There's no denying the influence social media can have on your online presence.
Some of the big players like Facebook and Twitter have transitioned from being a place to share updates with friends to a powerful network for brands to engage with customers and sell their products. So having a good following on social networks and bringing in targeted traffic from social media is something that everyone (at least everyone who is reading this) should be interested in.
According to a recent survey by Hootsuite 88 percent of organizations think social media is a valuable source of competitive and industry-specific business intelligence and believe social media presence is important to stay competitive. The following infographic also breaks down how they value their social media traffic.
I strongly believe if you put the effort in to it, social media traffic can be a reliable source of traffic for your site. It will require some work in the beginning and can be frustrating to build the initial wave of followers. But once you build that up, it will be a lot easier to grow that traffic. The key thing to remember is that along with growing you followers, you should always build relationships with your audience and keep them engaged.
Here are some guides that will help you if you are struggling or just starting:
- Growing a Social Following from Nothing by Matthew Barby
- How Businesses in "Boring Niches" Can Rule Social Media by Cormac Reynolds
In this post I am going to look at various WordPress plugins you can hook up to your WordPress-powered sites to help you drive more social media traffic and engagement. Before we begin, please keep in mind you don't need to use all of them; some of these will offer similar functionality, so you can pick and choose the ones you find are essential to your overall social media strategy.
Plugins for Social Media
Offering the ability to comment via popular social platforms is a great idea to drive engagement. Most of the time, users are already logged into their favorite social network, so they don't have to add an name/email when they want to comment on your post. This makes the process of commenting on your site a lot quicker and easier, and will hopefully encourage more people to leave a comment.
1. Social Comments is a free plugin that can add Google+, Facebook and/or Disqus comments to your site. Other options include WordPress Google Plus Comments or Facebook. If you want a fancier option, check out the Facebook Comment Slider option.
2. Pinterest Automatic Pin WordPress Plugin is great if you want to easily pin all of your images to Pinterest auto-magically. Pinterest is the second largest referrer of social traffic according to a recent report by Shareaholic, so it's something you definitely want to include in your social media strategy.
3. CoSchedule puts your blog and your social media on the same drag and drop calendar, all from within WordPress. You can set up an editorial calendar and pre-define the social media messages you want to use on various networks.
4. Supercharged Twitter Card Management for WP gives you an easy way to use Twitter cards for your WordPress blog content. Using Twitter cards are an easy way for your messages to stand out from the crowd. Twitter cards makes it possible for you to add rich media content within your tweets and there is no denying the role media content can play in attracting users attention on social media sites.
Pro Tip: You can use the Card Validator to make sure everything is setup properly.
5. It's a good idea to share your content on the various social network you frequent. It's recommended you optimize each message you post for each network but there are times when you will have to automate some of that. Thankfully, there are some plugins like SNAP and Social Auto Poster that can help you automate the process of publishing your WordPress content to the various social networks.
At times it's a good strategy to offer something of value to users in exchange for a share or tweet. This is where plugins that enable you to lock your content comes in to play. Something like OnePress Social Locker would be an excellent candidate for this. (There is also a premium version that offers various themes and support for more unlock options.)
Finally, don't forget to keep track of how well your content does on social media. There are various plugins that can do this for you. If you are after a free plugin, something like Social Metrics Tracker could work well. If you need something that does a bit more then perhaps a premium plugin like Easy Social Metrics Pro for WordPress might be what you are looking for.
So there you have it, folks. Some handy social media plugins to get you more social media traffic to you website. I am sure there are many more of these out there, so don't be shy let us in on your favorite social media plugins for WordPress.
I have omitted some of the obvious ones like social sharing buttons, social counters, etc. If you need help with those, feel free to ask in the comments below or on Twitter.