Vishnu is a freelance writer by night, works as a data analyst by day.
Increasingly a number of businesses are trying to connect to their would be customers via social media. And why wouldn't they ? It represents a very good opportunity for any budding online business to expand its reach. Let's have a look at what the Social Media Marketing Industry Report has to say,
According to the survey, the top five benefits of social marketing are as follows,
If you are unconvinced about the importance of social media and its role in your business, you should definitely give this report a read. It provides great insight. Now for those of you who use WordPress as your platform for content delivery to the online masses, I'll point you in the direction of the best plugins for having your content shared across all the major social media platforms.
Created by Elegant Themes, Monarch is a beautifully crafted social sharing plugin. The plugin is intuitive, the social sharing buttons can be added to the sidebars, above/below content, fly-in, pop-up and on media. You could also set a time delay for the popup and fly-in style share options, activate share options once a visitor reaches the end of your page's content or activate once a visitor scrolls a significant portion of the page.
Monarch can activate share options after a visitor comments on your website, after a purchase is made or after a period of inactivity by the viewer. Monarch provides sharing options for 40 different social networks with ease of customization and 8 different placement options.
With the stats provided by this awesome plugin, you can monitor and track the most effective methods of developing social following and accumulating social shares.
| Priced at $89 per year ( For 6 plugins and 87 premium WordPress themes )
Simple WordPress plugin that provides what it advertises. This plugin covers 20 social networks has 11 display positions. A dozen social buttons and 19 built in templates are part of Easy Social Share plugin's offerings. There are four button styles and nine counter styles.
Counters allow for the display of current number of shares and followers. This adds social proof that your content is very good. And sometimes prompts a higher number of shares per thousand visitors thereafter. The display of social counters is useful to prove social validation.
The plugin comes with Click log analytics, Google Analytics Tracking, and Social Media Metrics which allow for discovery of your most productive share options and identification of your most socially accepted content.
Easy Social Share pretty much works with all good themes available, has a built in cache module and loads quickly. This plugin also supports sharing images via social networks.
| Priced at $14, this price tag makes it a very tempting option in my eyes.
This is a multilingual, responsive, shortcodes packed social sharing plugin with full color control options. Plugin is compatible with Easy Digital Downloads, Aesop Story Engine, WooCommerce, JigoShop and Visual Composer.
Ultimate Social Deux promises quick load times for their share buttons, so it works without slowing down your website's load speed. It provides an elegant, efficient solution with provisions for 10 social networks. The color, size, appearance and placement of social share buttons can be customized to suit your specific needs.
| Priced at $14, again this is a very reasonable price.
The plugin's tagline description on the above screenshot image reads: “The simple way to add share buttons to your WordPress powered websites.” This most accurately describes this plugin. A minimal plugin with few options, it is pretty straightforward to use.
The share buttons can be added on pages, posts, categories/archives, excerpts, the home page and after/before the content. Use shortcodes to add this plugin to any HTML or text widget.
There exists a premium version of this plugin, Simple Share Buttons Plus. In addition, to features of the free plugin, this paid version also boasts share tracking features, more styling options, minified CSS, hover effects, provisions to add metadata and the option of share counters.
| Free version is available and paid version is priced at $10 per site; yearly payments of the same are required for continued support and updates.
A simple floating social sharing bar for your WordPress website created by the brilliant people at WPBeginner. This floating share bar can be added to your blog posts, pages and other post types.
A truly lightweight share bar that doesn't affect your site's load times by much. This plugin is pretty smart, its scripts are loaded only when a visitor moves her cursor over the share bar. What is seen otherwise is a replica of the share bar that doesn't add to site load time. In keeping with its minimal policy, only five social networks are included: Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
A drag and drop interface to control the appearance of social share options on your site and a meta box to disable the plugin on specific posts or pages. This plugin was developed for internal purposes and is used on WPBeginner, List25 and SteadyStrength.
Mashshare is a social sharing plugin that looks to provide your website with professionalism and a regal look. Their high resolution share buttons are very prominent on any website.
The current version available on WordPress.org, provides only share buttons for Facebook, Twitter and a subscribe button. If you require any of the other social networks as part of the share options on your website, you'll need to use any of the 11 add-ons available. Some of them are paid add-ons.
You can drag and drop to sort the order of the social share buttons and alter the color of the share counters via settings. The plugin has been translated into 6 languages. The share counters use a web-service “sharedcount.com“, to keep track of the number of shares and accumulates them for display on your site, it reduces site load and saves you from using needless scripts.
| Free with option of paid add-ons
You can render it on any page or disable on any page by adding shortcodes to custom fields. A simple, classy solution to solve all your website's social sharing conundrums.
Social Sharing is similar to the previous plugin, in the sense that there are no unnecessary scripts attached to the plugin that may slow it down. This plugin provides sharing options for three social networks (Facebook, Google+ and Twitter).
It loads simple icons with hover effect options at your disposal. It uses simple script (600 bytes), not jQuery dependent, to load pop up windows. A short code and a template function to add the sharing options only when needed. The plugin is translation ready and has an overridable filter to set conditions for display of sharing options.
Apart from the aforementioned 8 plugins, there are a few other options you may want to check out!
Check out my detailed review of GetSocial, a freemium social sharing plugin for WordPress and an little chat with their CEO, Joao Romao.
A free plugin that doesn't slow down your website is probably the best option for most WordPress sites, although when things get bigger, a good statistics dashboard to find your most socially appealing content will prove useful.
A few of the free social plugins do come with basic sharing stats to help in tracking social shares and this should prove sufficient for most sites. But even if you should decide to go for a premium plugin, they aren't particularly expensive and could well be worth every bit and more in the long run.