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Social bookmarking buttons: are they worth it?

Posted on Oct 31st, 2011 by
social bookmarking buttons

5 buttons, 10 lines of code = 700 additional visitors/week

On many of my blogs, I have the social bookmarking buttons beneath each blogpost. They allow visitors to easily publish a link to the post they are reading, onto Facebook, Twitter, and a variety of other social media sites.

As a user, I don’t use those buttons often, and I always wondered if other people actually used them. On some of my sites, I never implemented them.

I was wrong. Little did I know how much these buttons were used…

On one of my big news aggregators, I implemented ShareThis social buttons two weeks ago. It only takes two steps:

  1. Register (for free) on ShareThis and get a publisher’s ID;
  2. Cut and past the code in your blog template.

ShareThis keeps pretty neat traffic statistics, and this is what I got, after the first week:

  • Facebook:
    • 40 posts were shared
    • 59 people clicked on these Facebook links
    • those 59 visitors read 66 pages.
  • Twitter:
    • 34 posts were shared
    • 597 people clicked on the Twitter links ( ! )
    • those 597 visitors read 683 pages ( ! )
  • And there were heaps of shares via other media: email, LinkedIn, Brainify, Tumblr, etc..

My surprise was two-fold: I had no idea social bookmarking icons were used that much, AND I had no idea this much traffic would be generated through it: over 700 visitors per week…

Quite a return for a simple cut and paste of 10 lines of code…

PS: one more surprise is how much more traffic Twitter links generated… It is clear Twitter is still the champion to spread links and to generate traffic to your site.

10 Comments to “Social bookmarking buttons: are they worth it?”

  1. Quick question for ya. Are you sure that those metrics include only clicks on the add-this buttons? Or do they include browser plugins that share the page?

    Like you, I don’t use on page social sharing features. I use a chrome plugin from Hootsuite to share to Twitter and Facebook, and I use a plugin called Publish Sync to cross publish to Google+

    I put your blog post in my daily news brief email.

    • Peter says:


      I am pretty sure they were originated by the “Sharethis” buttons on the posts, as the statistics gave “nil” before I enabled the buttons. Without realizing I had enabled stats on the site without putting the button on it, so stats were generated before the buttons came…

      • Oh, yeah, it was “Sharthis” not “add-this”. Anyway, thanks for the update. I’ve only used social media share buttons a few times, so when I hear data like this I’m always a little surprised. But I believe it.

  2. Raj says:

    Are these stats originating from your blog, or is the plugin showing the stats for people sharing content by themselves, without using the share this plugin? I guess not. But still wanted to check.

    • Peter says:

      These stats are generated by ShareThis, not by the blog, thus it only shows stats for people who shared the blogposts through the icons on my blog itself.


  3. Rich says:

    I recently took social bookmarking buttons off my site as i didnt appear to be getting anything from it, except retweets on twitter. However Sharethis looks like being worth a try

  4. Grazely says:

    We’re actually working on a bookmarking app that will allow you to save your links of a post like this, but with some notes, while breezing through the web.

    It’s interesting to see the statistics because I have personally been interested in this type of data. I used a different service and ended up showing 25 social media icons. ha After having my blog up for about 6 months, I realized that only 6 were being utilized by my visitors to share my posts. Top 3 were Twitter, Facebook and email.

  5. FERBWL says:

    I actually preferred to use ADDthis, because those social buttons are more attractive than it.

  6. Noe says:

    I add Social bookmarking button to my blog too..
    I use plugin. bcause I don’t understand about coding..
    it really help..

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