Share with Everyone

Kelly “Rags” Ragland is owner and operator of Rags to Stitches Productions, a holistic advertising-specialty company providing a range of services from web design and development to customized apparel.

From bookmark-sharing sites such as StumbleUpon to the many social networking arenas used by billions of Internet users worldwide, one consistent and important element these online marketing opportunities all have in common is that they involve interactivity and users sharing with other users. Many even lead to a viral or snowball effect as they share information with one another. But how do you encourage your site visitors to share what they have discovered?

Thanks to the popularity of social-driven websites, developers have made sharing easy for users by creating widgets and code snippets—a script that can easily be copied and pasted into web pages’ HTML or through online features installed on your blog—that allow them to share web pages with one click for the ultimate speedy interaction. These widgets and code snippets are also very easy for webmasters and bloggers to install virtually anywhere they may be broadcasting their content. Providing a simple share tool to your site’s visitors is a lot like handing them a stack of business cards rather than just one, and the nature of the Internet means that stack of business cards can easily multiply as others share what they have received through the process.

Sharing is now accounting for as much as one-third of the amount of traffic driven by search engines, which is most often the top source of traffic for websites. Consider adding a sharing tool to your website, blog, social networks and even email broadcasts. Once installed, they remain on auto-pilot, providing visitors the ability to spread the word about you and your business. A win-win scenario if you ever saw one. Here, we’ll detail a few of the options that can get you in on both wins.

Add This!

www.addthis.com

Add This is a nifty little code snippet used by millions of websites from all over the world. Its list of compatible services includes Facebook, MySpace, StumbleUpon, Twitter and more. What’s even better is that its database of services is always automatically updated on the programming end, so your code snippet stays current as trends and sharing sites evolve. The code generates a simple “share button” that takes up very little screen space and is easily recognizable to the user. With one-click access, the user can share what they’ve discovered on any one or more of their favorite websites.

TweetMeme Retweet Button

www.tweetmeme.com

The TweetMeme Retweet Button is for website and blog publishers that want to encourage their audience to post their content on Twitter. The button shows a live count of the number of times a webpage or blog post has been tweeted. It has become recognized virtually everywhere online, as Twitter has advanced into the one of the top social-networking platforms on the Internet. Once again, the button takes very little space and is eye-catching to the user.

Facebook Share Button

www.fbshare.me and/or www.facebook.com/facebook-widgets/share.php

Much like the Retweet Button, the Facebook Share Button is simple, eye-catching and includes statistical data about how many users have shared specific content. Considering the number of Facebook users online today and signing up daily, providing Facebook users with easy access to sharing content is becoming a mandatory part of Internet marketing.

Networked Blogs

www.networkedblogs.com

If you’re blogging (and you should be), you should also look into Networked Blogs, a Facebook application which encourages sharing across Facebook and includes widgets of its own that encourage interactivity. Networked Blogs requires that you have a Facebook account and can plug directly into your personal Facebook page and/or Facebook Business Page.

Share This

sharethis.com 

Yet another simple and attractive button that allows users to share content across a variety of online services, the Share This button is easily customizable to complement your website, blog or social-networking page and offers statistical data for analyzing its performance.

Wibiya Toolbar

www.wibiya.com

The Wibiya Toolbar not only includes the major social networks, but also integrates YouTube, Live TV and more. In addition, users can browse your Twitter feed and join any ongoing conversations and can even browse, become a fan and comment on your Facebook Fan Page without leaving your website. This functionality is extremely beneficial and the look and feel of the toolbar, which is totally customizable, gives the Wibiya Toolbar a clear advantage for those who cover many social networks.

Get in the spirit

I’m happy to have shared this information here in Printwear, and if you too have something to share, visit my blog where the comments area will be open for further discussion on sharing across the various networks around the Internet.