Social Sharing is now an integral part of our internet experience. Social media is constantly on the rise and it is becoming popular with older folk as well.
With so much information on the internet, it is a real feat to track down what you really need. Search engines make it possible to find information that you need, but social media also plays a significant role in helping you find your favorite websites. Why ? Your friends or the people whom you follow have a lot in common with you and when they share something, it is far more likely that you’ll find the shared information of interest.
72% of internet users are active on social media and it represents a marketing opportunity which you cannot ignore. After search engines, it is social media that drives most traffic to websites. Unlike normal advertisements and television slots, it serves as a 2-way communication and helps build brand awareness.
Creating good content is only a job half done. Getting it before the target audience is the other tricky half. That’s where social sharing can give a leg up. You can tap a share button from almost any screen and content is instantly shared. I’d sincerely recommend you read this excellent article on Shareaholic which provides insightful information about the sources of website traffic over the past few years from search engines and different social networks.
There are many Social Sharing Plugins For WordPress available which you could use on your website. I’ve picked out a few of the popular ones here for a quick read.
Monarch is a top rated social sharing plugin that comes from Elegant Themes. A powerful social sharing plugin with a plethora of options at its disposal, Monarch supports 20+ social networks. The settings can be managed from the custom panel in the WordPress dashboard. Your settings can easily be imported and exported from one WordPress site to another, so if you have multiple sites the plugin can easily be set up and activated.
To encourage social shares, there are a number of display and placement options. The features below also make it very versatile –
- The default color of the icons is the color and logo of the respective networks, but you can change it to your liking. Colors, shapes and orientation can be altered to match your personal taste.
- The icons respond in multiple ways when the mouse hovers over them – Simple, Grow, Flip, Border and Slide.
- You can pick the icons and arrange them in any order, displaying even the share counts.
- Placement options include triggered popups and fly ins. You can make it so that the buttons appear after a timed delay or any other trigger that you set. For example, reaching the end of a page or a prolonged period of inactivity. A surefire way to capture the attention of your site’s visitors.
- For content laden pages, the icons can be placed above or below the content or at both places. It dynamically detects the beginning and end of posts and pages.
- Handy social floating sidebar will continuously prompt readers to share webpages.
- The share buttons be placed on videos and images as well and the icons appear when a visitor hovers over them.
- They conveniently tone down in size whist accessed via mobile devices.
Shares, likes and follows can all be tracked and monitored in an impressive and highly extensive interface. Statistics can be accessed from the WordPress dashboard. Also you can make it, so that the share count is displayed only after it reaches a certain minimum number of shares.
Purchase Price: For $89 per year, you’ll receive access to 87 premium themes and their entire collection of plugins on offer including Monarch.
Social Warfare is a visually stunning plugin that gives you access to great features. It supports popular social networks and works pretty well with most well built WordPress themes.
Plugin supports Pinterest images. The potential increase in traffic as a result of Pinterest interaction is high for some industries, but the size of the default images acts as a dampener. With Social Warfare, Pinterest specific images can be loaded, without affecting the regular images.
Another plus with Social Warfare is that you get to add tweetable quote boxes in different designs within your content box and you can add custom tweet quotes to individual posts.
Social Warfare is developer friendly and a user can extend it’s functionality with add-ons. It includes the much in demand Frame Buster plugin that protects your content by preventing others from adding content over your own.
Some of the features available as part of Social Warfare –
- Choice of over 75 different colors and styles.
- Responsive, fits any screen size.
- Custom widgets can be added to posts to show the number of shares.
- Rich, large summary cards can be added to tweets.
- While total and individual share counts can be displayed, low share count can be kept hidden.
- You can also track shares with UTM tracking code.
Purchase Price: Starts from $24 a year for one website to $200 for 10 websites.
WPSharely can get help you get more social shares, attract more visitors and track your results. It works on the principle that visitors will share content if they see something in it for themselves by sharing. Content is locked up, and will unlock only if you have share the particular page in question. To entice a share, you can use articles, images, links, coupons codes, videos, audios or anything else innovative that you can cook up.
Other features of this awesome plugin include –
- Content locker can be wrapped up in four different themes.
- The content locker can keep hidden specific snippets of content on a post or a page.
- Can hide the locked content in the source code.
- Option to hide registered members.
- Can change the URL that the content locker shares.
Facebook has recently banned this practice of like gating, but it is still allowed on other social networks.
Purchase Price: For a single site license $60, multi site $95 and professional $240. To see the lower prices, you have to click on their share button 😉
Social Share & Locker Pro
Social Share & Locker Pro helps make your website visible among social networks. ‘Locker’ refers to the facility of locking up content that can be unlocked only upon adding a share, pretty much the same as the previous plugin.
The features that make this rank among the better plugins are –
- 28 social networks are available and you can take your pick of icons.
- 10 predefined themes are included and they come with the best fonts.
- Full name of the networks/ just the icons/ social share count can be displayed or disabled.
- Email sharing is possible with a popup option.
- Compatible with WooCommerce, JigoShop and BuddyPress.
- This plugin is directly integrated with Visual Composer for easy set up and use.
Purchase Price: One time purchase of $15
TweetDis is a simple WordPress plugin for easy tweets. TweetDis works on a slightly different concept from the usual social sharing plugins. With TweetDis, you can create content like tweetable quotes easily. TweetDis also understands that visual content always works better on social media and with this plugin, you can even tweet images.
Besides, it also has the features below –
- It is easy to use and many designs are available. You can add “click to tweet” boxes very easily.
- Many design layouts.
- Can customize the tweet boxes.
- Call to action can be customized.
- Text highlighting support.
- A default @username can be tagged to your tweets.
Purchase Price: If you’d like to use TweetDis on your website, it’ll cost you $37, but for only $10 more you can use it on 5 websites. For $77, you can use it on any number of websites.
Easy Social Metrics Pro
If you are particular about monitoring how your content performs on social networks, Easy Social Metrics Pro is a pretty awesome plugin which warrants your interest. You can quickly see which posts are gaining the most attention and viewership. Data is collected automatically and reports are timely. You can track pages, post, images, videos or portfolio items easily.
Some other features are –
- 12 major social networks are monitored.
- Easy to setup and has a powerful dashboard. You can access social shares by most popular posts, dates and social networks in a given time period.
- Comes with builtin widget to display your top social post.
Purchase Price: One time purchase price of $28.
Ultimate Social Deux
Ultimate Social Deux is an attractive all-in-one package that works well as a social sharing plugin for most WP sites. It is a relatively newer plugin and is compatible with most WordPress plugins – WordPress widgets, Visual Composer, WooCommerce, Aesop Story Engine, Jigoshop and Easy Digital Download.
It supports 10 social media sites, besides providing an email sharing option. Sleek buttons sporting the logo of each site can be adjusted for color, size, appearance and position.
Purchase Price: One time payment of $15
Flow Flow WordPress Social Stream
With Flow Flow, a stream having a combination of different social feeds can be created from the admin area. The shortcode that is generated can then be copied anywhere on your website. When it called up for the first time, it gets cached in the server, and the subsequent visitors will see amazingly fast responses. Filters can be used for complex streams.
The number of streams that you can have is restricted by the type of server that your website runs on. This plugin is quite resource heavy and can find it difficult to load on old or low end devices. Your social feeds can be moderated by excluding posts by URLs, by name or words. It supports over 15 social networks.
Purchase Price: $24 for a pretty interesting sharing plugin.
Social Network Tabs for WordPress
Social Network Tabs for WordPress is a fast loading plugin that minimizes the use of AJAX. Slide out tabs can be placed within page content. Many optional features are available, including the option to show complete posts or snippets for Facebook and Twitter. Supports 16 social networks and 69 feed options.
Purchase Price: One time payment of $15
Social Locker for WordPress
Social Locker plugin works on the principle of locking up content to increase shares. Content can also be blurred by using transparent or semi transparent overlay. It improves social performance of your site and builds a quality audience.
8 networks are supported and more are expected to be added shortly. Built in advanced analytics is an added feature of this plugin.
Purchase Price: $25 to make your content accessible only to those who share!
Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress
Easy Social Share Buttons is a sharing solution that helps promote sharing, enables monitoring and increases social traffic. It offers 18 display locations and supports about 35 social networks.
Additional buttons like Love This Button, Comments, Print and Send To Mail are available. Social media image sharing is free and available on WordPress.org, although video sharing is a paid option. It comes with an easy to set up wizard.
Purchase Price: $19 to add social share buttons to your WP site.
Simple Share Buttons Adder
A simple plugin with which you can add share buttons to all your posts and pages, Simple Share Buttons Adder lets you pick an image set that goes well with your website or add your own.
The features packed in this plugin are –
- 10 different button sets that scale perfectly to mobile devices.
- Colors can be customized with color picker functionality.
- URLs can be shortened.
- Share tags can be adjusted and buttons placed where you want them.
- All share button events can be tracked from your dashboard.
The most recent update (Nov 2015) includes Yummly sharing functionality – Users can now share recipes from the same page, without having to use messy popups. These buttons can only be placed on individual pages. Email popup option has been made easier to use. Twitter share counts have been removed officially and so this version has been released without it.
Purchase Price: Premium version is also available. For $10, you can activate Simple Share Buttons on 1 site, for $25 on 3 sites and for $100 on an unlimited number of websites.
Active installs: 100,000+, Star rating 4.7.
SumoMe is not a single app, but a suite of apps designed to increase traffic. And a WordPress compatible version of SumoMe makes it easy to integrate with WordPress sites. It is not necessary for you to use the entire suite, and you can pick only the ones you want by creating an account.
This app can add share buttons over individual targeted images, facilitates URL shortening and statistics. It supports 16 social services including Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. UTM will help you see exactly how much traffic every shared link is directing your way.
Purchase Price: Free with branding and paid options which start at $10/month for their starter pack and $100/month for their professional pack.
With Add This social sharing icon, a variety of designs and icon sizes are possible. It supports over 200 social media services. The makers claim that websites that use Add This sharing buttons witness a 20% increase in sharing.
The plugin is a free, but there’s a premium version. The premium version has additional features like floating sidebar and a couple of additional widgets.
Active installs: 200,000+, Star rating 3.7.
Shareaholic is one of the more popular social sharing plugins. Their award winning toolset for websites increases pageviews, repeat visits, time on site and sharing rates. The easy to use analytics keyboard will help understand audiences and deliver appropriate content.
The following features can all be found in Shareaholic,
- A variety of looks for the social sharing buttons, more attractive than the native buttons.
- Support for WordPress, Drupal, Tumblr, Shopify and more.
- Support for social analytics and shortcode placement.
- Related content is displayed.
- Control over display of share counts.
Shareaholic (in the words of the developers) is an all-in-one content amplification and monetization platform that includes social sharing.
Purchase Price: It is free, but you need to register to access the features on offer.
Active installs 100,000+, Star rating 3.8.
Social Sharing by Danny
Social Sharing by Danny is a barebones plugin which adds sharing buttons for Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. It is simple, lightweight and versatile. The icons are simple with hover effect and can be displayed in almost any position. The buttons can be added automatically or by using shortcode.
The load times are really fast as there is no heavy scripting involved, only a simple script of about 600 bytes that is not jQuery dependent.
Active installs: 3000+, Star rating 5.
Mashshare offers a highly customizable setting for social media sharing. The free service supports Facebook, Twitter and email. There are a number of free add-ons, but to add the other social networks you’ll have to move to the Premium version.
Active installs: 200,000+, Star rating 4.7.
Another versatile plugin from the WordPress directory, Digg Digg has lazy loading features which ensures that your blog is not slowed down much. A floating sharing bar can be added with Digg Digg, you can also include scroll effects to capture the eye of your visitor.
Active installs: 80,000+, Star rating 3.6.
WP Social Sharing
WP Social Sharing adds attractive social sharing buttons to your WordPress site. This plugin supports major networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Xing and Google+. The buttons are responsive and become smaller for devices with a resolution less than 480px.
Active installs: 10,000+, Star rating 4.7.
Social Media Feather
Active installs: 100,000+, Star rating 4.6.
Easy Social Share Buttons
With Easy Social Share, you can choose between 2 styles of buttons – minimal icon buttons or buttons with share count. And you can place them just where you want, the header/the footer or include them within your content by using shortcodes.
Active installs : 30,000+, Star rating 3.7.
Floating Social Bar
Floating Social Bar from WpBeginner supports only 5 networks – Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest so as to keep the plugin slim. The icons are fast loading and the actual share buttons will be loaded only when a viewer hovers over the icon. Buttons are displayed in sticky mode in a horizontal bar that floats over pages and posts.
The plugin is developer friendly and developers can access a template tag for any customization.
Active installs: 20,000+, Star rating 4.2.
Share Buttons by AddToAny
Although you are unlikely to use them, Share Buttons by AddToAny offers more than 100 share buttons. It finds a place in this list because it allows for a great deal of customization. Social media presence can also be tracked using Google Analytics.
Active installs: 200,000+, Star rating 4.7.
DC Simple Share Button
Active installs: 800+, Star rating 4.4.
Jetpack is a incredibly versatile plugin, but can slow down pages just a bit. This plugin is not just about social sharing, but has other functionalities as well such as security services and helps with a ton of other important things as well.
The sharing module allows you to choose the mode of sharing content – social media, print or email. Buttons can be displayed, so can text links or icons for faster loading time.
Active installs: More than a million, Star rating 4.
Social Metrics Tracker
If you are looking for a free alternative to help you track your social media reach – try out Social Metrics Tracker. This plugin does not support as many social media networks; however it may be sufficient for you if you just want a general overview of your social media performance.
Active installs: 3,000, Star rating 5.
There are some plugins created specially for sharing on Instagram. With Instagram emerging as a powerful social sharing platform, these plugins merit a closer look.
Instagram Feed is a WordPress plugin with which you can display Instagram photos from any non-private Instagram account through a single or multiple feeds. The multiple feeds can be arranged in the same page or on different pages throughout the website. You can save time by posting photos to Instagram and automatically displaying them on your website.
Active Installs: 100,000, Star rating 5.
All your images can be displayed in carousel or grid format in lightbox mode with Enjoy Instagram. It is optimized for mobile devices.
Active installs: 10,000+, Star rating 3.9
Here’s a plugin which is Twitter specific 🙂
Click to Tweet
Click to Tweet is yet another social sharing plugin with special focus on Twitter. It is one of the easiest ways to promote, share and track your content on Twitter.
To Sum Up
It is important not to go overboard and put in all the WordPress social sharing plugins that are available. Add only what is necessary and what is suitable to the demography of your site’s audiences.
This post would be incomplete, if I did not mention here that Twitter has officially discontinued Twitter share counts. It may still be available through other methods, but third party buttons created for Twitter will not fetch a response. The count component of Twitter button will be removed. While picking a plugin, Facebook’s ban on like gating should also be taken into account.
Which plugin you choose is very much a personal choice. It depends on the unique character of your website and audiences.
Monarch offers a variety of configurations and loads pretty fast. Social Media Feather, Simple Share Buttons Adder and Mashshare are also great options. Simple Share Buttons Adder is also quite straightforward without any fancy settings and so is Social Sharing by Danny.
If I had no specific requirements and were looking for an awesome social sharing plugin, I’d either go with one of the free options or choose a premium plugin which possesses a feature my website simply can not do without.
I hope the article was helpful and you find the right social sharing plugin for your WordPress website.