By now, you’ve probably gathered that there’s a lot of chatter about this topic. A quick Google search reveals this discussion at Stack Exchange, which considers whether social media buttons should be placed at the beginning or end of a blog post. Despite all of the discussion, there is little evidence to back those ideas up.
It seems like we may be just guessing. Can’t we do better than that?
To start digging, I looked at what some of the most common options are. I started with the question, “Where do some of the biggest sites on the web place their social media buttons?”
Left of post – Placing social buttons to the left of the blog post makes a lot of sense, as readers follow text left to right. This is the placement that we use here at CoSchedule.
Right of post – This one surprised me, but it is out there. Social Media Examiner is a good example of a site with this placement.
Bottom of post – Placing social media buttons at the bottom of the post was very common, and the only place you will find social buttons on Seth Godin’s blog. Is he missing out on possible shares because of this placement?
In-line of post – A growing trend is to actually place shareable content inline with the rest of your content. We do this regularly on our blog using our Click To Tweet plugin.
No social buttons at all – This is a surprising and growing trend heralded by sites like theSignal v. Noise blog by Basecamp. Are they hurting their chances for viral success? We’ll look into this in a minute, but for now, that’s the playing field.