We all know tempting the reader to click those social sharing buttons is crucial to content going viral. Likewise, becoming a part of their social stream, via clicking our social icons to arrive at our networks, is just as important to conversion. That’s why we all have social media sharing buttons and icons on our websites.
The same uniform looking buttons, often in the same locations. And therein lies the problem. Readers are so used to seeing the same social icons that they don’t stand out — or tempt — them as much. That’s where a graphic designer can come in and save the day.
How? By tricking out your icons with just enough panache to make them more clickable, yet familiar enough that the reader still gets their function.
Most of the time using best practices of placing social buttons in traditional locations — headers, sidebars and at the end of posts — fits traditionally designed pages. That’s where the reader can easily spot them. But not all main webpages are meant to be full-on website portals.
Take wedding invitation designer Flint Boutiques’ website, for example. They prefer to engage customers and display their products on their Facebook page. So they decided to place the explicit call to action to visit them there promently on the page, under the header and right before their portfolio. All without sacrificing quality of design.
If it has a cute face, it’s bound to be engaging. Add the cartoon factor and we are going to want to play with it. The kid in all of us almost demands it. So why not cartoon-ify your social media icons and let your visitors play?
Brand Graphics did just that, with an out-of-this-world approach. They icorporated the intergaltic characters used throughout the site’s theme and stationed the characters around recognizable social icons.
Traditional, brightly colored share buttons can look out of place incorporated into some website designs. Crayola sky blue and red certainly doesn’t go with everything. An excellent solution for elegant, modern or minimalist designs is to shade the Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc icons in a complimentary color, like we did for Yanni Design Studio and artist Stacee Kalmanovsky.
A pop of color will make the buttons stand out, but don’t underestimate the style of a muted shade. Both can blend seemlessly with design.
Another idea for websites that pride themselves on origninal design is to incorporate a design element found in your theme into the look of the share buttons. This is often done by integrating main textures or patterns. Be sure to vary the pattern or shade slightly, so your social media icons compliment, but don’t blend into your website.
A good example of repeating a pattern would be Rockatee’s social icons. The buttons mimic the grid pattern found in the header background, but pull colors from the rest of the page. The icons also make subtle use of circles, to keep them from fading into all the squares.
So talk with your graphic designer about what style of icons would best stay true to your web design’s esthetic. It could make all the difference.