You want people to read your blog posts and think: “Wow, this is great! I have to share it!”
Right. But how?
You see social sharing buttons on every blog post you read. They’re built into platforms like Wix or Weebly, and likely come with your WordPress theme, with some simple functionality.
But you may want more. A plugin for sharing buttons provides extra functions and design options that can help you understand your website visitors and promote your blog better.
Of course, you have to write content that people want to share. But plugins can show share counts and let you:
- customize button appearance and actions,
- place the buttons in fixed or floating positions,
- customize the text and images that are shared, and
- add campaign parameters for tracking your shares in something like Google Analytics.
Supercharge Your Social Sharing
Not all sharing plugins are alike. WordPress offers dozens. Most offer free versions with the main sharing channels, but paid upgrades make many more available, along with more design and placement options. Most cost less than $30 for a year of support and free upgrades.
Here’s my personal guide to the best.
- Click the Plugin Site link to learn about each one from the official WordPress.org page.
- Click the Developer Site link to learn about more plugins from the same developer. Some offer quite a few, often available in bundles that can save you money.
1. Yoast SEO
More than five million websites use the free version of Yoast SEO to optimize their posts and pages for search engines. But the plugin also lets you optimize how they’re shared on Facebook and Twitter. The premium version ($89) adds to that with sharing previews and other features.
2. All in One SEO Pack
This open source plugin is a popular alternative to Yoast SEO. It offers a high degree of settings control, as well as advanced integration with Google Analytics and SEO for blog categories and video. Paid upgrades provide additional optimization for local businesses.
3. AccessPress Social Share
starts with six networks and five themes, but the Pro version more than doubles that for a one-time cost of only $23 that includes free lifetime upgrades. And you can choose whether shares open in the same window, the same or a new tab, or a popup. With more than 60,000 installs and a 4.6-star rating, it’s a favorite of many.
4. Social Warfare
The developers decided that how your content is shared matters more than whether it’s shared. I use it on this website. The core plugin is free, with a good balance of display and optimization options. The $29/year Pro version is a separate plugin that adds advanced features like Bitly link shortening and Google Analytics. With its “click to tweet” function, I can embed tweetable quotes in my posts or pages, like the box below this paragraph.
Plugin Site | Developer Site (affiliate link)How your content is shared matters more than whether it’s shared.Click To Tweet
The free version offers a great combination of design options and functionality. With Premium you can customize content for Pinterest and add mobile and popup buttons, and add a Follow button widget.
This is one of the most popular plugins on the list. It’s simple and straightforward but includes pro features like Google Analytics and link shortening And did I mention it’s free? No wonder more than half a million bloggers use it.
This plugin is for the true social media geek. It’s modeled after the popular tech site Mashable, and includes both Bitly and Google link shortening. But you need to pay for add-ons to get most social networks and features like floating sidebars, Facebook Like bars, click-to-tweet, and other advanced features. Pricing on the site is in Euros, so you’ll have to ask about paying in US dollars.
8. Social Share Buttons
The free version comes with 19 sharing channels and basic analytics so you can easily compare the effectiveness of different button placements. Paid add-ons let you create nifty things like popups and sliders, photo galleries, live chat, Google maps, and more.
9. Ultimately Social
This plugin boasts icons for more than 100 networks and more than 200 design themes. You can optimize your sharing texts and images, and display liking and following features as well as sharing. It’s pricier than most other options, but you get a lot for the money.
Which plugin do you use for social sharing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.