These days, no website should go without at least some basic social media integration. If you’re a content creator, then enabling readers to share content across various services is a must. But you can also go beyond just the basic share buttons. You might even want to automate the process of sharing that same content on your own social accounts. Then there are the methods for enabling social media login, commenting and analytics.
If your website is powered by WordPress, adding this type of functionality couldn’t be any easier. There are plugins that cover everything mentioned above and more.
Here are 10 WordPress plugins that run the gamut of social media integration:
The WordPress Toolbox
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AddToAny Share Buttons is one of those plugins I find myself turning to over and over. It provides an easy to use and highly-customizable way to add your basic social sharing icons.
Place them directly into your template or create a floating share bar. You have access to virtually every social media platform there is (over 100 in all) and it integrates with Google Analytics. Use the included icons or your own.
Social Network Tabs for WordPress
Social Network Tabs for WordPress is a great solution for those who want to integrate multiple social media feeds into their site. The best aspect of this plugin is that you can have feeds from up to 16 services in a space-saving tabbed format.
The feeds load quickly, as each tab is loaded via AJAX only when needed. The tabs can be placed into your page or post via a Shortcode.
Indeed, with over 3 million active installs, Jetpack is one of the most widely used plugins out there. And since you may already have it installed, it’s worth mentioning that there are some powerful social media tools built right in.
Along with the ability to add social sharing buttons, you can also automatically post your content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more through their Publicize feature. Your readers can also use their WordPress.com, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ accounts to comment on your posts. Who knew?
WPSSO is a plugin that works behind the scenes to make sure your WordPress website contains valid Open Graph and Schema Markup, among other things. This helps to ensure that when your content is shared on social media, it’s properly read by services like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. For example, this information will make sure that Twitter Cards grab the right images, etc.
Even more advanced features are available in the Pro version of the plugin.
If you’re running a WooCommerce shop, the free Facebook for WooCommerce plugin will help you harness the power of the popular social media network. Integration with Facebook Ads provides conversion tracking, optimization and remarketing.
But you can also create a Facebook store that connects your WooCommerce products directly to Facebook. You can list your entire catalog on Facebook. And, when you make changes to products, they will automatically sync with the social network.
Social Count Plus will display attractive icons, complete with your number of followers/subscribers from various services. The plugin will check whichever services you choose daily to get the latest tallies and will cache the results – cutting down on the number of API requests.
Supported services include Facebook, GitHub, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Twitch and more. Displaying the number of posts and comments on your blog is also included.
Blog2Social is a suite of tools to make automatic posting of WordPress content to social media work on your terms. It connects to your Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter or other social profile and lets you customize messages, hash tags and more for each service.
It’s also great for re-sharing older posts. The Premium version features advanced scheduling, allowing for more than one concurrent profile on a specific network and more.
The plugin claims to only build a set of links and can be displayed as simple icons with or without labels. Accessibility is also ensured – even if you choose not to show labels on the included icons. Frankly, I’m scared scriptless.
It’s awesome when your content is shared on social media. But, it would be even better to know just how much and where it’s being shared. Social Media Stats gives you a view of how your posts are doing on various social networks in an easy-to-read table.
The included heat map coloring shows you which posts are the most shared. A widget of your most shared posts is also in the mix.
If we’re willing to admit that we pretty much spend all day on Facebook, then it makes sense to integrate Messenger into our website. That’s exactly what Facebook Messenger for WordPress does. It allows visitors to contact you via Messenger without having to leave your website.
So, instead of having to receive messages through a standalone system, you can receive them in the place where you spend most of your life. The plugin is WooCommerce compatible and responsive for use on mobile devices.
Becoming Fully Socialized
The ways and reasons for integrating social media into your WordPress website have grown tremendously. It’s no longer a matter of just helping users share your content (although that’s still an important piece of the puzzle).
Now, it’s also about ensuring that the social networks you care about can properly read your content. And, when users do share, you’ll want some data to see how it’s working out. Beyond that, many social network integrations add a layer of convenience for users.
With that in mind, it’s important to consider both your needs and those of visitors to your site. Choose the functionality that will make the most impact. With the plugins above, you’ll be up and running in no time.