your audience). You can omit or add certain buttons (or leave them out altogether) with each published page or post.

After all, your static pages, such as About Me and Contact, don’t really benefit from being shared on Google+ or Pinterest in the way that your blog’s images or your website’s how-to posts will.

Following your blog’s sharing stats

A great benefit of using share buttons is the ability to track how often they are used via your website’s stats. These stats tell you how many shares your site receives, what type of posts your visitors prefer to share, and which buttons are used most often.

Armed with such information, you can make adjustments to your posting habits and reconfigure your sharing buttons to improve stats and increase traffic.

Stats showing the total number of shares

Now you know how to add sharing buttons to your posts and how to customize their appearances. With customized sharing buttons, you can expand your website’s reach, engage in more social media conversations, and draw in additional visitors.

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Lorna Hordos

Lorna Hordos is a home-flipping business owner and freelance writer.

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