5 Ways to Manage Your Social Networking Links on Your Mobile Site
Everyone wants to make their site more accessible. In the age of social media and everything else that the internet has brought us in fruitful numbers, it also comes with the buttons that allow users to "like" or "repost" things onto their own blogs or Facebook accounts. Of course you want your site to do well with your consumers and for them to spread the word. However, the desktops and laptops aren't the only things that they'll be looking at when they stumble upon your site.
The mobile network is getting increasingly popular, whether it be by phone or miniature tablet. With such limited space within these two venues, how can you manage your buttons with any kind of finesse?
1. Manage Your Space Wisely
When it comes to managing your site to be mobile-friendly, a lot of changes may need to be made from your full-size design. You want your product or business to be labeled clearly and without too much clutter that gets in the way on such small, limited screens. That means you need to take up your space wisely with precisely what you want your users to know in a quick and easy fashion. There are plenty of tools to help you do this, of course, if you're having difficulties (and when dealing with mobile sites, it's quite common).
Dedicate your time and efforts while creating your site to be both responsive to mobile platforms as well as considering ways to utilize that space. Be aware that big, unfriendly social media buttons or tiny links to other pages might be preventing the user from managing to select them at all.
2. Don't Abandon the Buttons Completely!
It can be quite tempting to just leave off social media buttons when you go to make sure it all works on phones and tablets. You don't want to think that way. After all, more than half of the usual updates on your general sites - such as Facebook and Twitter - come from mobile platforms for people who want to talk but don't want to go home just to do it.
There are many ways to utilize those buttons and get them to work for you, and many different options.
Example: The Drop Down Menu
From a small button at the top, perhaps labeled 'Share' if that suits your site (or any other kind of word that is clearly labeled so that people know what it is), users will be able to press it with ease and create a drop down of all sorts of ways they can share it to their site. This goes back up to the first monumental rule: utilize your space wisely.
If you're having problems creating a good, user-friendly drop down menu for your mobile site, here is a good place to start with CSS-tricks.
3. Abandon the Floating Social Media Icons
If you don't know what I'm talking about, there are sites out there that merely have a suspended version of the 'sharing' links that continuously follow you wherever your scroll may go. This works fine on many platforms, however, it takes up valuable space on your mobile site and gets in the way. The best way to change this of course is to make the button to 'share' whatever it is that you wish either at the top or bottom of the page with content that you think might be shareable.
4. Tasteful Icons
Pretty icons are always nice to look at, even on small screens. They also stand out, especially if you get stylized ones, such as some found here - and might I say they are quite nifty. Now, the main reason for this is that on a phone, visuals catch people's eyes more than text. This is doubly so when it comes to the mobile platform as words can be tiny and straining on the eyes when they're just looking for a simple button to push.
Consider trying some of these out for yourself and see if you get a boost. Of course, you will have to remember that these things require programming of their own. Good buttons don't help if you have bad redirection.
5. Most Importantly: Optimize Your Buttons
As stated above, your buttons must be, above all else, functional. If the buttons don't do what they're supposed to do with fast timing and without errors then they aren't doing anyone any good. When someone is trying to share something through three social media sites with a 3G connection that time can lag significantly from the few seconds it takes with a direct connection.
Now, this is actually a quite simple fix. The share for each one will take minimal time for your site to process with no strained download or massive JS. Google+, Facebook, and Twitter all have ways to optimize your buttons for you because they want you to use their site just as much as you do, and they're quite easy to find.
Once you've figured out what icons you want to use, where you want to put them, how you want your site organized and how to properly optimized your buttons, you're all set. In the grand scheme of things, social media buttons don't seem like the biggest deal until you realize that they cover almost 88% of how people share their information. But now that you've learned how to manage your social icons within your mobile platform, you won't be left out. Other people will be able to share your site with others with just the press of a finger.