How do you connect your website to your social media accounts?
Is there an easy way to show social media updates, know the shares of accounts or integrate a comment box using Facebook on your website?
I am flooded with similar questions during our training. Today, every website needs an integration to align seamlessly with their social media presence.
We all want our websites to complement our social media presence.Be it showing the number of social media followers, social media updates or showing the share button on every post/page, if you are on social media, your website should have it all.
Be it showing the number of social media followers, social media updates or showing the share button on every post/page, if you are on social media, your website should have it all.
Since most of the websites today are on WordPress (I have personally been using WordPress for a very long time), I will be sharing a list of best free wordpress social media plugin for your use.
To start with, let’s think like someone who as a website and social media presence. What all features come first to your mind when you think of social media and your website.
Here is my list:
- Social media Follower count
- Social Media Follow Button
- Social Media Feed
- Social media Share
- Social Media metrics or count in admin panel
- Social media comment and login plugin
The blog will provide you with a list of free wordpress social media plugin you can use in your website to achieve the above functionality.
(note: you need WordPress installed and setup on the website before you read the blog).
Social Media Follower count:
We all love to flaunt our social media followers on our website. The numbers signify our popularity on Social Media.
WordPress has hundreds of plugins offering the functionality to showcase your social media followers.
You can anytime search “social media count” in add new plugin and install/uninstall the plugins from the list.
The exercise is a little exhausting but is equally interesting. (this is how I discovered the ones I use on day to day basis)
Since wordpress offers hundreds of options for each feature, I am going to keep things simple by explaining one single plugin in each section.
The plugin you can use to get a social count of followers on each platform is social count plus.
The plugin is a simple plugin which you can install from the wordpress plugin directory by typing social count plus.
Social Count is the first plugin in the list. The plugin is developed by Claudio Sanches and has 40,000+ active installs (on the day of writing the article).
Once you install the plugin, you can head to the settings section of the plugin.
This is how the settings page looks like:
All you must do now is select the social media platforms and fill in the relevant information. The plugin will pull the follower count of the social media followers for every platform.
The advantages of the plugin are:
- The plugin pulls data from almost all the major platforms including of facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
- The plugin is free to use.
- The plugin can easily be placed at any of the widget sections on the website.
The only disadvantage I can think of the plugin is the struggle you might have to do while putting in information like id, secret, etc.
The information might be a little confusing and you might get lost at times. Still, you cannot ignore the step as none of the social media platform provides you with counts until and unless you fill in all the information.
Once you install the plugin, you can use the plugin as a widget to show the number of followers your brand has on different social media platforms.
Social Media Follow:
The above plugin is for the feature to show a count of all social media platforms displayed at a single time. There are plugins where you can easily show the number of followers you have and have a follow button added next to the social media widget on the website.
The plugins which provide the functionalities are:
- A plugin to show Simple social media follow icons for all platforms:
The simplest and easiest way to get the “social media follow icons” on your wordpress website is by installing “JetPack”.
Jetpack is a “must install” for all the wordpress websites. The plugin provides you with quite a few useful features on your website (social media follow button being one of them).
As soon as you install the plugin and connect your wordpress.com account with the plugin, a follow widget comes up in the set of widget options.
You can drag-drop the social media icons (jetpack) in the widget section to get the required functionality.
In case, you have installed jetpack and do not like the follow button provided by jetpack, you can explore other options by typing social media follow in the search bar after you click on add new plugin.
Also, if you feel that you want a little exclusivity with each of your social platforms and do not want them sharing the same roof, you have the option to select individual platforms.
You can easily show the follow button of each platform in an exclusive widget space along with followers, latest feed, etc.
Again, Jetpack has an inbuilt feature to show exclusive social media platforms in the widget section.
I cannot praise the jetpack team enough for providing the wordpress CMS with so many useful features.
Once you install the Jetpack plugin, you can see widgets which you can directly drag and drop in the widgets section.
Here are some examples of I have used the plugin to achieve the functionality I wanted:
- Google+ badge with follow button setup in the footer widget of the website:
- Facebook widget dropped next to google+ widget
And you can see both in the screenshot below placed next to each other.
The only problem with jetpack’s follow option for individual social media platforms is the absence of platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
I did find a plugin to help post updates from your company’s LinkedIn page to the website http://www.rockwellgrowth.com/linkedin-company-updates/ . The plugin looks good with a feature to show updates on a page of your website.
But I will let it pass. I prefer to use plugins which give me features to use as widgets. Unfortunately, this plugin does not have one and I could not find anymore.
Looks like we will have to leave LinkedIn as of now (worry not. I shall update the blog as I come across any new plugin which integrates wordpress seamlessly in widget section of the wordpress website).
Social Media Feed:
Do you really want to take the “integration of website with social media” to next level? How about implementing a plugin, where whatever you post on social media becomes a part of your feed on the website.
There are some amazing wordpress social media feed plugins which offer this functionality. As usual, jetpack’s follow options in widget provides you with an option to also show the feed of the social media platform.
The blog has been hi-jetpacked ????.
Trust me, I seriously want to introduce few more options to you but this blog is written for newbies and newbies have the habit of getting lost in the wordpress world.
Let’s stick to the simple and easy to use jetpack.
Here are two examples to show the feed:
In the same facebook widget from jetpack, you can check the checkbox option: show stream. The plugin starts pulling your stream from your facebook wall.
Then there is another widget called as twitter timeline, where you can select the number of tweets you want to be pulled from your timeline.
Mention the number of tweets, select the color options and your twitter stream shows up perfectly fine on the website inside the widget area.
Now the features I mentioned above are day to day features available in almost every WordPress website. I am now going to introduce you to an amazing feature provided by a WordPress plugin called as Wall (please do not confuse this will Rahul Dravid). The plugin creates a wall like Pinterest on your website which pulls updates from all the plugins and shows them in the format of a social media wall.
How crazy is that?
I first used the plugin around 2 years back and have been a fan of the plugin since then.
The name of the plugin which provides the curating functionality is GC Social Wall.
This plugin pulls data from facebook, twitter, Vimeo and Instagram to create a nice-looking wall of all your social media content.
Social Media Share:
Share buttons in our posts, pages of a website are indispensable. You are living under the rock if your website does not have social media share buttons.
I mean how will your blog/page get maximum coverage if you do not have a medium to allow the website readers to share them?
This is where the social media share plugins in wordpress can play an important role.
You can use a simple plugin like jetpack to have share buttons show up at start and end of your post (again jetpack ???? ) or you another plugin called “Get Social”.
I like the plugin as the plugin offers a lot more than just social media shares.
First and foremost, the plugins provide 3 to 4 different options to select social media share location.
Secondly, there is a tracking feature in the plugin to help you view the progress of shares.
And the plugin also offers tools like email opt-ins, etc.
(note: the plugin does have a paid version which you can use depending on your website’s requirements).
Social Media Metrics in admin panel:
For the longest time possible, I struggled with the idea of finding a single place to see all social media shares of all the posts on my blog.
I would install and then uninstall plugins to find the “right fit”.
Until I found two plugins.
- Social Media Stats
- Social Media Metrics
Both the plugins provide a unique feature of displaying social media share of posts of your website in wordpress’s dashboard. To make the information interesting, the plugin segregates information based on different social media platforms.
For ex., one of your blog’s total shares is 25. The plugin will show you the stats divided by social media platform as 10: LinkedIn, 5: stumble upon and rest comprise of google+, facebook, etc.
The plugin pulls all the data from social media for you and displays all the information beautifully placed row by row in a bar, where the bar has different color coding for each social media platform.
While the internet is flooded with plugins which provide run off the mill features like share, count, etc, etc…there are very few which give you statistics.
Here are screenshots of data from both the plugins:
Social media stats:
I find Social Metrics pulling more accurate information than Social Media Stats.
For some reason, Social Media Stats do not pull data from LinkedIn which is a big let-down for me as I drive maximum amount of traffic from LinkedIn.
Most of the blogs I write for my small business and startup consulting blog get the majority of shares from LinkedIn. i.e, my target user base comprises more of professionals than the fun-loving crowd on Facebook. (no offense to the selfie gang on Facebook. You guys are amazing and I love the pout you make while clicking your selfies but for some reason, you don’t shower the same number of shares as the LinkedIn guys).
And social media stats for reasons best known to them do not show any linkedin data.
Hence, my preference for Social Media Metrics over Social Media Stats.
Social Media comment feature:
I will finish this one quick. You want the visitors visiting your website to post comments on your website without having them go through the arduous process of registering with email, verifying email on the website.
How about you give them the facility to post a comment using their social media account?
Most of us are logged in 24 X 7 on Facebook (other than me).
Let’s use the power of Facebook in allowing them to quickly post a comment. They can also share the comment on their facebook wall if they want to.
Here is a plugin with the above-mentioned features “Facebook comments WordPress”.
You can use the free features to activate the Facebook comment feature on the website.
I have shared all the plugins I have discovered living as the “social media” caveman in the social media world residing in a hamlet called as WordPress.
I hope you find the information useful.
Please don’t forget to add any social media plugin for website, I might have missed in the list.
My list comprises of plugins which I think are essential and the ones I know are not prone to crashing.
WordPress is such a huge platform that there are 100 of free wordpress social media plugin to implement simplest of social media related functionalities. You might just get overwhelmed exploring the options.
This blog is a sincere (I am not kidding) effort from my end to help you save hundreds of hours I spent exploring WordPress for the best of plugins.
The problem with WordPress is that you are spoilt for choices and if you are really a spoilt brat like me who loves to explore all the free things in life, WordPress is your playground.
Go ahead and install – uninstall the plugins and see how it works for you.those of you who are learning how to be a social media marketer,
Those of you who are learning how to be a social media marketer, here are few words of wisdom for you “Please do not ignore your website when you are promoting on social media. All the features I mentioned throughout the blog are required to run a complete social media campaign”.
He shares his startup experiences at http://lessonsatstartup.com
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