Like most people, you’re probably always tweaking and adjusting your landing pages to ensure they’re producing results. If you’re thinking about adding social media buttons, be sure to give the matter a lot of thought. Some claim that social media buttons make landing pages more effective while others insist that they cause conversion rates to tumble. Odds are that, for whatever reason, social media buttons work in some instances and backfire in others. By understanding the pros and cons of adding them and being willing to remove them if they do more harm than good, however, you can ensure that your landing pages keep producing results for you.
Should Social Media Buttons Really Be Everywhere?
Social media is now a crucial part of just about everyone’s online experience. When marketing a business, you’d be remiss not to incorporate social media techniques. Still, do those little social share and like buttons really need to be everywhere? Their main purpose is to make it easy for people to share content on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Are landing pages designed to be shareable, though? Technically, they’re not. Rather, they’re strictly there to convert visitors–typically, the conversion involves completing a form.
Proponents of including social media buttons on landing pages claim that they enhance visibility by making it easy for people to share them on their networks. How often do you see people sharing landing pages on social media, though? If someone really wants to, they can do it the old-fashioned way by copying and pasting the URL. Another supposed advantage is that they provide social proof, or confirmation, of a business’s popularity. That may be true if a company’s social media profiles are highly active and have lots of followers. If not, though, this can backfire. The main question is: Do people require more proof at this stage? Isn’t completing a form for more information sufficient? Could these buttons distract visitors from doing that?
You won’t be surprised to learn that there are some pretty significant potential drawbacks to including social media buttons on landing pages. The main one is a doozie: A well-designed landing page compels visitors to perform a single task. It doesn’t offer tons of options, as this creates too much confusion. Simplicity is key here, and social media buttons clutter things up. Besides, if someone’s only going to do one thing while they’re there, shouldn’t they complete the form instead of sharing the page with others? As mentioned before, the social proof thing only works if you have an exceptional social media presence. Even then, it’s unlikely to get you anywhere.
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to take our word for it that social media buttons probably don’t belong on landing pages. A case study by Taloon.com revealed that removing social media buttons from landing pages increased conversions by 11.9 percent. When Kuno Creative removed social media buttons from his custom rim and wheel site, conversions shot up by 18 percent. If you decide to add them despite this pretty overwhelming evidence, use analytics to see how they affect conversions. At the first sign of trouble, pull the buttons so your landing pages can do their job.