Social media sharing plugins are quite possibly the most important part of a WordPress blog; after all we want more shares for our content. There are so many social sharing WordPress plugins to choose from; at the time of writing this blog post WordPress.org has an amazing 984 plugins to choose from.
But having the right social media sharing plugin doesn’t necessarily guarantee lots of shares; the plugin is only part of the jigsaw, and it’s vital to consider the following points:
Create Compelling Content
Creating compelling content that makes your reader want to share is a must however it’s been proven that by having clear Calls to Action (CTAs) can dramatically improve your share rate. Regardless of how valuable and insightful your content, often you still need to encourage people to hit the share button – so don’t be afraid to ask for shares as part of your CTA’s.
Share Button Position
Consider where you position your share buttons. This can make a big difference, particularly if you only locate them at the bottom of the post. Ideally we would love it if everyone read our content thoroughly to the end of the post… but that doesn’t always happen, and sometimes people skim or don’t read to the very end but would still share your content because they trust the author. Make it as easy as possible for people to share by positioning your share buttons at the top and bottom of the article. Some WordPress sharing plugins have floating bars that scroll down the length of the article too which is effective in encouraging shares.
Test and Tweak
Test, tweak and test again! There are many variables you can test from button sizes, styles, colours, positioning, social sites (and the order they are positioned in), to the actual plugins themselves.
Optimize Your Social Media Posts
Ensure you take the time to set up your social media posts. Particularly the Twitter handle so that when someone clicks on it, it shows “via @yourtwitterhandle” – this is a common mistake that many marketers don’t take the time to do.
Show Your Share Numbers
Decide whether you want to show the number of shares each post gets (plus the total amount of shares). This is a personal choice although we would recommend being transparent and showing these stats. That said, some people, particularly while they are growing their blog would prefer not to show their numbers.
Watch Your Site Load Time
Bear in mind that some WordPress plugins (particularly the fancier ones) can affect your load time and slow your site down. So experiment and try to eliminate the plugins that make your site sluggish – there is nothing worse than waiting for sites and blogs to load!
Clearly there is an overabundance of WordPress plugins to choose from. Below are our favourite socials sharing plugins:
A simple plugin that looks good and performs well in terms of loading time. Free and easy to set up.
From the people behind CoSchedule. This is a great plugin that allows you to create a Tweet you want others to share. The Tweet can be placed anywhere within the body of your blog post. This plugin provides full analytics, so you can see the click activity on your links and messages.
A paid WordPress plugin that is worth the investment if you want to have more control over your social share counts. You have a variety of ways to display your share counts and can disable them if they are lower than a certain number.
A plugin that analyses your social sharing performance. Easy to set up and configure. Useful dashboard and detailed reports available. You also have the ability to display your top performing posts in a widget. Metrics are provided for most of the major social networks and Buffer.
If you love pop-ups and fly-ins, this plugin is the perfect choice. You can create custom pop-ups and fly-in boxes that pop-up when your visitors are the most engaged. This encourages your readers to share your content before leaving.
Fairly new to the social sharing plugin party but worth trying out. A free plugin that provides analytics and some very cool widget customisation functionality.
If you’re a fan of Mashable then this could be the plugin for you. Free plugin with additional options in their paid features. The buttons are “big and bold” and it has a share counter too.
9. Social Fans
A plugin that visually displays your fans, subscribers, followers as well as other stats. It also has some cool animations and the icons are visually attractive too.
10. Enjoy Instagram
A very good plugin for Instagram. It displays your images by user or hashtag. Has a host of cool features ensuring you maximise your visual content. Simple to set up and configure.
Which social media sharing plugin are you using? Have you used any of the above? Please share this post and leave us a comment to let us know your favourite social sharing plugin!