Social networks are all about sharing information with friends, followers, or anyone out there interested in what you have. With digital content, “build it, and they will come” has never applied, and in order to drive traffic and awareness, there first needs to be discovery. Creating quick sharing solutions for a user inspired by your content, you can maintain attribution, track clicks, and enjoy SEO benefits.
The issue is that there are a lot of ways to share. To help determine which sharing options to prioritize, my recommendation is to consider audience, medium, and intent for the content. Facebook and Twitter are almost always automatic choices, but would your content be appropriate for the professional nature of LinkedIn? In consideration of the different media used, content with photos would benefit from a “Pin It” button to maintain ownership of your content. Focusing on the content’s intent, the Google+ social community is still developing, but if Google search optimization is a priority, adding the G+ button will help.
You could argue that more is more and give users every option to avoid missing opportunities, but then you would have to deal with maintaining all those functions and optimizing the content to fit each experience. Easily overwhelmed, I’d stick with keeping it simple while making it sharable.
Andrew Rinke is a Razorfish Social Media Strategist in the Emerald City. Instead of clicking his heels, he just refreshes his Facebook. You can follow some of his thoughts and experiences on Twitter and Instagram