Social Media Sharing Buttons on Your Site

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How to make it easy to SHARE your recipes

It is vital – VITAL – to make sure you make it easy for readers to SHARE your recipes! It astonishes me how often I come across blogs where I really have to struggle to find the Pinterest button so I can share a recipe. Sharing is key to increasing traffic. I can’t stress that enough!

Here are things to consider when adding Share buttons to your site.

1. Which Plug In? (WordPress)

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.47.06 am

I use Simple Share Buttons (free). I tried many and it is by far the best – it is lightweight, friendly with other plug ins, has a choice of designs and it does exactly what it says it does. Plus, the developer is really great – helpful AND he even added Yummly when I contacted him to let him know that it was a popular recipe sharing platform. For free!

It has buttons for all the major social media platforms – including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Yummly, Google+ – as well as Printing and Email.

I find the free Simple Share Buttons is enough for me but if you want added features, including tracking information and a host of other cool features, you can upgrade to the Plus version for a mere $10.

** Update: I have since upgraded to the Plus version. I am in discussions with the developer so I can write up an easy step-by-step for how to install and set up Simple Share Buttons Plus, and also why it’s worth investing in the Plus version! **

SumoMe is a plug in I tried (amongst many others) which I know is fairly popular. But I found it really slowed down my site because it links through to their server. So I ditched it after a day. :-)

2. Where to put the buttons?

I tossed up whether to put them at the top or bottom. Then I realised – why choose? Use BOTH. Some people want to quickly save a recipe when they don’t have time to read it, so the buttons at the top are handy. Others will get to the bottom of the post before deciding to share or save it – in which case, the buttons should be at the bottom.

Where to put share buttons

Where to put share buttons – I have mine at the top and bottom of each post

 

Where to put share buttons

Where to put share buttons – I have mine at the top and bottom of each post

The other alternative is to have “floating” share buttons on the side of the screen. These are fixed so the buttons are convenient to find wherever the reader is in a post.

The only reason why I don’t have this (yet) is because the buttons overlapped the content when viewed on mobile devices. So be sure to check this if you choose to use floating icons.

Floating share buttons

Hapa Nom Nom has floating share buttons so readers can easily share posts no matter where they are in a post.

3. “Hover” Pin It buttons on Images

Many blogs include “Pin It” buttons on images which appear when the users cursor hovers over an image. I don’t have this. I used to have it but I removed it. It is very much a personal preference. Because though I know I am forgoing another opportunity to make it easy for readers to share a recipe while reading a post, I found it distracting to have buttons flickering and appearing every time my cursor passed over an image.

Even worse (again, in my very personal opinion so please don’t take offence if you disagree) is when a grey transparent overlay appears over the image when the Pin It button appears. I find that so distracting. When I read a post, I want it to be a clean, enjoyable experience.

Again – I just want to reiterate that this is a personal preference and I totally respect that others will prefer to make it easy for readers to share images!

4. Provide a default description for Pinterest

I strongly believe that this is a key tip.

Prefilled description for PinterestWhen readers Pin your recipes and the pop up box appears, it really helps to have a default description already filled in so the reader doesn’t need to type anything in themselves. Plus, it’s an opportunity to “sell” your recipe!

In all honesty, ask yourself this – when you have pinned a recipe, how many times have you gone to the trouble of typing in a description?

So make it easy for your readers by doing it for them. Once you get into the habit of doing it, it will become second nature to you.

This is how to do it: For every image you upload, there is a box called “Alternate Text” (see screenshot below). Whatever you put in there appears as the pre filled text for pins. People can overwrite it, but from my experience, most people do not bother.

TIPS:

1. Include the recipe name in the Alternative Text. Pinterest search is not great and doesn’t always pick up the Recipe Name (in bold) so it helps to include it in the description field as well (i.e. for your recipe to come up when people search for relevant words in Pinterest);

2. Don’t make the text too long, otherwise it gets cut off;

3. Some people include hash tags. I used to but gave it up because the Alternate Text also appears in things like google searches and thought it looked odd. BUT that is a personal preference and hash tags certainly help with Pinterest searches;

4. SELL YOUR RECIPE! What’s your angle? Why do you love it so much? Why should someone click on your recipe over someone else’s? Use this opportunity to make your recipes STAND OUT from the crowd!

Default description for Pinterest

All my recipes have a pre filled description which I use to “sell” my recipes.

Alternative Text = pre filled description for Pinterest

The pre filled description is whatever text I put in the “Alternative Text” field for each image.

What have I missed?

What are your favourite sharing plug ins? And why?

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The Food Photography Book by Nagi from RecipeTin Eats

Comments

  1. says

    Hello Nagi, I prefer to see sharing buttons as you described and I also find annoying to see dark pictures when I point cursor on them. But, how do you insert social media buttons in your post? If i go and edit my post there is noting there , can you help please?

  2. says

    Super helpful post! Nagi, I’m assuming Simply Share buttons is for WordPress only. Do you know of any good third-party sharing buttons that would work on other sites? I use squarespace. Was looking into AddThis, but they seem to have almost every site except Yummly! Until they add it, I think it would be a bit strange to have the Yummly button in a different format on the side..

  3. Aena says

    Hi Nagi! First off, THANK YOU for this blog. I cannot explain to you how much you’ve helped me through it already and I just started reading it a day ago – so yes. It’s like a have a direction now. Sending some virtual hugs your way!

    Is there any update to this post? I have the same plugin and I’m contemplating whether or not to buy the plus version. I feel the set up will be a pain and it’ll just waste my time considering I’m not at all a techie. I also wanted to know how it’ll be beneficial. I went on their site and it confused me for some reason. Hoping an update is coming I need it badly!

    • Nagi says

      Hi Aena! I felt it was worth upgrading because there are more design options, resizing of the buttons, font and counters etc. :) I’m so glad ou are finding FBC helpful! I do hope you’ve joined our Facebook Group? Super active, friendly and helpful! :)

  4. says

    Another great post, Nagi.. I am gonna read this blog from front to back.. I didn’t know whatever was typed in alt text was used as a description. And yes, I have already added the simple share button. Thank you!!

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