Brand Marketing: Why Button Clutter is Bad News

It seems logical … the more social sharing buttons packed into your content, the more feedback channels operating on your behalf. And the more users will know about the wonders of your brand. But if experience is any indicator, a button bonanza doesn’t necessarily expand your reach. In fact, overdoing these press-able graphics may shatter your best laid plans.

There’s a good reason that button count isn’t always proportional to user reach.  It boils down to this: too many pressable icons often generate clutter and confusion. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Google … a mass of decisions staring users right in the eye. Which do they choose? Who’s got time to cut through the tangle? In this on-demand mobile culture, a clutter of choices is decidedly counterproductive. Simplicity and streamlining are what facilitate the instant gratification demanded by contemporary users. The fewer decisions and quicker results, the better.

But don’t expect button clutter to generate no response whatsoever. Quite the opposite. Brands can expect one of two moves from the button-frustrated. The first is evasive action, preceded by a grimace and quick calculation proving that the clutter is a major time waster. Users flee, leaving zero points on your scoreboard.  

The second possibility is equally fearsome – visitors can smile and press a share button, dumping their comments onto a platform that typically generates little traffic for your brand. That’s right. Depending on the brand and demographics, different social platforms may generate different traffic flows.  Therefore, somebody’s glowing feedback could land in a near-empty theater. Now multiply this by all the possible times this can happen, and you’ve got lost opportunities galore.  

Fortunately, there’s one simple way to counteract the pitfalls of button stuffing – un-stuff. Brand marketers must limit button count to the most productive players. And how will you identify the winners? Easy. Consult your handy analytics reports. These reveal the traffic generating powers of your social sites. Simply cherry pick the most successful ones, and ditch the others, leaving yourself with a clean screen and quick routes to the most visited destinations. Not only does this cleansing action create a simpler button environment; it ensures user feedback will play to a full house.

If you have any questions or comments about social media sharing, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.