Does Your Website Have Too Much Social Media Scenery?

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If you haven’t noticed this website underwent a facelift sometime ago. Like most others who blog or work in social media, putting a default “Follow Me!” widget with our social media icons or even Facebook and Twitter widgets showing our latest tweets or posts is a common practice. Often these elements are displayed in the prime areas of a website – top righthand corner and above the fold righthand sidebar.

Let’s take a step back now. While we engage in social media to build community and communicate with our customers and prospects, we also use social media to attract social media users to our websites from a lead generation perspective. Now that they have finally found our website, why are we leading them away? Do we want them to go somewhere else? I think not.

In my LinkedIn business book I have a chapter about social media optimization where I talk in detail about the different ways to make LinkedIn an integral part of your website. I mention that, when you can’t get a conversion, at least you can aim for a “soft” conversion where someone signs up to receive your updates on their social media platform of choice. But should that widget be squatting on prime real estate on your website?

It shouldn’t, should it?

There’s no question that there is a place for social media icons, but since they are not your primary call to action, don’t treat them as such. I put mine in the bottom footer, but I also have them on my “About” page. That is a logical place – if they’ve already gotten to the bottom of any given page they are fully engaged with my website, and if they want to find out more about me, they can “check out” my social properties to confirm my social activity and potentially follow me.

There IS a place for social media on your website to display your Social Proof. You don’t need to do it with any and every site that you are a member of. Pick the one where you have the biggest following, which for many is Twitter, and show your follower count with a popular Twitter widget.

At the end of the day, what is the primary Call to Action of your website?  It probably isn’t in leading people elsewhere, so help yourself out by moving your social media icons elsewhere.

Am I crazy or would you agree with the above?

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer


Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness & @socialtoolssmmt | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker
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Neal Schaffer


      • says

        This is great advice. I totally agree with you. We still need to learn a lot about social media. In the end I think “common sense” is the way to go. 
        I loved the idea of not putting it easy to customers to leave your site, but the other way around. Using your social media to send them into your website should be the goal bussineswise. Putting the social buttons in the about section is a great idea too, the bottom feeder would also work. I´d put the 2 main social buttons there, and every other plus this two again in the about section.Thanks a lot for the advice!

  1. SheenaWong says

    Hey Neal, that really gave me something to think about. For ages, I’ve always felt that having a company’s social media icons located at a
    convenient and prominent location on its website was the right thing to do. I was even considering suggesting it to my manager before I came across your post! Perhaps having the ‘Contact Us’ section on the bottom of the page with the relevant details would suffice, thank you for the great tip!

  2. Lynette Pretorius says

    Thought-provoking post! However, whenever I go to a website, and I want to follow the author on any social platform, I always go to the top of the page and look for the familiar icons. If they’re not there I find myself a little taken aback!
    The other place I like to see links to social media sites is at the end of whichever article I’m reading, which makes more sense when I’m reading a post by a test-blogger or am on a site which regularly features various post authors.
    Maybe I’m just traditional, but I prefer to see the social media real estate in its classic prime location, for ease of use as a reader, if nothing else.

  3. says

    Hey Lynette, thanks for your comment! From a reader’s perspective, I totally understand what you mean, because so many websites have their follow icons in the top right hand corner or on the upper right hand sidebar of a website. However, the question is: From a marketing perspective, since everyone is looking for your social icons in those places, shouldn’t you put something more valuable there? Perhaps for some bloggers, who are blogging without selling anything, your approach makes sense. But for those who use blogging to attract others to their website in hopes of some conversion, I suggest that they think holistically as to where they should place what on their site. Hope this explanation makes sense!

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