Add personality to your blog with social media icons

November 4, 2010

Looking for ways to make your blog unique? One of the easiest — and most fun — is adding cool social media buttons.

When I built this blog, I spent way too much time picking out buttons. I wanted them to be simple enough to be recognized, but interesting enough to show my personality. You can see what I ended up with in the sidebar on the right, my Twitter and Facebook icons. I also chose interesting RSS icons; the orange guy reading the newspaper SO suits me.

While social media buttons offer a means of showing personality on your blog, they also serve a vital practical function: making it easy for your readers to connect with you. One of the first things I do when I find a new blog I like is look in the sidebar for a Twitter button — because if I like you enough to read your blog, I want to follow you on Twitter, too. Post your social media buttons prominently so people like me can find you easily. Tell us where you hang out online, whether it’s on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or Goodreads.

In addition to helping us find you, prominent social media icons tie your networking efforts to your blog. That allows your blog and your social networks to support one another, strengthening your presence on each platform. It’s like having lots of little pieces of a puzzle — they work okay alone, but when you put them together, they become far more effective.

I love these bottle-cap icons from Dawghouse Design Studios.

You can add social media buttons on both self-hosted and hosted blogs (that means WordPress.org, WordPress.com and Blogger), but it sometimes requires a little knowledge of HTML. If you can’t figure it out, hire a blog coach by the hour (like me!) who can walk you through it or simply do it for you.

Which brings me to the fun part, and the reason I wanted to do this post to begin with. My favorite collections of unique social media buttons! If you’re not yet using buttons that are bursting with personality, here’s your chance. Most of these are free. And if there’s not one here that suits you, use Google to find the perfect button.

If you blog about recycling, try a grunge icon. If you write children’s books, find icons that are hand-sketched or otherwise child-like. Hell, if you like dogs, I bet you could find puppy icons. There are social media buttons out there that represent every possible interest. And if you can’t find what you want, a designer will create it for you.

Some of my favorite sets:

Your turn: Want to share some of your favorite buttons? Leave a link in the comments!

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