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CONTEXT

I'm designign the UX for the new website of a company that rents luxury venues for weddings.
Primary target users are engaged women in Europe ad US, 30/40 years old, with higher education and high income.
The website will have both a desktop and a responsive (tablets and smartphones) version.

REQUIREMENTS

Every venue has a detail page with photos and information.
Users must be able to share the page on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

MY QUESTION

In most websites social sharing buttons are usually placed in one or more of these places:

  1. Next to the page title
  2. Just before the main content
  3. Just after the main content

Is there any study/research about the most effective place(s) to put social sharing buttons?

I assume that it will depend on the content and on the context, but I'd like to know at least what parameters I need to consider when choosing where to place the icons.

(I've looked for similar questions here on UX.stackeschange but unfortunately the ones I've found are all quite old or just mobile related)

EXAMPLES

Here are a couple of variations I've prepared.

Variation n.1 - Social Sharing buttons are placed before the main Headline. It's a rather standard place, but the questions is: will buttons get too much attention as they come before the title?

enter image description here

Variation n.2 - Social Sharing buttons are placed after the headline and just before the content.
The idea is to move the buttons after the title so users focus on the title first and buttons.
In this case we assume that users will read the page from top to bottom, which we all know usually doesn't happen.

enter image description here

Alternatives I'm considering:

  • Fixed position icons: in this case, what are the best practices?
  • Multiple icons: put the icons in multiple places. I know that it would be good for testing, but I'd like to base my decision on studies/data anyway.
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Tania Lang on her article Content Sharing and Social Networking Buttons, concluded the following based on scant research data :

Ensure share buttons are subtle and contextual.

  • Don’t include them below your H1 page heading. Give your poor users a chance to read something before they decide to share it. Shoving all the buttons in their faces is just likely to annoy them.

  • Only include share buttons on pages with content that users want to share—e.g. a specific product page. Don’t splatter them on every single page of your website.

  • Related: don’t litter your whole website with heaps of social networking buttons that just clutter the page.

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Yes, in top of title, social buttons are take a lot of attention. And you won't share information without reading content or title.

2nd place is quite heat, but not too much.

I guess the place after main content is better for this buttons. (Of course if the user pattern is: read tittle > interesting > open > read > share to...). My preferred place of this buttons, is 3rd variation: after title and topic intro, plus after the bottom of content.

If you try to interest users to open content, better to do this with number of responses (comments + shares), not only a social shares. It can be comment icon + number of responses. I guess the best practice of this, is extremely user engagement site BuzzFeed. They are did alot of tests to achive best response rate.

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