Landing pages — those specific pages where website visitors access an offer such as a free ebook download or a free trial of your service — have one primary purpose: converting a visitor into a lead.
But did you know they can also ask your visitors and leads to do one other thing that will help you out? They can provide the means for visitors to easily share them with their friends and followers.
This type of sharing expands your reach to new audiences. According to a recent study from BrightEdge Technologies, websites that include social sharing buttons generate 7x more mentions than those that don't. (Click to tweet!) You don’t want to pass that up.
Make sure you give your landing pages a "easy button" so your website visitors to share links to your landing pages by embedding a sharing link right on the page. You can do this by:
Customizing them yourself
If you decide to create your own links on each social media site you will have the benefit of customizing the language around your offer. It can include the name and type of offer, along with important action language asking the reader to “Tweet” or “Share”.
To set up your sharing links manually, hyperlink your text or an image with the following:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=[INSERT URL HERE]
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&url=[INSERT URL]
For the Facebook and LinkedIn links, use the URL for your landing page. When the link is shared, the meta description of your page will appear as the text of the post. This means it is important that your meta descriptions are optimized both for search and for sharing.
Twitter’s hyperlink is slightly more complicated, so we’ll go over that separately in a bit.
Using the official icons
When adding social media sharing links, you can also use the official icons for each site. Visit each social media site for which you would like to include sharing links and find the code to embed on your page. While this option does not allow you to customize the link text, it does have some advantages, including the potential to highlight social proof.
Social proof is the idea that by displaying the number of likes, tweets, or shares that your page has received, visitors are reassured by the knowledge that others have found the information useful or enjoyable. This can be a strong psychological influence on your visitors, helping convince them to take the same actions.
One word of caution: Recent studies suggest that social proof can work in the opposite way as well. Visitors may perceive a low count to mean that your content is not as useful. So monitor how use of the official icons with their counts impacts traffic and conversions on your landing pages.
Special instructions for optimizing Tweets to share landing pages
Twitter’s customized sharing links work differently than those on Facebook and LinkedIn. For Twitter, crafting a customized link allows you to write the actual Tweet that will appear when a web visitor shares it.
The easiest way to create this is with Click to Tweet. Or, you can create a hyperlink like this:
https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=[INSERT TWEET HERE].
There are a few things to keep in mind while crafting the tweet you want visitors to share:
1. Include an @ mention of your company (example: @kcjonespr) to keep your company's brand associated with the offer.
2. Include the title or description of the offer as the body of the tweet.
3. Include a link to your landing page, either using a bit.ly to shorten it or letting Twitter shorten the link automatically.
Here is an example from HubSpot:
Grow your network and drive leads with LinkedIn! Download @HubSpot’s free ebook, “How to Use LinkedIn for Business.” http://bit.ly/pUM8Hl
Regardless of how, or if, you provide easy social media sharing options on your landing pages, the biggest factor in determining how often visitors and leads share your pages is the quality of the content. It has to be something they want to share with others.
Making your landing pages easy to share is just one step in optimizing them for lead generation. The next step is to tie them into your lead nurturing program. Find out how by downloading our free ebook, How to Optimize Landing Pages for Lead Generation.