One of the things I look for when visiting a website – as a professional or a private person – for the first time if there is any social media presence. Believe it or not, I still come across a lot of (new) websites without any social media follow icons and/or share buttons.
With more than a billion people on Facebook and hundreds of millions on other popular social media networks such as Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest – not to name a lot of other, smaller networks – social media really should be a part of any business’ marketing efforts. Even if your business is not active on any social medium, you can still encourage visitors of your website to share its content on their social profiles. For this using a WordPress social media share plugin is essential. It will allow your visitors to easily and quickly share your site and add their opinion if they want to. It is a cheap way to promote your website and your business.
The social media plugins are not only easy for the WordPress website owner, but they also make it super easy and convenient for the visitor to share content. As a business owner, you want to lower the barrier to sharing as much as possible.
On some websites, social media links are only present on the homepage. In doing so, as a business owner you may be missing out. It is essential to provide social media share buttons with every piece of content you create, so website visitors have an easy way to share the content they find most interesting. People want it as easy as possible. With Twitter for instance you can pre-program your plugin to Tweet a certain message if people share your content on Twitter.
Social media Follow icons vs. social media Share buttons:
Many businesses are hesitant to add any form of social media to their website because they do not want to be active on social media. Whether that is the right decision is or not, is a different discussion I will not go into here. However, if you do not have any social media profiles as a business, make sure that your website visitors can share what they like on their social media profiles. Inviting to share is different from inviting to follow.
Social media Follow icons will lead visitors to your business social media page. It is best to have them easily accessible and to be relatively large on your site. Most WordPress themes will have a standard set of Follow icons included in their theme. A good example of them you can see top right on the website of MB Living where it is obvious that MB Living is present on two social media; Facebook and LinkedIn.
Unlike social media Follow icons, which lead visitors to your social profiles, social media share buttons will make it possible for them to share your content to their personal profiles.
Below are five of my favorite free and premium WordPress social media share plugins; two are free and two are premium and one comes in a free and a premium version. Though it is tempting to select only free plugins, you may consider premium plugins as they often offer more features, (better) customer support and updates when new WordPress versions are released.
This social media follow icon premium plugin is just great. You combine all of your favorite social networks profiles and feeds into a tab on the side of your website. You can make it static of have it smoothly slide out when a visitor hovers over the icons. I have used this plugin on the Pepita Bos website which you can see here. You can download the $ 12 premium plugin here. (affiliate link)
These good looking share buttons come in different sizes and styles. Besides static button options Sharexy also has a floatable one. You can connect the plugin to TrafficMiner which allows you to get more traffic to your website and earn extra income. I have used this plugin (without TrafficMiner) on the Insólito website. You can download the free plugin here.
I think visitors get a little bit of wow while sharing with this new and elegant Social Share plugin. At least I was impressed the first time using it. No screaming big sharing buttons, just one subtle button in the shape of a heart. Once you click on the heart, the share panel becomes visible, which allows the user to click and share. I have used this plugin on the Can Schierbeek website which you can see here. You can download the premium plugin here. (affiliate link)
I really like this free plugin, because of its simple and elegant buttons before hovering. These simple and light buttons do not slow down the loading of your web page. Once you hover over them the actual buttons you can click to share on will show. I have used this plugin on the RooftopTable website which you can see here. You can download the plugin here.
Wibiya toolbar (Free and Premium option)
This is a multipurpose bar which appears at the bottom of the website page. It is not only a social media share widget it also offers follow options. Besides sharing content on social networking sites you can add separate boxes for e.g. Facebook Like, RSS feed, Twitter updates, translation, and even your recent posts . I have used this plugin on the Pepita Bos website which you can see here. You can download the free or premium plugin here.
PS: If you decide to buy the premium plugins, please do so through my affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and I earn some extra money with it.
Evelien van ‘t Hoog is the owner of Dots ‘n Ink and helps small business owners take their business online. She will be writing a weekly WordPress Wednesday guest blog for Pepita Bos, Your DIY Marketing Mentor. If you have questions for Evelien, please ask them in the comments section below. You can also find Dots ‘n Ink on Twitter and Facebook.