Receiving social traction for your content is difficult. Let’s assume you produce great content. And search engine traffic brings in a majority of your visitors to your site as a start. People who’ve specifically chosen to search a specific keyword or string of keywords. And the readers that search engines bring to your website are of certain predisposition and are interested in your content. They likely have a peer network and a social following who share their interests. Only then, may you even stand a chance of having your content shared across one of their personal social media accounts.
I count far too many ifs. If you produce good content, especially the kind that you feel benefits your readers personally or professionally, then you have right to expect something in return. Many websites including WpExplorer generate revenue via multiple sources.
But if you are having difficulty generating social media traction and substantive traffic, despite producing great content, perhaps we need to provide an incentive for people to share your content more often. We can do this by conditioning access to your content for social shares. Let’s have a look at some of the best content locking plugins that allow a visitor to pay with social shares!
Social Locker For WordPress
Social Locker For WordPress is a premium plugin that helps lock your best content for shares, likes, one pluses and tweets. You can lock pretty much any content, it can be text, an audio book, a video or a printable pdf document.
You can choose to lock content at the end of an article or the entire body of any article and yet reveal only the introduction to tempt the user into sharing the content, if he or she would like to view the entire article. You can also use the same content blocking for granting access to promo codes. The settings of this plugin offer quite a bit, in terms of choice and allow for choosing when and where the plugin shall selectively lock content.
The plugin provides content locking based on sharing options with 8 different social networks. They’ll soon add Pinterest and Instagram to their choices. You can also choose how the content is blocked, for example you can simply blur the locked content.
The plugin’s integration with Google Analytics makes it possible to view how many people used the locker, how many just skipped the locked content, how many left your website after seeing locked content, which social networks they shared your content on and even the weakness of the locker that may contribute to an increased bounce rate.
So this plugin is pretty impressive and comprehensive in its ability to successfully lock content selectively and track the benefits effectively from an analytics dashboard. You can either use the free version of the plugin or the premium version. The free version supports Facebook Likes, Google 1+ and Tweets, the premium version has 5 other social media sharing options, 5 extra themes and multiple social follow buttons. With the premium version you can disable the content lock for registered users, delay lock & relock, export leads in CSV format and you obviously get support.
Social Share & Locker Pro WordPress Plugin
Social Share & Locker Pro is a basically a two-in-one plugin that handles all your social sharing requirements and it also comes with a social content locker module.
The social sharing features of this plugin are great but that isn’t the focus of this write up. We are interested in its content locking features. With Social Share & Locker, you can set timers on your locks that prevent access to content after a small delay. The plugin has 8 content locker themes at its disposal.
The content locking feature is enabled for only Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook and Linkedin. But if you receive a majority of your social shares from the aforementioned four social media channels, then there isn’t much to worry about.
Automatic Social Locker
A simple free plugin that permits you to select specific URLs, specific/all pages and posts and then enable content locking which displays content once it shared across Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus. You can hide or display a close button and a countdown timer.
The Automatic Social Locker plugin is pretty plain and without much in the way of choice. You can change the message on your social content lock but you can not really do much else. But if you are looking for simplicity, this plugin should work just fine.
Social Locker – Increase Traffic
A search engine friendly content locker for all content types with support for the big four social networks. The Social Locker Traffic plugin recognizes users who’ve previously unlocked the content and also registered users if you’d like, it does not lock content in such cases.
You can create any number of content locks and edit them to meet your style and make them the right fit for your website with Tinymce.
A Few Things & Final Thoughts
On August 7, 2014 Facebook made announcement that all incentivized sharing via Facebook is disallowed. They believe that it does not make a positive contribution to their network when sharing is incentivized by supposedly artificial incentives. Please ensure that all social networks on which you enable content locks allow it. Be absolutely sure of their guidelines and policies when it comes to sharing for content access.
Personally, I think if you work really hard to create a hundred page eBook and you do not even charge for it, then you certainly should be able to profit from it at least in the form of a social share. That being said, enable content locking on special content that you worked extra hard to create. If you pepper your site with locked content, it’ll simply rub people the wrong way. Imagine if every other post on the WPExplorer blog was locked ? … Exactly! Use content locking very minimally and efficiently.
Want to add social sharing to your website in other ways (not content locking related)? Checkout these helpful posts from other WPExplorer authors:
- Monarch Review: Social Sharing WordPress Plugin from Elegant Themes
- How to Add Social Logins to Your WordPress Blog or Website
- 20 Awesome Social Media Plugins for WordPress
I hope you found the post helpful 🙂 The best plugin in my opinion to use for content locking based on social shares is Social Locker For WordPress. If you want to see what it’s like, try the free version before you purchase the premium version. Or if you have a better content locking plugin let us know in the comments!