You’re not a serious blogger or company if you don’t have a strong presence in social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. But how does social media tie in to websites and why is it important to have your content marketing plan tightly integrated with social media? The short answer is: traffic. Traffic is the lifeblood of any website and WordPress, unfortunately, has no built-in way to integrate social media out of the box. Below, I’ll explore a short list of the best WordPress plugins for social media that you can use to fill the void.
When choosing a social media plugin for WordPress it’s important to understand and make a clear distinction between plugins that enable users to follow you a social media outlets and plugins that enable to users to share your content on social media outlets. And, of course, there are those that do both. So how do you know which one to pick? At this point, it’s still a game of Russian roulette!
I’ll come right out and say it. Monarch is an exceptional social sharing plugin for WordPress. It is, however, not a free solution. You need to become an ElegantThemes member and you can then download it (along with other plugins and themes).
Monarch is so highly rated because it includes a variety of options out of the box, including various sharing locations, such as a floating sidebar, automatically embed above and below post content, on images and as a popup. Also included is the ability to choose not only where, but also when to display the share options, be it on a timer that triggers after your users have been on the page for a specific duration, on page leave or even detect when your users have reached the end of the post and show them a popup then.
Monarch also comes bundled in with 35 networks to choose from, not to mention the elegant designs available. Even though Monarch is not free, it’s an absolute favourite when it comes to social sharing plugins for WordPress.
Floating Social Bar
If you liked Monarch’s floating bar, but don’t want to spend money on a plugin, you need look no further than Floating Social Bar. Just like the name implies, this WordPress plugin will show a floating bar to the left or right of the screen, containing options for users to share content on various social networks.
The plugin allows you to customize the order in which the share buttons appear to the user by dragging and dropping them into place. The plugin is very slim. However, it achieves this by compromising on the number of social networks you can use to share. Currently, it supports only Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and Pinterest.
Social Media Feather
Social media feather is an old favourite of mine that’s super lightweight, but at the same time gives you a wide variety of social networks as well as sharing on email or following a RSS feed. The plugin has icons for all of these networks included out of the box. The pro version will put more display options at your disposal.
Social media following includes Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin, Youtube, Instagram, tumblr, flickr, foursquare, vimeo and RSS, while social media sharing includes all the major social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, reddit, Pinterest, tumblr, Linkedin and email.
Its customisation interface is not ideal though, with a lot of things to pay attention to when adding the customisations for each social network. Do I want to share on Twitter or just follow, or both? What’s the default text for sharing something on Facebook? Do I use Like or Recommend? It’s very thorough, which also means it takes more time to get right.
Ultimate Social Media and Share Icons
The WordPress plugin is 100% Free, which is nice to start with, but amazing considering what the plugin comes bundled with. It covers all the major social networks, but also includes the option to share content via Share, which, in turn, covers everything under the sun.
It comes bundled in with 16 different designs for icons and you can even upload your own. Animations? It’s got them. Share counts for your icons? Yes. Display a popup asking people to follow you or share your content? It’s got that too.
4.9 out of 5 stars. I won’t say more.
AccessPress Social Share
Designed as a pure sharing plugin, AccessPress Social Share for WordPress lets your users easily share your precious content on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin and Digg. The plugin comes bundled in with 5 different themes to choose from and you can also enable the ability to share by email or print. The Pro version will give you more networks and themes.
One of its core advantages is the plugin is responsive, which is one of the reasons why I stay away from floating bars that really don’t play well with mobile devices.
If social sharing isn’t enough for you, then you might as well give Shareholic a try. This WordPress plugin tries to do so much more than that by allowing you to integrate related content recommendations, social following, affiliate linking and analytics. It also has the option for floating share buttons.
Better Click To Tweet
Moving a bit away from plugins that let users share content everywhere, a recent trend for increasing shares of good quality content is for WordPress owners to carefully nudge readers into the right direction, even if this means prominently displaying a quote that begs for a tweet.Social media is so important and yet, finding a good WordPress plugin for it is too damn difficult. Click To Tweet
With Better Click To Tweet, you’ll be able to create tweetable content for your readers carefully mixed in your post’s content and your readers will be able to tweet that exact quote at the click of a button. Click. To. Tweet.
Which one should I choose?
I won’t even dare say that this list is in any way complete. There are so many more out there! Social media is so important and yet, finding a good WordPress plugin for social media is so damn difficult. Is it free? How much do I have to pay? Does it integrate with Pinterest? What about analytics? Does it support sharing and following as well? Too. Damn. Difficult.