Why You Shouldn’t Go Wild With Social Media Sharing Buttons On Your Site

By Mary C. Long 

The whole point of blogging or sharing whatever content you create online is to drive traffic and part of that depends on readers sharing your posts, of course. Chances are, you offer every option under the sun for sharing that content – why wouldn’t you?

Here’s why: According to Search Engine Journal, having too many social media sharing options apparently does more harm than good. Who knew?

Though it may sound counter-intuitive at first, the folks at Search Engine Journal make a good case for not having too many social sharing options on your site. We’ll summarize some of their points below and you can check out their full post here.

The more social sharing buttons you have:

  • The slower your site loads. If “each social sharing button uses JavaScript to make calls back and forth between the social network’s servers and your site, [t]he more buttons on your page, the more script the page needs to load.” And we all know folks have ZERO patience when it comes to waiting for your site to load. They’ll just leave. [This bullet was updated with additional info from @DutchRhudy that follows.] “The easiest way to link to a social site is to just use a simple straight link.” So if you’re using the right method, you could have as many buttons as you like and it wouldn’t affect load time. If you’re not though, beware!
  • The harder it is for readers to make a ‘sharing’ decision and some may become overwhelmed and not choose at all. They cite an interesting study to make this case, check it out.
  • The more open you are to looking like a failure. That’s worded a little harsh, but it’s true. If folks look at your posts and see that it has few (or zero) shares, they’ll wonder why – and many will assume the worst, unfortunately.

What can you do? Remove some of those widgets! Check out your analytics and keeps the sharing widgets to platforms that drive the most traffic and create the most interactions and remove the rest. If someone wants to share your content on a site that isn’t offered, they can always copy the link.

So what do you think of this? Does your site have too many social media sharing buttons?

(Stressed man with laptop image from Shutterstock)