Unless your crowd is a bunch of social media hounds, putting those little social media icons at the bottom of your posts doesn’t achieve much of anything (accept maybe some PageRank leakage).
Want to run successful social media campaigns that involve your readers? Then tell them to vote. Again and again and again. You should even have a “Voting FAQ” that explains how your readers can get involved. Spell it out. Give them a cause to fight for. Make it simple. And soon you just might have a social media army.
In fact, the same goes for almost any action that you want your readers to perform. You’re looking for subscribers? Then don’t just put up a little orange icon. Give your readers instructions such as “Subscribe to this blog” – maybe even have an entire page dedicated to explaining exactly what subscribing is. You’ll get more subscriptions when you give instructions.
The same goes for affiliate sales. Tell them over and over and over how good hosting company X is, and some of them will listen to your advice.
The same goes for donations. Ask them to buy you a beer, or your favorite Starbucks drink… in every post … and you’ll get some.
But if you’re like me, you’ll probably just slap up some icons, but a banner in the sidebar, and pray to the God of Automation.
Unfortunately for me, the God of Automation doesn’t answer very many prayers these days.
Ahmed: I prefer to use the SocialPoster bookmarklet – it does a load of social networking services, although I only submit to the ones I participate in.
My readers are always happy to comply. No one pays attention to icons.
they work better on a site like Performancing where many people understand what they are for. still, they are mostly useless. except for the occasional FuzzBuzz;-)
useless buggers, except for when you actually have to vote an article up, then it’s torture if they’re not there
I’ve almost given up on those damn social networking icons. Not enough people use them for it to be worthwhile, and all they’re doing is taking up valuable screen space.
We tend to think that if we ask our readers (newsletter or blog) too often it reduces the conversion rate. That’s true, but the more important aspect is how you ask – if you can make it so that readers don’t get pissed off at the requests, then it’s much better.