In an age of oversharing, publishers should be mindful that some readers might not want to broadcast everything with the world. Instead, these readers may only wish to share their favorite stories with one or two people, especially if they’re reading about a sensitive topic or if they want to pose a controversial opinion.
That’s why — even though there’s so much emphasis on sharing for the masses via Facebook and Twitter — it’s important to include social media buttons for more private channels on your website as well.
Here are three social share buttons designated for private sharing that you can use right now.
Email share button
By planting an email share button on your site, you can empower readers to send your stories directly to the inboxes of coworkers, family, and friends. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Americans say that family and friends are an important channel from which they get news articles.
Even on Facebook, people are more likely to engage with stories shared by friends and family. That’s why the social network puts those posts at the top of users’ News Feeds — above posts from news outlets and publications.
The power of email should come as no surprise to publishers since many of them already engage readers through email subscriptions and consistent newsletters.
Now you can encourage peer-to-peer sharing by placing an email share button on each of your articles.
SMS share button
Nieman Lab reported that you’re probably underestimating how much your articles are being shared via text message. For example, USA Today‘s sports site, For the Win, found that SMS share buttons were being used three to four times more than Twitter share buttons were.
So even though texting may sometimes feel like a relic from the ’90s, it’s still alive and kicking. And it can pay off to include an SMS share button on your website.
As the Nieman Lab article stated, “Don’t forget about humble old SMS. If you make it easier for your readers to share via text on mobile, they just might take you up on the offer.”
WhatsApp share button
We’re in the middle of a messaging app revolution, with Snapchat, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger earning a prominent place on people’s phones. In fact, according to Business Insider, messaging apps have 20% more monthly active users than social networks.
Take WhatsApp as an example. With over 1.3 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp allows people to easily make calls, share documents, and send messages all from the same app. Users can also create groups of over 250 people, where they can share their favorite moments and stories — like the ones from your website.
Sounds enticing? Add the WhatsApp share button to your publication or blog today.
Invest in “private” share buttons
Despite all of the buzz around major social networks like Facebook and Twitter, you should also invest in “private” buttons. So make room for email and SMS text on your list of social share buttons. They’ll invite your readers to share their favorite stories with friends and family and drive better engagement by taking the conversation around your articles to a more intimate level.