Social media is a vital part of every single website. Even if you do not use social media services frequently yourself, you need to ensure that your website accommodates those who do.
WordPress does not come with any social media functionality built in, however there are hundreds of social media plugins available. There are many great premium social media plugins available in marketplaces such as CodeCanyon but today I would like to showcase some of the best free plugins that are available to you.
I have included login plugins, follow widgets, sharing plugins and metric plugins that show the performance of your posts on social media websites. Enjoy :)
1. Jetpack by WordPress.com
Jetpack now offers 25 different modules to WordPress users. There are many great social media modules included in this list. Jetpack comments will enhance your comment area by allowing users to login using WordPress.com, Twitter or Facebook. The publicize module allows you to automatically share posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr. Last but not least is the sharing module, which lets you add sharing buttons to your posts, pages and front page.
Developed by MailChimp, Social is a great plugin that offers many Twitter and Facebook integration features. It allows posts to be automatically uploaded to Facebook and Twitter. Twitter replies and Facebook comments can be pulled into the discussion on your website and visitors can login using Twitter and Facebook and leave a comment. It’s a fantastic plugin though there is no support for other social media services such as Google+.
LoginRadius is a social media service that over 50,000 websites are using to add social media integration to their websites. Once the plugin has been installed and you have signed up to LoginRadius to get your API key, visitors will be able to login to your website and leave comments using services such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn. The plugin also allows you to add social media sharing buttons to your above and below posts and floated to the side of your content.
Powered by OneAll, Social Login allows visitors to connect to your website using over 20 different social media services. The OneAll website also provides an insight into how people are sharing content on your website.
Powered by the Janrain service, this social login plugin allows visitors to login using one of over 20 supported social media services. It looks great and it is optimised for mobile devices. It also provides stats on how many people have logged in using their service.
A great social media widget that supports most major social media services. There are four different icon styles to choose from, three different sizes and four animations. Additional options include the opacity level of icons, whether links are opened in a new tab and whether links are dofollow.
Social Media Tabs is a cool WordPress widget that can display profiles for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, RSS and Pinterest. It works differently to most other social media follow plugins. Icons are displayed discretely at the side of your website design and when a user clicks on an icon, the corresponding social media profile slides out. It sounds quite gimmicky but it works well in practice.
This plugin is quite unique in that social media icons can be displayed within your widget area or be floated outside your main design. There are lots of different sizes and styles to choose from and you can choose the alignment of icons too.
Released by StudioPress, Simple Social Icons is a stylish social media follow plugin that supports all major social media services. It offers a lot of control over how the buttons are styled. You can icon size, alignment and the font and background colours.
The official plugin from Facebook offers everything you need. With regards to widgets, it adds a follow button, like box, like button, recent activity, recommendations and a send button. It also allows you to integrate Facebook comments into your website and has support for the open graph protocol.
Simply Instagram lets you display your latest Instagram photos using a widget or shortcode. It gives you a lot of flexibility over what is displayed. You can simply display your latest photos or you can add additional information such as a follow button and your number of followers. The size of thumbnails can also be adjusted.
WP to Twitter allows you to automatically update your Twitter account with your latest tweets. It supports hashtags and you can shorten URL’s using your favourite URL shortener. It also offers support for Google Analytics.
Sociable is one of the most popular sharing plugins available for WordPress. It is also one of the oldest. Most popular social media services are supported and the plugin offers a lot of different icon styles too. Sharing buttons can be displayed above and below posts. You can also use a floating share bar to display your content outside your main content area.
Formerly known as Sexy Bookmarks, Shareaholic offers sharing buttons, analytics and the ability to display related content. There are different styles, sizes and layouts of sharing buttons. You can also add a counter to buttons to highlight how many shares an article has.
A versatile floating share bar that lets you define the exact position on your page. Small or large buttons can be displayed though you can add your own button code if you wish. A horizontal share bar is displayed if the width of the page is less than 1,000 pixels.
Slick Social Share Buttons offers a vertical or a horizontal sharing bar. The bar can be floated or can be slid out. You can control how the bar is displayed such as its offset position and the speed the bar slides out. Different button sizes can be displayed and the admin area displays the number of shares for each article.
Flare is a plugin that is growing in popularity. It allows you to show the total number of shares above posts, below posts and on a floating share bar. When a visitor hovers over the count of a particular social media service, the standard sharing button is displayed that allows them to share the article. It also offers a follow widget. If you want to see Flare in action, look no further, as it is currently being used on Web Hosting Secret Revealed.
WP Socializer is a self-declared “All in One” sharing solution for WordPress that lets you add a sharing bar above posts, below posts and in a floating share bar. It also allows you to use Facebook and Google+ like widgets on your website.
There are a few features that set WP Socializer apart such as the sheer volume of social media services that are supported. It currently supports a whopping 107 social media services. This is probably more than anyone ever needs though I am sure this appeals to those of you need support for less popular social media services. It also allows you to define exactly where sharing buttons are displayed. You can choose to show buttons in areas such as category pages, tag pages, author pages, data archives, search results, excerpts and RSS feeds.
Sharexy is another plugin that allows you to place sharing buttons above posts, below posts and within a floating share bar. It supports over 20 social media services and there are six different styles to choose from. The icons are very stylish so it should appeal to those of you who are looking for something different.
AddThis is one of the most popular sharing services on the internet, apparently being used by over 14 million websites. The WordPress plugin allows you to add sharing buttons above or below your posts. Signing up to their service is not necessary though doing so allows you to see additional stats such as the number of shares and clicks an article has.
Digg Digg is another all-in-one sharing plugin you might want to consider. It offers a floating share bar or a standard sharing bar that can be placed above or below posts. Small and large official sharing buttons are supported.
In addition to AddThis, ShareThis is one of the most common sharing services you will see online. The WordPress plugin allows you to integrate sharing buttons onto your website easily. Vertical floating bars and regular horizontal sharing bars can be selected. There are lots of different styles to choose from and a ridiculous 120 social media services to choose from. There is also a feature called CopyNShare that allows you to track the number of times visitors have copied and shared your URL or content.
One of the most interesting social media stat plugins available for WordPress. The plugin highlights the number of words your articles have and the corresponding number of shares on social media services.
This will help you analyse what types of articles do well on particular websites. For example, you may find that shorter articles get a lot of tweets but very few comments on Facebook in comparison to longer articles.
A social analysis plugin that supports supports Twitter, Facebook and Google+. One of the great things about Social Sharing Analytics is that it adds sharing counts for your posts directly within your post listing screen. The downside to this is that your post area will take slightly longer to load, however this is the price you pay for having everything displayed on the one page.
Social Metrics offers similar functionality to Social Sharing Analytics. The key difference is that metrics are displayed on a dedicated page on your site. This is a much more practical way to display this information as it does not slow down your main post listings page. Social Metrics also offers additional social media services. In addition to Twitter, Facebook and Google+, it also supports StumbleUpon, Digg and LinkedIn. Results can be filtered easily by category or date. The pro version of the plugin has some great features such as displaying your most popular posts in your sidebar.
I hope you have enjoyed this list of social media plugins for WordPress. If I have missed out your favourite plugin from this list, please feel free to share it in the comment area.
Article by Kevin Muldoon
Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity, Internet Marketing and Social Media on his personal blog. He is also the author of the best-selling book "The Art of Freelance Blogging".