|Free To Use... Click for the Rest of the Set|
Now providing methods of sharing your posts is totally different than this. I'm focusing on getting people to follow your profiles on various social media platforms.
Why link to your social media?
1. Everyone else is doing it, and this is probably one of those herding mentalities that helps the species with survival as opposed to hurts it. I understand if everyone is jumping off a bridge, would you do it? Only if the water is warm, but the point is, some people herd to bully someone. This isn't anything like it. This is more like being lost in New York City trying to get to New Jersey to travel south, and after an hour using a map driving in circles around Chinatown, you finally decide the best thing to do is follow all the cars with Jersey license plates. Yes I've done that before, and it worked beautifully.
2. So people can find you again. Just assume for one glorious minute that you are one of the best bloggers on the web. You just have yet to be discovered by EVERYONE. Because you've been working hard on improving content and providing the best you have to offer, you know that when people come across your blog, most of them (not all, that's impossible) are going to fall in love with your writing. They are going to read any one post of yours and say words like, Epic. Genius. My Kind of Crazy. They want to follow you, but now what?
No one method of following someone is guaranteed you will see all their posts. Emails sometimes go to the Spam folder or some other place in the dark, dusty corners of the web. Facebook only shows your posts to 10% of your page likes if you are lucky enough to get 90% of the people to whom it shows to like, comment, or share, which is more difficult to accomplish with blog posts than any other content. Twitter's feed is old in about 5 minutes, depending on how many people a person is following. The best way to follow someone is to follow them everywhere. You may not see all their posts, but you are bound to find them again. Nobody wants to spend 5 minutes hunting you down anywhere, whether it's your contact me page or searching your name in Facebook.
3. The numbers matter when it comes to anything money, whether it's publishing or sponsorship. They say not to buy Facebook ads because your likes probably won't engage much in the future and you want loyal readers, not robotic profiles, but you know what? The Mattress Company thinking about paying you for some advertising doesn't care. Social media numbers are a vital part of your statistics.
Where do you put social media icons?
The blog norm of social media icons is to have just the icons linking to your profile somewhere in a sidebar, or the header. The sidebar should also have a place to enter an email to subscribe to your blog. The subscription button is also good to place within each post at the bottom (like Moms Who Drink and Swear does on Chicago Now), at the footer (like I do because I'm too lazy to keep typing it at the bottom of posts), and the contact me place. That is like the thing you are allowed to over-promote because the choice to subscribe is usually an impulse decision. Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking, "I need to go find some new blogs to subscribe to. I'll do that before I do the dishes."
How to Put Social Media Icons on Your Blog
In blogger, the easiest way to do it is to add an html gadget. I'm not sure how wordpress works with it, but I'm providing html how-to for you to use anywhere html is accepted.
Graphics. The F for Facebook. The Twitter bird. The Pinterest P. And anything else you decide to add. These pictures need to be uploaded to the web somewhere. You can use Flickr or Google's Picasa. To get the address, find the image, right click, and then choose "Copy Image URL." If you don't have that option, you can attempt to click the image, and then try, or find the image elsewhere and try. There's many reasons that option might not show up. Google works better than Flickr for that.
You can also get free icons from my Doodlegraphs Blog and it includes the basics as a font you can download for free.
Profiles. It's a personal decision on what social media to focus on. Some bloggers have a profile EVERYWHERE possible. Others focus on the basics, usually Facebook and Twitter; however, some bloggers prefer Google Plus to Facebook. You will need a link to your profile. Not a link to Twitter or Facebook in general. Your profile's address.
The HTML is simple really. First you list the link the image will take you (a href), and then you list the image source, the place the internet finds the image (img src).
Target equaling blank means it will open in a new tab. You want to do this because you don't want people leaving your blog page forever. You want them to keep that open.
Alt text is text that shows up if someone's computer can't pull the image, in theory anyway.
The width and height determines the size the image will appear. You can adjust the size to your preference.
<a href="http://www.SocialMedia.com/YourProfile" target="_blank">
<img src="http:www.IMAGElocation.png" alt="Find me on Facebook" width="50" height="50" />
1. Copy and paste that code and enter your information where you need to.
2. Repeat code for next image and social media link. Make sure to change alt text to "Find me on Twitter" or whatever matches it.
3. You probably want all the images to be the same size for purposes of professional design.
Common Social Media:
RSS from Feedburner
Less Common Social Media: