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What is the difference between social media share icons and social media profile link icons?

Social media share icons ( that usually appear at the bottom of a web page page) and social media link icons (that often appear in a menu or a page footer ) are two separate things that often get confused. Let’s see what they are.

Share icons – these enable easy sharing of content across a wide range of social media platforms. Unlike social media link icons, they are not direct links to your Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads/Pinterest pages. They are simply there to enable your visitors to share or recommend your content to their friends/networks on their own social media pages.


If you do not have share buttons on you page, you are missing out on potential ‘shares’ and ‘recommendations’ across the various social media platforms.

Share icons usually come as a plugin. This means that they are a set unit. You can have them on all pages, or no pages, but not on individual pages. The size of the share buttons can be adjusted sometimes.

The normal place for share icons is at the bottom of a page of content so that visitors can easily share the content once they have viewed the page. However, they can also appear at the top of a page, or both.

Social media link icons – these are simply graphic links to your own social media profile page. They encourage visitors to visit your page and read your latest news and comments. Normally, they appear towards the top of a web page, sometimes in the main menu so they are easily visible across all pages (if they appear in the menu bar, they generally have to appear on all page menus). Alternatively, individual icons can be added on preferred pages. For example, you can put them on your contact page or at the bottom of your home page (or any other page).


Social media feeds – some social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allow you to add ‘feeds’ to a web page so that your most recent news or tweets appear directly on your website, perhaps in a sidebar.