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I'm trying to encourage people to share posts from my blog on social networks. To that end, i recently (past couple days) added a share prompt to each post. When the user has scrolled to the end of the post, a "share this page" popout slides in from the left, at the bottom of the screen. It automatically disappears when the user scrolls some more.

Is this the best time to show the prompt?

Would it make more sense to prompt the user before they've finished reading the entire post? (Say, after 3/4.) After all, not everyone (read: most people) reads the whole thing, and some are willing to share anyways.
However, i feel like sticking a big "please share this page" in someone's face is disruptive to those people who actually are planning to read the whole thing.

To maximize both UX and marketing, what is the best time to show the prompt?

Here's a mockup of the layout. The green rectangle is what is shown on the screen, i.e. where the user has scrolled to:

mockup

  • Nothing prompts a user to share an article more than writing a really good, relevant, interesting article in the first place. People will share it naturally. – JonW May 1 '15 at 9:42
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    While that's true, i'm pretty sure that it's possible to increase the number of shares like this. – Scimonster May 1 '15 at 9:44
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Rather than detracting from the reading experience, could you have a prompt for sharing either on the left or right of the article?

I'm not a fan of this approach as it can have issues for the UI, especially in JS disabled environs etc. however it keeps the article free from clutter, doesn't interrupt the reading process and allows sharing from any where in the article.

enter image description here

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    The important part here, as you mention, is to not 'interrupt the reading process'. However I think that a floating panel would interrupt the process, as it is a distraction constantly in your peripheral vision. – JonW May 1 '15 at 10:05
  • It achieves the aim though, without breaking up the flow. – DarrylGodden May 1 '15 at 11:47
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After the blog article text would be a suitable placement.

I see absoultely no reason why a user would commit to sharing an article without reading it first. It's like watching the opening credits to a film, pausing it - then asking the audience to write a review.

Intersecting the content flow would, in my opinion, further reduce the chance for the user to share the post.

I would count a prompt or popup, even abstracted from the content as being an obstruction - as it fights for attention from the blog post.

optimal share button location

  • Well you say you don't see why people would share without reading it, but the linked article in the main post points out that many, many people leave comments on articles when they clearly haven't finished reading it. Who's to say that Sharing it is any different? – JonW May 1 '15 at 11:55
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    Because the user is commenting on a particular point raised in the article, not the article as a whole. If the user is sharing the article, they are sharing it in it's entirety. – Jon Reader May 1 '15 at 11:58
  • Yeah, that may very well be right. Good point. Comments are often related purely to the post title rather than the content. – JonW May 1 '15 at 12:08

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