Why Include Social Media Share Buttons On Your Blog?
Social media is such an integral part of life now, that I very much doubt I need to explain the answer to this question but just in case…here goes.
As an internet marketer it is absolutely essential to your success that you have plenty of traffic visiting your blog…and not just any old traffic, super relevant traffic. That is, visitors to your website who are hungry to absorb the information you are presenting.
Social media is one of the biggest and best secret sauces available to help you generate traffic to your blog or website. (I am currently this book on social media marketing tips to help me expand my knowledge of social media marketing a build a strong social media strategy).
So, it is essential to maxise the use of social media both by being active on social media yourself and enabling your readers to easily share your content with their friends and family.
The way you allow your readers to “like” and “share” your content with their followers and friends, is to include social media buttons on your website.
There is absolutely no doubt that including social media share buttons on your blog will help to increase the level of your qualified (or hot, interested and ready to buy) traffic visiting your website, as this will allow your visitors to share your posts with their friends at the click of a button.
When your readers share your posts on social media it is of course a personal recommendation which builds your credibility. If your content is great and of good value, having it shared on Facebook for example, will raise awareness of you blog and spread the word across the internet fast.
How Can Social Media Buttons be Added to Your Blog?
Well, assuming you are using WordPress, there are a vast array of WordPress plugins to choose from which will enable you to add social media buttons on your website. Some of these plugins are free and some are premium, meaning that you need to pay for them.
To install a wordpress plug in, go to the plugins section of your wordpress dashboard and click “add new”. Search for “social media buttons” and you will be able to see the available plugins.
If you want to choose one of the plugins shown when you search you can click on “install”, and then click “activate”.
Alternatively if you want a premium plugin you will need to purchase and download it from the relevant website and then upload the zip file.
Once you have installed your chosen plugin you will need to click “activate”.
Then to go to Plugins on the menu of your WordPressdashboard and click on the menu item “installed plugins”. You should then click on the settings button showing beneath the name of your plugin.
In this settings section you will be able to set up social media buttons in line with preferences, subject to the functions and limitations of the plugin you have chosen.
Which WordPress Plug In Should You Choose?
I did some research today on the various social media plug ins available. Please note that there are a vast array to choose from so you aren’t limited to the ones I mention here.
What I discovered when looking around, is that you can get plug ins for individual social media share buttons, or you can buy a plug in that offers a floating bar, or a panel of buttons.
I have opted for the latter (ie a panel of buttons) after reading around the subject and discovering that it can require fiddly changing of html code in order to get the buttons to line up, if you choose separate plugins.
My technical knowledge is limited to copying and pasting code, and perhaps changing small parts of it under instruction, so the prospect of aligning buttons by code sounded like it could very easily be either a) frustrating or quite possibly b) beyond me. Also, I am a fan of making things as easy as possible so this suits me best. I also wanted to include all the main social media buttons.
If you just wanted to include Facebook, for example then you needn’t go for anything other than the individual button that you want.
I also appreciate that many of you will have html skills so if you want separate buttons, knock yourself out!
Varying Features of the Social Media Plugins Available
So, how to make your choice.
I discovered that there are various options available depending on the plugin you choose. For example;
- Some plug ins provide different or more/fewer social media buttons than others.
- Some allow a count of the number of “shares” and “likes” to be shown, others do not. (Seeing a good number of “shares” and “likes” encourages your visitors to share as well).
- The options for where you can place your buttons will vary across the plugins;
- Some will allow you to have a floating bar that stays visible on the page as the reader scrolls down (have a look at DigDig).
- Some will enable you to have a pop up box which invites the reader to share your content on social media.
- Some allow you more options for different styles and graphics.
Tweetmeme (Individual Button)
This wordpress plugin enables readers to share you content on Twitter. It provides both a live counter of the number of times your post has been shared and also enables you to set a prepopulated tweet for your readers to use when they share your content on Twitter.
Facebook “Like” (Individual Button)
This plugin can be set to show the avitars of reader’s friends which compels visitors to click like button. Use of the button automatically posts on the reader’s personal profile so that you get more visibility. You can also allow comments to be included.
If you wish, you can change the word on this button from “Like” to “Recommend”. One idea would be to use the word “like” at top and/or bottom of your post and then to also include the word “recommend” in top right hand corner so that your visitor can recommend your whole blog.
Facebook “Share” (Individual Button)
You can position this button whererever you wish on your site and it also has the counter included, so you can see how many times people have shared. As mentioned, the sharing counter helps to adds to credibiltiy and proof of what you are sharing in your content. The counter also compels visitors to share with their friends too. When click on the button up pops a separate window which
You can find both the Facebook “Like” and Share buttons by visiting developers.facebook.com/plugins or alternatively you could google “wordpress facebook like button” and you will be able to find them that way.
Which Plugin Did I Choose?
Well, when I searched for social media button plugins within WordPress (ie I clicked on “Add New” from the Plugins menu on my WordPress Dashboard and then searched “social media buttons”), I found that Ultimate Sharing had both a full star rating and the highest number of active installs.
So…I initially chose this one.
Upon installing this plugin, a banner appeared which offered me an upgrade to a premium version. Whilst I had not had an intention of paying for a plugin I clicked on the banner to find out what the premium version had to offer.
I was sold on it, mainly because of all of the extra features. A chat box also appears which enabled me to ask the question “is this easy to use” and the answer came back “yes”. That clinched the deal.
I went ahead and purchased the premium plug in for a little over $29. I was particuarly interested in having the Whatsapp button included as well as some of the others that were not included in the basic version. I downloaded it, installed it and acivated it. There was no need to uninstall the basic version.
I have found the Ultimately Social Premium plugin extremely easy to use. The settings are amonst the clearest I have ever had to use and the options are sufficient that you can include everything you want to and format/configure in any way you might wish.
I’m very happy with my purchase, although, so many people also seem to be very content with the basic version there is no need to buy the premium version if you are keeping your costs down or are not looking for advanced features or a wide array of buttons.
So my question for this post is; what social plugins have you used and with what success?
I hope you have found this post of value. If you have, please share it using the buttons below. As ever, I appreciate your support.