I have recently been using LinkedIn and Pinterest more than Twitter and Facebook. This didn’t happen for any particular reason, it just evolved from participating where my friends were more active. Because of this, I decided that I wanted to beef-up the feeds I was seeing from brands I liked on both of these sites. I figured I would do this by clicking on the Pinterest and LinkedIn Follow-Me buttons every time I was on an interesting brand’s website. Simple plan, right? Wrong!

Sample Follow-Me type buttons (image from contentmarketinginstitute.com):

What I found is that many sites had one of the following issues:

  • Links to socially share the content on the brand’s site, but no links to follow their accounts/content on these same social media sites
  • Limited following links – i.e. links to follow the brand’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, but no links to LinkedIn and/or Pinterest
  • Links to join a company’s LinkedIn groups, but not to follow their LinkedIn company updates (or unclear wording so I didn’t know what their LinkedIn button would lead to– (group or company updates)

Alternatively, I found the opposite on some sites – where I could easily follow their social accounts, but did not have the ability to share their content easily to my social feeds.

It is possible that for all these sites the functionality is intentional, (the brands only wanted me to participate in a limited way), though I doubt it. I think that many sites are either forgetting to add social sharing and social-follow functionality, or are not realizing how useful it might be to their website visitors.

What do I suggest to fix this? An audit of your website’s social functionality.

How do you do this? Simply go through the checklist below, and note anywhere you have a check box in the ‘Want it’ column, but not for the ‘Have it’ column. Then, go and make the adjustments to your website as appropriate. Please note- I am not saying you have to list all of these options on your website. Instead, I’m suggesting that you should consider all the options and have a clear strategy of what you want to list, likely choosing to list the social sites where your company actively participates.

Social Sharing buttons:

Follow-Me Social buttons:

Also, when using these types of buttons it is important that the reader is clear about which buttons are there for following the company, and which are there for sharing content.