Social buttons tend to suck. They’re ugly, uncustomizable, they slow down page load, and people don’t really use them. If you do things by the book and use services’ official buttons, they drag in crufty iframes and then you’re stuck with the default button style. You can circumvent this by building your own buttons, but it’s not easy. The services don’t publish their share URLs, and you’ll most likely have to create separate images for each button. If you make custom buttons for each site, that’s a ton of wasted time.
However, clients love social share buttons, because Joe McScammerson of SEO Internet Marketing Website Management Ecommerce Consulting Inc. built his million dollar social media empire on share buttons. You can read about it in his reasonably priced e-book, in which he uses the word “social” as a noun approximately 600 times.
I put together a little jQuery plugin to make social buttons lightweight, unobtrusive, and easier on developers. Rather than images, it uses an icon font generated by Keyamoon’s fabulous tool Icomoon. It’s still pretty rough around the edges – I need to test it more extensively, kill some bugs, and work out some fallbacks for older browsers – but Upstatement is already using it in a couple of projects!