The Affiliate Quick Tip is a short, informative response to common questions about the industry; they’re jam-packed with vital information and will only take a few moments to digest. Here we go …

Social media is an amazing revolution which gave every individual a free platform to share their opinions, likes/dislikes, and interests.

Website owners quickly caught onto the appeal of social networking websites and began implementing a wide variety of ‘social share’ buttons on their site. This act has been phenomenal for increasing community engagement and for building traffic but a vital question is ever-present:

Can a website have too many social share buttons?

Indeed, they can.

A look at social buttons, by SearchEngineJournal, points out that too many buttons causes the visitor to “cripple decision making”.

In essence: people are less inclined to share your website content if they are presented too many options.

The SEJ post goes into a few suggestive tips on how to remove this “clutter” and increase your chances of said content being shared, which includes:

  • Sorting your referral traffic to determine which social networks send you considerable traffic
  • Using demographics to understand who’s present on what networks
  • Keeping track of which buttons are most frequently used

From our point of view, you should stick to the most prominent networks:

A professional, business website may want to introduce a LinkedIn button whereas creative sites should display the one by StumbleUpon. It comes down to your type of community.

The Lesson of the Day

Too many choices make people shy away from sharing your content because they aren’t sure which network to use. Likewise, a long list of networks showing little to no shares will “tell” the visitor that people don’t much care for the content and they ponder why they should bother.

To-do: Get rid of the non-essential social media buttons that have little play and, instead, focus on those which has the greatest impact for referral traffic.