Visit almost any site or web page and you will likely find the familiar Twitter Tweet, Facebook Like, and Google Plus buttons just to name a few. In fact, it is becoming difficult to find a site or page without them. Can you remember the last time that you were browsing a site that didn’t have any? Well OK, there are a few out there that don’t have them that come to mind such as Wikipedia.org and WordPress.com, at least at the time I wrote this.
The majority of sites I visit seem to focus on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. Occasionally I still come across a site with a Stumble Upon, Digg, or Redit button, but not nearly as much as I did a few years ago. There are also sites that use Add This, Share This, or another similar widget that allows the site owner to add multiple buttons and options in a sort of all in one feature.
How many Social Media Buttons do we need per page?
Do we really need so many Social Media Sharing Buttons and why is it that there are so many on a single page?
I don’t have a problem with one or two Tweet buttons, along with a link or button to an actual Twitter user page. No big deal. I think that is reasonable. But, since when is 4, 6, 8, even 10 or more Twitter buttons on a single page or post a good user experience? By now most people have probably heard about the Ads Above the Fold Don’t Get Hit by the Google Hammer, which Google basically said:
“In our ongoing effort to help you find more high-quality websites in search results, today we’re launching an algorithmic change that looks at the layout of a web page and the amount of content you see on the page once you click on a result.”
It wouldn’t bother me one bit if Google looked at a page to see how many Social Media Sharing Buttons there are on a page, and if there were too many the page wouldn’t rank as well. I doubt they would do anything like that since they have Google Plus that they would like to see increase in activity and use, but I would be OK with it.
1 Little, 2 Little, 10 Little Tweet Buttons
First there was one Tweet button, then there were two. Now all of a sudden there’s a pre-filled Twitter submit thing. They show up near the top in the header, as well as the footer. We have plugins like the WordPress Sharebar. Sometimes they are in the sidebar, and even in those Wibya menu bar things. The CommentLuv Premium Version has an option of adding and using a Tweet button to see more posts.
Count the number of buttons when you visit websites sometime. I swear there are plenty of sites and pages that easily have 6-12 Tweet buttons per page now. I guess the thought is that if you toss enough of them out there eventually someone will hit them.
Load Up as Many Share Buttons as You Can
I know what a Tweet button is and what it does. You don’t need to plaster it all over your site and pages hoping that I will click it. I know where to find it. If your article, story, content, or whatever is interesting and worth Tweeting I will. If it’s not I don’t care how many Tweet buttons you put on your page I won’t click or use them. Are you that desperate for a Tweet that you want those things cluttering up your entire page? It certainly appears that many sites are willing to do so.
Maybe you do get a few more Tweets as a result of having them everywhere. I am not a fan of clutter, and I am not willing to do so just to get more tweets.
I realize Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus are popular methods of sharing, but they are starting to become annoying and overused. We like it when people share something from our site with others and they do make it easier, but use them wisely and sparingly.
There are plenty of Facebook and Google Plus buttons in use too, but the Twitter button seems to be a little more likely to be abused.
What do you think? Are you OK with 6-12 Tweet buttons on a page? How many are too many? Do you get annoyed when there are so many on a page, or do you just accept it as a standard occurrence now?