You don't need Social Share buttons on your website
Contrary to everything you've heard, it's a good decision to remove the share buttons from your website. Here's why.
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You've seen them around a lot of marketing websites. So you are considering to incorporate them into your website as well. If you have come across this article, it means that you are considering their effectiveness.
Social share buttons have been around the internet since the 2000s and as you can see, they are still heavily used across blogs. However, the way that we browse the internet has changed dramatically since then and maybe it's time to reconsider our approach to social share buttons.
Reason #1: nobody clicks on share buttons
Be honest - when was the last time you clicked on a share button yourself?
Moovweb reports that 99.8% of mobile users never engage on social share buttons. This means that for 1000 visitors to your blog, 2 people will engage with the buttons. Out of those 2 people, maybe 1 will actually share it to their social media? Desktop users are just slightly better - 99.4%.
The report also showed that users are 12 times more likely to click on an ad than a social share button. Clicking on an ad is already a relatively rare event from stats point of view.
Reason #2: good content will be shared anyways
Write good content and naturally the content will be shared without the need for you to ask for it. The decision doesn't lie in wherever they can be reminded that they can share the article.
Reason #3: it's more natural to share a webpage without the use of share buttons
This might not have been the case 15 years ago, but it definitely is nowadays.
- Mobile: click on the browser's native share functionality to share on the app of your choice.
- Desktop: Copy the URL from the browser and paste it in a new post on Twitter/Linkedin/Facebook.
Doing this offers several UX advantages:
- users already do these actions for non-blog post webpages
- users don't have to spend time trying to find the share button within your UI
- users can craft the social media post to their liking instead of having the default text that comes with share buttons
Reason #4: it can be a distraction from your primary CTA
Even if social share buttons were effective, are they still a good idea?
In majority of cases, users engage with a single CTA. This means that your primary CTA (eg newsletter subscribe, request a demo, purchase a product [which is this is my CTA of choice]) will be competing for attention with the social share buttons.
If the user ends using the social share button, they will be redirected away from your website which means that they will be a lot less likely to follow up with your primary CTA.
Reason #5: it can hurt performance of the website
There are two main ways to add a social share button on your website
- "custom" share buttons which are usually just created using
atags and social media SVGs
- third party script
The first method has a minimum performance impact to your website since they are just static HTML tags.
However, many websites are using the second method which adds a new dependency to your website and increases loading times. This can have a damaging effect to your performance, thus reducing your Web Vital scores.
These are all good reasons not to include social share buttons. I'm sure that there are good reasons to add them, but it's good to weigh in the pros and cons of each. If you have a website blog utilising them or you are planning of implementing them to your new website, maybe it's worth to think about it and consider both options.
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