One way websites and content publishers can get readers and consumers to share their content is to make sure there are easy ways to do so, including buttons on the homepage for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and now Google+.
SEO platform BrightEdge Technologies studied the top 10,000 websites for its “Social-Share Analysis: Tracking Social Adoption and Trends” report in August 2011. It looked at how many sites included these social links or plugins on their homepages and found that more sites are using such sharing tools in 2011, with 53.6% of the top 10,000 websites including at least one social link or plugin. This is up from 52.8% in 2010.
Facebook is the most popular sharing tool on website homepages, with 50.3% of sites studied containing a Facebook share button, according to the study. Additionally, 42.5% of sites had a share button for Twitter, while 8.1% included Google+ and 4% included LinkedIn.
To look at the effect these social plugins have on a website’s traffic and how much content is shared, BrightEdge also analyzed more than 4 million tweets, noting how often a site with a tweet button was mentioned on Twitter. On average, a website without a Twitter share button was mentioned four times, while a site with a tweet button was mentioned 27 times. Including a Twitter plugin button increased mentions on Twitter almost sevenfold.
It seems natural that sites would want to include these share buttons to get more readers and consumers to mention content on social sites, but nearly half of the top websites did not include any of the social plugins studied. When it comes to social media marketing, brands shouldn’t forget about their own websites and should make sure that their owned media is also social—not only encouraging readers to share content, but also noting how they can “like” or follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.
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