There is no denying it. Social media usage has become pervasive.
At this point, most people and businesses have taken advantage of this fact, but many have neglected a simple, yet crucial element:
Social media icons.
Having a social sharing mechanism is the simplest way to vastly increase shares and page views. It can be the difference between content that gets a thousand views and content that gets one hundred thousand views. That is why, to me, it is worth writing an article about the topic, and even providing my choices for the top free social media icons that you can download and install on your site today!
Here are my favorite social icon sets that I have used on several of my sites.
My first selection is one that plays it safe with a typical flat design.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful in its own right.
Designed by Alexis Doreau, a digital product designer from France, this icon set is perfect for any website that uses a flat design.
With over 70 different icons to choose from, your social presence will be represented no matter what platform you use.
And now for something a little different…
The Outline icon set provides a minimal aesthetic that is less intrusive than a typical set.
The set of 20 icons is designed by the Graphics Bay Team in Romania, a group known for designing UI web templates, mock-ups, and icons.
Users can insert these icons without having to worry about them adding colors that clash with their page.
Of course, you will need a background color in order for them to be visible to your users.
3. iOS 7 Style
Rounding out my list are these lovely iOS 7 Style icons.
Designed to match the Apple aesthetic, this set of 24 different icons is minimal, yet remains true to the original social logos.
The set was created by Roberts Ozoliņš, a UI/UX designer (and apparent Apple fan) based in the United Kingdom.
No matter where you decide to use these beauties, they will bring a comfortable familiarity to your work.
Why is Social Media Important?
Social networks are one of the fastest growing industries in the world.
Facebook alone now has two billion monthly users (over one-quarter of the earth’s population) and even the smaller services can number in the hundreds of millions.
This means that social networking websites are a treasure trove of potential visitors, customers, and conversions from all over the world.
What Exactly is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing (SMM) utilizes social networks as a marketing tool.
This is achieved through the creation and sharing of content that appeals to people on specific platforms.
SMM is unique in that it enables you to assess your campaigns as soon as they are rolled out and change them as necessary.
It also allows you to create hyper-topical content, providing greater returns on (usually) less work.
What are Social Network Icons?
While SMM is a primarily off-site marketing tactic, there are measures you can take to promote your social presence on your website or blog.
The most simple and easy to implement is the social media icon.
A social icon serves as a reminder to users to share your content on their personal profiles.
This, in essence, makes other people market your own site for you.
You could say that the simple icon is responsible for creating the symbiotic relationship between websites and social networks!
Finding the Right Social Media Icon Sets
Social network icons come in sets. After all, there are dozens of hundreds of networks out there and you need an icon for each.
There is no “right” set, but you should keep an eye out for one that matches the tone and color scheme of your website.
For example, just because the default Twitter icon is blue, doesn’t mean you need to have a blue icon on your website.
Where to Find More Icons
Don’t agree with my choices for the top icon sets?
There are plenty of options available online if you just know where to look.
IconFinder is a provider of high-quality icons used by millions of creatives and web designers. Based out of Denmark, it has become one of the most popular icon sites.
On the site, you will find free and paid icon sets. If you only want a single icon, you can easily download or purchase it, similar to how iTunes enables users to download one track from an album.
Dribbble is a great resource for finding graphics. It is an online community where graphic designers share their tips and tricks, in addition to their completed projects.
Unfortunately, not all of the work is available for free or even for sale.
Although it takes more perusing than a typical website, you are bound to find something you like that is also available for download.
Graphic River has a vast selection (5,578 to be exact!) of icon sets for all styles and tastes. Starting at just $2, they won’t break the bank either.
It is part of the Envato Marketplace, an online store and design community with countless assets that can help you create a unique look for your website.