Do Social Sharing Bars Actually Work?
Social sharing bars give the viewer the opportunity to share the page they are currently on over a number of different social media outlets. ShareThis and AddThis are two of the most popular tools for adding a social sharing bar to your website. They give you the option of picking which social media outlets you would like to feature from a list of Facebook, Twitter, Email, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Pinterest and more. I have used sharing bars on a number of client websites as well as http://www.tunnel7.com. All in all, they are good but not vital to your success in social media marketing.
Small Scale Implementation
On a smaller client website, with approximately 4,500 views a month, the AddThis social sharing bar facilitated 13 shares over the past month. While this is a modest number, it also meant that 70 more people looked at the shared links than would have without the sharing bar. Adding a social sharing bar to a website with a small audience will not hurt the site, but it will not magically get you tons of social media shares. The content still has to be valuable and regularly updated to keep viewers interested in what you are doing.
Large Scale Implementation
On the contrary, a website with more traffic, approximately 18,000 views a month, garnered 91 shares over the past month. These social shares accounted for about 200 additional website views. On a website with more traffic, social sharing bars can be beneficial because a larger, more diverse viewer base will see your posts. Again, the social sharing bar does not magically give the site more views, there still has to be good, interesting content to share.
So, do they work? Well, yes ... and no. Social sharing bars will help you get more website views, but they will not work to the fullest extent unless you are regularly putting out quality content that is worth sharing. It is a tool that won’t hurt your site, but it also won’t magically help your social presence. Consider adding a social media sharing bar, and then keep up with the production of share-worthy posts!