The Best Social Media Sharing Plugins for WordPress
Social media has been integrated into every part of our internet experience. Whether you are viewing a video on YouTube or reading an article on CNN, you will see a section on the page that allows you to share content through social media services.
The reason websites promote social media sharing is because so much traffic can be generated from it. In my recent article “How To Leverage Social Media On Your Blog“, I pointed out that traffic from social media services is second only to traffic from search engines.
If that is not enough to convince you to add social media sharing buttons to your websites, listen to some of the facts that Alicia Lawrence from Search Engine People published a few months ago:
- 74% of marketers saw an increase in traffic after spending just 6 hours per week on social media
- 50% of Internet users are active on Facebook
- 52% of marketers have gained a customer through Facebook, and 35% have done so through Twitter
- Google+ has the most visits per month at 1,203 million
- Social media is growing in popularity with older populations
The reality for website owners in 2014 is that if you do not place social media sharing buttons on your website, you are less likely to have your content shared by others. This means you are leaving a lot of traffic and money on the table.
In this article, I would like to show you some great social media sharing plugins for WordPress that will allow your visitors to share your content with others.
Founded way back in 2004, the AddThis service supports over three hundred social media services. The WordPress plugin allows you to choose from a variety of icon sizes and designs.
If you sign up to AddThis.com, you can also see analytical data on what people are sharing. While the plugin is free to use, there is a premium service available that costs $12 per month and features additional widgets and options, such as a floating media sharing bar.
You can see the plugin in action in the Elegant Themes blog right now. Check out the floating bar to the left hand side of this page
Launched in 2005, ShareThis has been a big player in social media sharing for many years. The WordPress plugin offers a host of small and large social media icons and designs. Users can share your content in over one hundred and twenty services.
Analytical reports are also provided and there is a feature called CopyNShare that lets you track when a visitor copies your page URL.
Easy Social Share Buttons is a stylish sharing solution that is available from CodeCanyon for $12. It allows visitors to share content using one of eight social media services. Content can also be shared via email.
Several button designs are available, each of which displays the number of times a page has been shared. The buttons can be displayed in a variety of positions including the top and bottom of posts, sidebar and via a pop up.
Ultimate Social Deux is a new social media sharing solution that I have been testing on my blog. Also available from CodeCanyon for $12, it allows you to add social media buttons as a floating social media bar and the top and bottom of your content area.
Known for years as Sexy Bookmarks, Shareaholic boasts many different layouts, sizes, themes and counter styles. The plugin provides reports on your sharing activity and can display related content to visitors.
If you are looking for something basic, check out Social Sharing by Danny. The plugin adds basic sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook and Google+. 16×16 or 32×32 pixel buttons can be selected and added to your posts automatically, via a shortcode or hard-coded into your templates using PHP.
WPBeginner’s Floating Social Bar plugin is a sharing solution that supports Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
At first glance, it looks like a basic solution that only adds sharing buttons to the top of your blog posts, however it has a few nice features. Rather than slowing down your page by loading official sharing buttons, the plugin displays fast loading icons. It will only load the official sharing buttons once a user hovers over an icon. This means that the plugin adds no weight to the initial page load (the technique is known as asynchronous loading).
Another nice feature is the ability to display sharing buttons at the top of the page once a user has scrolled down the page. It ensures that the buttons are displayed to visitors at all times.
Truth be told, I am trying to stop using Jetpack on my websites as the plugin has been known to slow down pages. There is, however, no denying the versatility of the plugin. Additionally, with around nine million downloads tracked on WordPress.org, the chances are that many of you have the plugin installed already. As such, you may want to consider using its sharing module.
The module gives you a lot of options on how visitors share your content. You can choose from ten popular social media services and print and email. Official sharing buttons can be displayed. Alternatively, if you want to improve the loading time of your pages, you can choose to show text links and/or icon images.
I hope you enjoyed this look at social media sharing plugins. If so, I encourage you to subscribe to Elegant Themes for updates about our latest articles.
I apologise if your favorite social media service did not make the list. There are dozens out there to choose from, therefore I wanted to focus on a select few. Be sure to leave a comment and share with fellow readers your existing sharing solution as it will help us all find out about other great solutions