A terrific guide called The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Social Media Buttons has appeared on the Hubspot blog. This explains the difference between “Follow” buttons and “Share” buttons, and how to implement the various types. You might leave the job to your website designer, but understanding what needs to be on your site in the first place is something you should know yourself. Many sites get it quite wrong.
Having Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook buttons on your site isn’t just a device to show you’re trendy. Social media likes and mentions get you traffic and improve your Google rankings. But there’s no point in just slapping them everywhere, without any thought. That just makes you look daft. I’ve seen “Like This” links on a company Terms & Conditions page!
However, if you have something on your site which you think people might recommend to friends and colleagues, such as a useful guide or tool, then sharing and liking buttons are a must (and not having them is a hugely wasted opportunity). Similarly, giving visitors an easy way of following your company on LinkedIn makes sense – but only if you have a professional LinkedIn presence you’d want people to see. And don’t break up sales messages with this stuff – if people are reading about your company on the “About Us” page, that would be an appropriate place to offer them the chance to follow you on social media channels. A landing page from an advertisement would not.