If there’s one thing that can be said for certain about our virtual world, it’s that everything can somehow be integrated into something else. Basically, it’s becoming easier and more seamless to simply make every computer, every piece of software, every app and program get along with each other in a cooperative environment.
When it comes to WordPress sites, many of the themes also work around the idea of assimilation and integration with other online resources. And for many site owners and administrators, making it easy for visitors to their site to instantly and easily interact with social media portals is of paramount importance.
Thankfully there are some wonderful choices—so many so that it may be a bit overwhelming choosing one—for WordPress plugins that help your site become fully social media friendly. Each offers different features and levels of performance, and it’s very important to keep in mind that these plugins have to load tools onto your site in order to do their job properly. And those tools—in the form of style sheets, scripts etc.—have the potential to slow down the operating speed of your site. So choose a plugin that offers only what you absolutely, as going overboard with features can be detrimental to the user experience. And lastly, before choosing a plugin think about which social media networks are important to you and how you want them to be displayed, then be sure the plugin you choose supports your vision.
- If you’re looking for lightning fast speed from your social media plugin, EA Share Count is a no-brainer. Easy to install and start using, it supports the most popular social networks and offers different button styles that you can put anywhere you like, such as around content, in a sidebar area etc. And it keeps track of the social share “count” for each network you link to your site, so you’ll able to see where your user base is sending your content, links and so on.
- Like EA Share Count, Sassy Social Share is easy to use and comes with lots of options. You can add buttons to post content or enable a floating social menu, choose different icon styles and tinker with positioning options. It too keeps track of share count, but beware: like some of the other social media plugins mentioned here you’ll need to use a third-party to retrieve the analytical information.
- WordPress to Buffer is nice as it lets you schedule your posts to appear on different social media networks by automatically adding the new content to your Buffer account. It also allows you to add a featured image when you do status updates; lets you create custom meta tags and unique setting from each social media network you link to; and gives you tons of options for when you want a post to appear and where you want it to appear first.
- “Simple” is definitely the name of the game with Simple Social Icons. The plugin allows you to display social media icons in a sidebar widget, customize colors and then just enter a specific web address for the social media account you want to be displayed there. And the fact that it is indeed simple means it won’t slow down your site but still gives you unfettered access to the most popular and widely used social media portals. A similar plugin to this one is Social Icons Widget, where you can choose from one of three icon styles and then enter the URLs only for those sites where you want your posts to appear.
- Social media experts will tell you that the most successful and engaging sites are those that have new content appear regularly. But this can be really time consuming, so the plugin Revive Old Posts lets you share old content to your social media accounts without having to constantly create new posts all the time. And it can actually drive traffic back to your site as users become more engaged with the steady content you’re now easily pulling from your archives.
- Lastly, if your social media forte is with Instagram, the plugin Instagram Feed will throw your images onto your WordPress site. Basically, after generating an access token you’ll use shortcodes to pull in the feed and display it anywhere you want on your pages including within posts or in a sidebar widget. You can also build multiple feeds from multiple Instagram accounts and have them come together as one single stream of images.