Becoming too dependent on the search engines for traffic is never a good idea — one algorithm update could potentially reduce floods of traffic to a trickle. With this in mind, taking advantage of other traffic sources, social media in particular, is an important part of safeguarding your website’s long-term success: having a strong social following and highly shareable content allows you to drive your own traffic to your site. In other words, if your website does experience a drop in the SERPs, the impact won’t be catastrophic.
Now, I’m willing to bet that most of you have already installed social sharing buttons on your website, right? However, that’s not the only way you can make your website more social. Today I want to introduce to you seven WordPress social media plugins. Each plugin adds a slightly different function to your website, helping you to really get the most out of social media.
Social Media Feather Free WordPress Plugin
Social Media Feather is a free social sharing buttons plugin. The plugin allows you to add a stylish set of social sharing buttons to your website — you can also add social media follow buttons — which allow visitors to share your content with friends on their social channel of choice.
The plugin supports all the major social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, reddit, Pinterest, and tumblr. You get a clean, modern set of buttons, which can be placed before or after each post. You can also place the follow buttons anywhere on your site by using a dedicated widget.
Social Share & Locker Pro Premium WordPress Plugin
Social Share & Locker Pro is a fantastic two-in-one premium plugin, available for $14 from CodeCanyon. For your money, you get both great-looking social sharing buttons, plus social locker functionality.
The most important 20 social media channels are supported by the plugin, and your share buttons can be placed anywhere on your page — top, bottom, left, or right. They can be fixed in an absolute position, or floated so that they appear on screen at all times. You can also place the share buttons directly into your content using a simple shortcode.
The buttons are fast loading, and come in ten different skins. Each skin looks clean and stylish, and comes with a choice between displaying the social logo and the full name — you can view the many skins here. You can also choose to display counters next to your buttons.
The best thing about this plugin is the extra social locker function. This allows you to lock your premium content, which a visitor can only view after sharing the content on Twitter or Facebook.
NextScripts: Social Network Auto-Poster Free WordPress Plugin
Another impressive free plugin, the Social Network Auto-Poster does exactly what it says on the tin: it submits your content to every configured social network as soon as you hit “publish.”
We all know that regularly posting your articles to social media is a great way to attract traffic to your website, and this plugin will save you significant amounts of time with that: you no longer have to add each post manually to every social channel you use. You can also add more than one account for each social network, making it easy to integrate personal and business accounts at the same time.
The plugin supports 27 different social networks at present — obviously, all the major ones are included in that list. You can also configure the plugin to add an article’s tags/categories to the social posts as hashtags, making your content easier to find.
Pinterest Automatic Pin Premium WordPress Plugin
If images are an important feature of your website, no doubt you’re already active on Pinterest. Available at $15, the Pinterest Automatic Pin WordPress plugin can significantly improve how quickly and efficiently you are able to upload your images. The plugin seamlessly synchronizes with your Pinterest account, which then allows you to quickly pin an unlimited number of images. It also fetches the boards you follow, which can help you pick where you want your images posting.
As you produce a post, Automatic Pin automatically detects all images, which are then posted directly to Pinterest when the post is published — if you schedule your post for publication at a later date, your images will only be pinned when the post goes live. You also have the option to de-select the images you don’t want posting. You’ll spot a new metabox to the right of the text editor, which allows you to pick the board to pin your images to from a drop-down list.
As well as this, you can go back and pin images from already published posts. Simply view your existing posts by clicking on All Posts from your WordPress dashboard, then select the new bulk action option available: Pin them. To avoid any problems with mass uploading, the plugin can stagger your pins, meaning only one image is pinned per minute.
SocialFans Responsive Social Counter Premium WordPress Plugin
SocialFans is a fantastic premium plugin, which allows you to add visually-stunning social follow buttons to your website, allowing you to build your fans, followers, and subscribers. It supports an impressive 30+ social media networks, and can be downloaded for $16 from CodeCanyon. There are a number of different skins to choose from for your buttons, including colored, light, dark, and transparent. There are also a number of transition animations and click animations available for each skin.
The buttons are responsive and will fit any widget area. You can choose between displaying the buttons in a list form, or in a cool-looking, interlocked, puzzle layout. Both look great. The plugin also offers the option to display a counter for your social follows, showing either all-time figures, or the number of followers in a specified time period, depending on your preference.
Twitter Widgets Free WordPress Plugin
Although not technically a plugin, integrating a Twitter widget is a great way to add a different social element to your website. A Twitter widget lets you add a live Twitter feed to your website sidebar. You can choose to display your own posts and conversations, or to display any posts featuring a specified hashtag (preferably your own dedicated hashtag). This is great for showing visitors how you interact with your fans, or conveying what the social media world thinks of your website — if the feedback is positive, that is some really great social proof! Visitors are able to interact with you more easily, by clicking the link in the widget.
Adding the widget is super-quick: simply head over to the settings of your Twitter account, and select widget. From there, you will be able to play around with the settings and a number of customization options, before generating a code to paste into an HTML widget on your WordPress site.
CoSchedule Free WordPress Plugin
CoSchedule is primarily an all-in-one editorial calendar, but also comes with some impressive social media functions. The price of the service is $10 per month, but you can get a 14-day free trial.
CoSchedule allows you to synchronize any number of social media accounts on all the major networks. It then allows you to create and schedule messages from a metabox positioned directly under the WordPress text editor — this means you can write your social media posts as you are blogging. You are able to schedule your posts relative to when your post is published, for example two, four, and six hours after the post goes live. If you change your publication date, the associated social posts will automatically shift with it.
The plugin also creates an impressive drag-and-drop calendar, which features all your scheduled content and scheduled social posts. This allows you to visualize every aspect of your blog schedule, enabling you to see which days are light on content, and this can help you create a more consistent publishing and social schedule.
As the importance of social media grows, so too does the number of social WordPress plugins. This can make it incredibly difficult to find a suitable plugin for your website, with all the different plugins to choose from.
This article aims to introduce you to a number of different social media plugins — each offering a different function — to help you get the most out of the social media channels. You can also checkout our post on 20 of the best social media WordPress plugins to see more free & premium options for adding social links to your site. If you know of an awesome social media plugin not included in this list, let us know about it in the comments section below!