Have you ever wondered why your blogs aren't shared more on social media? Your posts may even be extremely well written and informative.
Introduction – Social Media Branding
In today's social media world, where stories spread like wildfire, it is essential that a business projects the best possible image of itself. This is possible through social media branding. People refer to a corporate entity's social accounts far more now than they ever have in the past. This represents an opportunity, and social media sharing plugins will go a long way toward establishing an awesome brand for any business on social media.
Good social brand translates to good traffic from social networking websites. This results in a larger readership for your blog.
Features To Expect In A Social Media Sharing Plugin For WordPress
- Social media encapsulates a number of popular websites, so any plugin needs to handle a number of social media websites.
- Placement of social media sharing buttons. One simple reason why your post isn't shared as much as you might expect is the limited accessibility of your share buttons on your website. Their placement cannot be obscured by website design or some fancy feature. Ideally, the best placement for any share button is the position where it is most accessible. Normally, social media sharing plugins can position the share bars above, below and to the side of your content. Share bars have different orientations; they can be horizontal, vertical or even floating share bars.
- Clean, modern and classy icon bars & buttons that go well with your website. The size and the appearance of the buttons can change the entire complexion of the website.
- Social Media Analytics to measure the number of people who share your website, the ratio of sales conversion, source of new visitors, etc. This will help you assess your strengths and weaknesses and improve on both.
- Address Bar Tracking, if anyone copies your URL and shares it, you'll know about it.
- Then there are few features for certain plugins that creates sharing options which are triggered by a period of inactivity, by the user commenting on a post, or when the user purchases an item.
- A few social media plugins exist that help you integrate comments, follow sites across social media platforms and lock content.
According to Statista.com, there are roughly 2 billion social media users currently and this number is expected to head north in the years to follow. There are a great many free plugins that can do this job for you, but today I'll be reviewing GetSocial plugin.
GetSocial WordPress Dashboard
Below is a screenshot of an easy to use social media sharing plugin. Once you've decided which type of sharing option to use on your site, click on add and the rest of the process is a breeze. As you might imagine, there is a great deal of variety and a plethora of options you can explore to help promote your website on social media websites.
Social Media Sharing Bar Options
GetSocial offers the following options to insert share buttons on your website.
Custom Sharing Actions: You could use this to allow a visitor to describe how he/she feels about the content on your website.
Sharing Bars: Such as the Big Total Shares Floating and the Big Total Shares Horizontal that display total number of shares. This feature may prove uniquely useful as people tend to share what has already been shared previously.
In addition to the aforementioned, this plugin can insert floating, native and horizontal sharing bars. They can be placed differently on your website depending on site layout.
Welcome Bar: This bar can be used to entice a visitor into purchasing a product or downloading a free eBook.
Subscribe Bar: And, finally, a subscribe bar that increases your subscriber count. Although, you will have to choose between the Welcome Bar and the Subscribe Bar.
Customizing Your Sharing Bar and Buttons
Once you are through with selecting the sharing bars, you get to choose which social media websites you want to include as part of the share bar on the website. With GetSocial, you can select how the share button will appear and what size, color, shape and position the buttons will assume.
Removing A Share Bar
It is not as easy to remove the sharing bars as to insert them. You need to visit GetSocial to deactivate the sharing bars. I can't quite seem to remove them from my WordPress administrator account. While this isn't much of a hassle, the plugin would definitely be better served by a deactivation option that can be more easily accessed.
Social Media Metrics
You can access your Social Media metrics with detailed stats on visitors, shares, leads, top users, top items and top shares for a period of 7 days or 30 days. The stats data can be downloaded as well, if you need it for further analysis.
Something I found useful when I first started using the plugin was the help feature. I was trying to tinker with the settings and figure out how to make the plugin work for me. You can search for a query with the “Help” button and chances are it is likely to solve your problem in the next few seconds.
Use GetSocial to track all advertisements that eventually lead to conversions and eventually cause a bump in sales.
As part of the Premium plan, it is possible to track which of your users are sharing your posts and find out articles/posts on your website that lead to the highest sales conversion. It can be used to better understand the performance of your competitors.
Differences In Features Between Various Plans
I've described the features of GetSocial above. Some of those features belong to the Pro and Premium plans and require a purchase. Depending on your website and your necessities, you can choose among three plans.
A Word Of Caution
Cluttering your website with share buttons thrust into the visitor's face is a recipe for disaster. I hate it when I visit a website and am met with far too many sharing buttons.
Joao Romao, CEO at GetSocial.io, shared some insider information about GetSocial with WHSR. Below is our Q&A session with Mr. Romao.
GetSocial is being built to be the app store for all social media needs. We started off with sharing tools with an analytical engine behind them. We later started development engagement and conversion tools. The next steps will be to amplify distribution, with more social networks available to share to. We’ll also focus a lot on quick product wins, with individual image sharing, popups & price alert buttons.
What, in your opinion, separates GetSocial from other premium plugins like Monarch by Elegant Themes?Monarch is fantastic and has a beautiful design. I’d say that GetSocial has some advantages over it. First, you can use it for free and still have quite a range of tools to help build up your traffic and sales. Also, we focused a lot of our time to make it very easy for our users to install and use our product. We also give a big focus on the analytics part of the product, with advanced statistics about the power of the social user or tracking dark social sharing.
Were there any particular difficulties you faced while creating the plugin; if so, how did it shape the plugin ?
Building a first version of the product was hard as we weren't (this type of) consumer ourselves. However, after quickly deploying this first version, we started getting so much valuable feedback from our users (specially the WordPress ones) that we kind of built the product around what people needed and they’re willing to pay for.
Your reasons for creating a Social Media Sharing plugin, particularly for WordPress?
Again, we’re creating an app store for all social media needs, which includes social media sharing. My vision on it is simple: sharing isn’t about buttons or counters. Sharing, as per other social media activities, should be tied with goals and results. Today, the vast majority of social sharing plugins provide you with buttons. GetSocial provides you with insights… Insights on how social sharing (and other apps) are driving your traffic, shares and conversions, helping you understand exactly if/how social media contributes to your website.
Do you intend to replicate it for other Content Management Systems as well ? If so, when might we expect its release ?We’re studying the possibility to, in the short/medium term, include new plugins for both content and eCommerce platforms. Main contenders include Drupal + Joomla for content and Magento/PrestaShop for eCommerce.
I noticed that I have to visit your website to deactivate any of the share buttons, rather than accessing it from my WordPress dashboard. Will this feature be added soon? Seems a bit of a hassle to have to leave the WP dashboard every time I need to deactivate a share bar.Recurrent feedback I must say. We've decided to go that way to save us some development time for the moment. When we took that decision, we were trying to fix install rates (which were about 6%) so the experience wasn't our focus. Now that our installation rates are up to 90% we can focus in other aspects of the product, namely free to paid conversion and user experience. I’m expecting that particular problem to be fixed in the next month or so.
The Bottom Line
GetSocial can be a great plugin for your WordPress blog. Using this plugin the right way will ensure that your awesome posts are shared across the different social media platforms. Even should you choose not to opt for the premium versions of the plugin, you might want to try out the free version of GetSocial.
With GetSocial, it is incredibly easy to add sharing options in varying colors, sizes and alignments relative to your website. You can also access the metrics that help drive your website. Apart from sharing bars, the free version of this plugin includes basic social analytics, conversion tracking and address bar tracking.