Social media is an effective way of driving more traffic to a website and reaching a new audience for published content. If you or your clients use WordPress, you probably know there is a myriad of plugins that allow anyone to quickly share every published article across a variety of social media networks.
But, sharing is not the only way to integrate social media into WordPress. In fact, there are a few other ways of making a website more social and helping your clients get more eyes on their content.
1. Social Following
Growing your audience on social networks is crucial if you want to connect with others in your industry. The more followers you have, the easier it is to become an influencer and push traffic to your website.
And the easiest ways to increase the number of people who follow you is to add links to your social media profiles in your sidebar or the header of your website. Luckily, WordPress doesn’t fall short in this department and offers a nice variety of social follow plugins.
One of the best plugins for this purpose is Social Media Flying Icons, a popular and highly-rated plugin that offers 30 different icon styles and is easy to configure. Another bonus for this plugin is the fact that it only loads the necessary icons so you won’t experience any site speed issues.
Comments are an excellent way of encouraging conversation about the topics of your posts and developing a community of loyal readers. That’s why the commenting process on any website should be quick and easy.
Since many Internet users now use social media to login to various sites, it makes sense to take advantage of that fact and use a plugin like Social Comments. Your readers won’t have to enter their name, email, and website every time they want to leave a comment. Instead, they can use their Facebook, Google+, or Disqus account to share their thoughts.
3. Content Broadcasting
If you publish on your blog a few times a week, you know how time-consuming it can be to manually share your post on each of the major social media networks. Of course, you can schedule them to go out using HootSuite or Buffer, but we all know life gets busy and it’s all too easy to get so wrapped up in a client project that we forget a scheduled post or two.
Instead of manually sharing your posts, consider using NextScripts: Social Networks Auto Poster to automatically share your posts as soon as they are published. You can connect Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and many other services, including several URL shorteners. Aside from immediately broadcasting your post, you can reduce the posting frequency to a defined number of days, hours, and minutes which comes in handy if you publish often.
Alternately, you can take advantage of plugins like Click to Tweet to generate tweets readers can share directly from your post or Revive Old Post to circulate through your old posts and have them reshared on Twitter.
4. Content Locking
Content locking allows you to hide certain content from your visitors. If they want to see if, they have to share your post on social media. You can use this to boost the number of shares on a particular post or to allow readers to download extra content.
Even though it can lead to an increase in social media shares, don’t go overboard on it and use it for each post. Otherwise, you risk driving readers away and achieving the exact opposite.
One of the most popular plugins for this purpose is OnePress Social Locker. It allows you to hide your content and requires readers to share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ to access it. It also features analytics so you can see what content gets unlocked the most as well as a set of customization options and various hooks so you can create your own extensions.
5. Stats Tracking
Most social media schedulers offer some form of analytics and basic stats which you can use to determine the popularity of your content. But there are times when it’s more convenient to see those stats immediately in your WordPress dashboard. More importantly, this allows you to focus solely on your content, whereas social media management tools show stats for all the content you shared, including third-party content.
Social Metrics Tracker allows you to see which of your posts are most popular on social media by gathering metrics from Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Google+, XING, and Flattr. You can also use the available hooks to extend the functionality further.
6. Social Media Feeds
If you don’t publish frequently but would still like to cultivate a relationship with your readers and encourage them to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other networks, consider showing them what they can expect from you in their feed.
Add a social media feed of the networks you use most often and use it to fill up your content, or simply in addition to your blog posts. While you can manually insert widgets for the biggest social media channels, a plugin like Feed Them Social does an excellent job of saving you time and allowing you to add feeds from multiple social networks. You can display your Facebook page feed, Pinterest boards, Instagram feed, tweets, and more. All feeds are responsive and have the option to add a follow button below or above individual feeds.
Make Your Website More Social
Integrating social media into WordPress is not limited to sharing plugins only. There are various ways to put social media to use and make it easier for yourself or your clients to increase readership and their number of followers across different networks. Take advantage of the plugins on this list to tap into this huge traffic potential and make your website more social.