If you are blogging, there is no reason why you should not leverage the power of social sharing of your content. Organic traffic because of well optimized posts is something to be proud of, but visitors gained by word of mouth publicity is no less an asset. This is especially so since people tend to trust what is recommended by friends and what others have officially liked and bookmarked.
If you are blogging on WordPress, there is every reason you should take advantage of one of the most helpful features of this platform: plug-ins. These little pieces of software integrate with your blog and save you a lot of headache. Innovative design and visitor friendly interface enable your readers to share content with a mouse click should they choose to. With the appropriate plug-in, you stand a chance to move even the laziest of your admirers into taking action.
However, plug-ins must be chosen carefully because some of them could increase site load time – nothing worse than that – and some are less convenient than others to use. There are also bonus facilities to look out for. We have listed the top 5 WordPress plug-ins that can help you share your content easily and provide additional benefits.
AddThis is one of the original sharing resources, and the best part is its capacity to integrate with Google Analytics. You can log into their site or have the stats displayed right inside your WordPress dashboard. They also send you periodic reports on how your content was shared. You can customize button placement, look and size as well as the number of buttons to display.
2. Login Radius
This one is a truly versatile plug-in that gives you a three pronged utility: social login buttons for logging into your site using Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and almost 20 other social ID providers, social sharing buttons that appear anywhere inside the post, and a floating social counter that stays with the post as the page scrolls, and displays the number of shares. A collection of inbuilt short codes enables you to insert the utilities anywhere on the site.
Also, users can link all their social network identities to their account on your blog and log in to comment using any of them. Perhaps the most profitable although somewhat questionable feature is that Login Radius aggregates all data from social logins to provide you with detailed analytics about your visitors. It is like having a portable Quantcast on your blog to receive invaluable marketing insights. The multisite support option is a premium feature, but otherwise, Login Radius is absolutely free to use.
ShareThis has static customizable buttons that can appear after your posts in addition to the floating sidebar option. Unlike AddThis, it does not integrate with Google but provides its own analytics. Upon registration, you can view details about exactly how your content was shared.
There used to be a vastly popular plug-in called Sexy Bookmarks with the tagline ‘Sharing is Sexy’. That is now a part of Shareaholic. You have a choice between Top Hat, Sexy Bookmarks and Classic Bookmarks. You can also access reports about your share buttons’ performance and get detailed analytics. Another addition is the inclusion of the related posts widget – you can replace the default WordPress theme widget with this. Shareaholic also uses CSS rules to create impressive hover effects.
This is probably the only social sharing plug-in that lends itself to monetizing. A 300 x 250 space within the sharing bar displays advertisements from Fortune 500 companies. This is made possible because of the digital campaigns such companies run with Radium One, the parent company of Po.st. The entire plug-in is highly customizable and also has an integrated analytics feature that may be accessed from its dashboard. The analytics will show you how your content was shared as well as the number of click-backs that each share created.
General appearance, ease of installation, user-friendliness and uniqueness of a plug-in are the features to look into when choosing one for your blog or site. The degree of customization it lends itself to is another important aspect. Finally, you should weigh the advantages of using a plug-in based on your needs and not on what you may find spectacular.