Read This Before Adding the Social Media Bar to Your Website
You’ve heard about the recent breakthrough innovations in the social media industry, which is the social media bar that presents the important social buttons right in front of the readers. This makes it quick and easy to share and like contents to varied social networking communities. Some of these social bars have gorgeous looks, thereby enhancing the overall web design.
While these social tool bars are nice to look at, there are implications that can potentially affect the user-experience of your web visitors. That is why it is important to properly assess first you should add the tool bar at all. Take note that the main purpose of these bars is to make it easy for the readers to see the social buttons. By keeping these buttons in front of the readers, the chances of being clicked on will be significantly improved.
However, some tool bars can obstruct the content, which is the main reason why people visited the webpage on the first place. So if the toolbar disrupts the usage experience of the readers, some of them may eventually leave and look for another post where there is less or no distraction for seamless and undisturbed reading experience.
Before you decide to install the social bookmark bar, it would be wise to become aware first of the main types of social media toolbars that are now available and popular.
Popular Types of Social Tool Bars
This is the popular type that automatically shows up in every new blog post. This is either located above the content or at the bottom of the post, or both. So you have the option on where to insert the bar. Sometimes, it is best to place it above the content and right below the title since the visibility is better compared to the bottom. But on the downside, readers can not yet decide either to share the post or not since they have not yet read the article.
On the other hand, placing the social bar at the bottom works better and generates higher CTR. Once visitors are done reading the post, that’s the best time to tell them to like or to share the content if they find the post truly interesting and helpful. By then, they can already decide on whether the post is worth sharing or not.
Floating Social Media Toolbar
This type looks stylish and unique. As the name implies, the social bar literally floats in the screen and maintains its position level even if you scroll down or scroll up. So readers will basically see the social bar all the time regardless if they are reading at the top of the page or at the bottom. It will not lose sight from the eyes of the viewers. Consequently, readers will be constantly reminded to push one or more social buttons, thereby improving the click-through-rate.
Side Widget Social Bar
If the floating toolbar is variable, the side widget bar is static and fixed at the side bar of the site. So if the readers hop from one page to another, the side widget remains there for them to see. However, if the webpage is long and the readers scroll down to the bottom of the page, the widget will no longer be visible if it is located at the top side bar. This is the downside of the widget against the floating toolbar.
Crucial Factors to Consider Before the Installation
When adding the social bar to your site, you must focus on the content visibility. Keep in mind that the post should remain as the major highlight of the webpage and you must ensure its complete visibility to the readers. Obstructions can dampen the user-experience of your visitors, and this can cause some of them to push the back button and exit.
The floating toolbar, for instance, is stylish and nice but they can disturb the visitors when reading contents because of the moving obstruction. But more importantly, they are generally not mobile-friendly. When browsing your blog using mobile devices, the floating bar will block most of the screen and make it difficult for the visitors to read the content.
As a result of the bad experience, majority of your mobile users will turn to lost traffic, causing your bounce rate to explode. In some devices with smaller screen size, the floating bar will not function at all. With no social buttons around, you will lose the very chance for your mobile users to share or to like your post.
Another cause of concern is the social button with count. While it is good to show off how many likes and shares the page gets, there are times that the numbers will work to your disadvantage. A low share count will make your webpage unpopular, thereby giving the notion that it does not contain enough valuable information.
The page loading time is another point of consideration. The more social buttons you add the longer the loading speed of your webpage. This can also affect not only the user-experience of your visitors but also the bounce rate. Your page should load within 3 to 7 seconds. Beyond that, a significant number of visitors will be lost. This also means lost sales opportunity on the part of your business.
Thus, conduct a loading speed test to ensure that your webpage loads within the ideal level. You will notice that each social button can delay the loading time by a few seconds, and every second counts when it comes to website traffic. Therefore, carefully select the appropriate social button for inclusion in your tool bar. Make sure to include Facebook and Twitter. You may also add Pinterest, and if possible, StumbleUpon, as well.
You can make the mistake of adding the wrong type of bar for the social buttons. But don’t make the mistake of not adding social buttons at all. Absence of the bar is equivalent to lost opportunities not only in terms of potential added targeted website visitors, but also potential added visibility to social networks that can possibly make your content to go viral.