social networking

ShareThis – Help Your Visitors Help Their Friends (and You)

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

share-this-iconYesterday, I finally got around to adding a ShareThis button to Christian Web Trends. We had been using an older version of AddThis, but I found ShareThis to easier to use. It also includes the capability to email the blog article to someone, even importing your contacts to do so if you like. We had been using the wp-email plugin for that. Anytime you can replace 2 plugins with one that does a better job, it’s a no brainier.

If you don’t have some kind of sharing/social bookmarking tool like ShareThis embedded in your website you are missing out on a great opportunity…

Sharing and social bookmarking widgets have been around for years. So, if you’ve been using them for a while this may seem obvious, but I want to get to the basics for those unfamiliar with them.

Whenever I see a web page or blog article that is good, useful, interesting, or funny I either want to bookmark it for future use or share it with someone who I think will appreciate it. You’re probably the same way.

Sure I could go old school and save the page by coping the URL into a document or using my web browser’s bookmarking feature. And if I want to share the link I could copy the URL, go to my mail too, compose an email, look up the email addresses of the people I want to share it with, and send. But using a sharing/social bookmarking feature is sooo much better.

It helps visitors to your site

  • It’s faster. It just is. Try it.
  • It’s simpler. Just a couple clicks and you’ve bookmarked or shared the page.
  • Non-email contacts. There are a lot of people who I share stuff with, who I don’t even have their email addresses. I contact them via Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
  • Increase the odds. Anytime you make something faster and easier for people to do, you increase the chances they’ll do it. ShareThis increases the likelihood your visitors will share your site or bookmark it and return later.

Helping your visitors also helps you

By adding a sharing/social bookmarking widget to your site you go from being the sole promoter of your site and its content to enabling everyone who visits your website to become a potential marketer of your site.

Additionally, when your visitors post links to your site on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc. they’re not just sharing your site with one or two people but all their friends and followers, so the potential audience his HUGE!

For those of you who use our NE1 web builder, look closely at your site. We’ve replaced the “Tell a Friend” link with the ShareThis button. Try it and tell us what you think.

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

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