When you add a post to your WordPress website there are limited ways it can get read: visitors can stumble across it, it can show up in Google search results (if you’re lucky), or your subscribers might click on a link in your newsletter. That’s pretty much it. However, if you add social media functionality to your website, everyone who reads your post can share it with all their followers and each of those can do likewise. And whilst there’s no guarantee that your post will go viral, adding social media sharing gives it the potential – without it, that’s never going to happen. So, to give your posts the best chance of getting read by a much wider audience, in this article we’ll look at the best WordPress social media plugins for 2017.
1. Social Warfare
With over 10,000 downloads, Social Warfare is a very popular choice for many WordPress users and offers a wide range of social sharing features for websites. It’s available as a free plugin from the WordPress repository and there is also a premium version for $29 that offers a wider range of options. The free plugin lets you share to the most popular social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn.
One of Social Warfare’s best features is the ability to add floating sharing buttons. These have proven to be more effective than the static buttons that just appear at the top and bottom of posts, so if you’ve tried static buttons unsuccessfully in the past, you should give floating ones a try. You’ll find that the floating buttons from Social Warfare work equally well on both computer and mobile screens, which is not always the case with those from other plugins.
For those who want to see the impact of social media on their traffic, the plugin also supports tracking so you can discover how many visitors each post receives from social media.
If you are familiar with WordPress, it’s more than likely that you have come across Elegant Themes, a development company renowned for producing highly attractive and functional themes. They also produce a small number of specialised plugins, one of which is the social media plugin, Monarch.
Designed to encourage and increase sharing, Monarch’s social media buttons can be added in a range of places on your posts, including on your mobile pages.
One of its most innovative features is that you can set your social media buttons to fly onto the screen in a similar way that many sites use for email subscription forms. Fly-in forms have proved to be more effective than static forms and Elegant themes are using this technique to enhance the number of shares, too.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a free version of this plugin, so to get it you will need to purchase a licence from Elegant Themes – however, this also gives you access to tall their premium themes, including the highly regarded Divi theme.
3. Easy Social Share Buttons
Easy Social Sharie Buttons is a premium plugin that offers WordPress users a great deal of sharing functionality. It enables you to share content to over 45 leading social networks and (unlike many other plugins) mobile messaging apps.
For those webmasters who are continually disappointed about how naff some social sharing buttons look once you’ve gone to the trouble of installing them, this plugin gives you the choice of 52 templates to choose from. There’s bound to be one that suits your website’s design and if you’re especially finickity, you can also choose from 27+ design positions and more than 30 animations and customisations.
Some of the useful advanced features of this plugin include the ability to A/B test the placement of your social media buttons and the option to control when the buttons appear, for example when visitors are heading for the exit button.
With over a million downloads, Jetpack is one of the most popular free plugins available directly from your WordPress dashboard. Developed by WordPress.com, Jetpack is more of a suite of plugins than a single plugin. It offers a very wide range of useful functions all under one hood, most of which can be turned on or off individually so that it can be configured to meet your specific needs.
One of Jetpack’s best functions is its social sharing features which enable you to easily display social buttons for a wide range of social media platforms. If you have the plugin already installed, it’s simple to activate the social sharing functions in the plugin’s setting page.
5. JShare Buttons by AddToAny
Giving your readers the ability to share to over 100 social sharing sites and apps, Share Buttons by AddToAny is one of the most comprehensive social plugins available.
It also has a wide range of useful features too. It offers the opportunity to show your readers the number of shares to each platform, add horizontal or vertical floating buttons or custom place static buttons. Users can also share via any of the main webmail providers such as Gmail and Outlook.com
For those wanting to analyse the impact of their social sharing, this plugin also enables automatic Google Analytics integration and can track links shared using Bitly and other custom URL shorteners.
A social media plugin is pretty much essential for today’s websites as it enables you to reach a far wider audience. The plugins we have discussed here offer a wide range of options including outstanding designs, analytics integrations, floating buttons and sharing to mobile apps, so whether you go for a free or premium plugin, there is something for everyone’s needs and tastes.
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