Share This with Social Icons
Posted by Sarah Koszty on March 21, 2009 9:20 AM EDT
The basic premise of social software is to allow users to be social - by whatever means an user deems most important to their own social experience. By allowing users to share items with other social networking sites via your business social software with social network icons, you are allowing users to participate in multiple platforms, simutaneously. All the while, you're increasing link-backs to your own site organically and fostering a true social experiance.
Integrating social icons that allow users to bookmark, share, and tweet about your social network is an integral part of the true social experience. Although not all social network implementations require the ability to be so transparent - the capability and the opportunity is a valuable proposition.
The easiest way to utilize and take advantage of these social tools is to use preexisting user expectations for social icons.
Social icons are located at the bottom of blog posts, article posts, or any type of user created content which allows any viewer who finds the article useful to share said article with their own preexisting network of friends, family, co-workers, peers, etc.
For users who are familiar with these icons, there is "social conditioning" and social brand loyalty which can be used to benefit any social network - giving users the freedom and capability to leverage their preexisting membership to these sites.
In addition to allowing users to freely distribute what they find most interesting about your social network, you are increasing the reach and visibility of your own social network.
This methodology allows social networks to grow and foster like-minded users who can help guide the social network to feature more relevant and useful content - which in turn seeds and cultivates a better user experience overall. It is a beautiful cycle.