If you are providing exclusive, high quality content and you want to bring it to a wider audience, and the platform for your blog is WordPress, then there’s a wide selection of plugins and widgets to pick from to make that happen. From various forms of sharing plugins to community forming and management plugins, these can make themselves useful on any site that you want to give a good social network background.
Each of the plugins below have very good compatibility standards, all are easy to use and are not too aggressive – a very important factor, if you want to get more high quality traffic for your website or blog.
A great AJAX based tool with very good response time, moderate customisation options that can be managed with Drag/Drop UI are bound to make managing your social network exposure much easier. With 17 social networks and 70 feed options at the moment, this is one of the biggest plugins in the field.
It’s AJAX origins mean that the plugin does not load completely right away when a user visits the page, speeding up the loading process of the page significantly. Only when the user switches tabs does the plugin load it’s additional modules.
Facebook, Google+, Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Delicious, Dribble, Deviantart, Instagram, Tumblr, Digg, Flickr, Youtube, Vimeo and Last.FM network tabs with sharing features cover pretty much anything you can think of, and high ratings on Code Canyon show that this is one very popular social plugin.
Unlike the last plugin, WordPress Social Login is a free plug in you can download directly from the WordPress extensions site. It’s a powerful tool allowing your visitors to log in to your WordPress platform and comment using their social network accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Google and Yahoo accounts, overall 23 social network supported as of now. It even allows importing of contact lists and performing similar actions before not seen in the comment section.
The project is open source and completely freeware, easy to use and integrate on to any WordPress platform. It can be manipulated freely as far as design is concerned, if you have some basic HTML and CSS knowledge.
A good thing is that it’s got decent support and is being constantly developed, not something all open source projects can brag with.
Let’s visit the commercial world yet again. SocialTrafficPop for WordPress is a simple light-weight tool combining four of the most powerful social networks to make a marketing tool getting you a lot of social exposure.
From offering a small pop up screen with like buttons as an option for visitors of your page, to completely locking down the usability of a page until the like button is hit – options are there, if you want to customize this tool.
With an ultra-fast installation process and a five minute setup it works for both small and big sites, and – a very important fact – it keeps all of it’s functionality on mobile platforms! If you want a social network pop up tool, this is a plugin to go to on a WordPress platform.
A bit less aggressive variant than the last plugin, WordPress Social Share Buttons is a great way for you to allow visitors of your site to like and share the content they see on your pages. With support for 10 networks and wealth of options, this small piece of code will make your social network exposure much better.
Visual settings are what make this plugin stand out from the crowd, as you can set it up in different manners, from a hovering bar always in sight to a fixed part of the page. It works for mobile platforms as well.
WordPress Social Share Buttons has a jQuery format, if you’re using a non-WordPress platform.
If you don’t mind a large plugin with a very detailed option screen, and wish for lots and lots of features, you can check out Jetpack.Me, a large free to use plug.
From standard social buttons that allow liking and sharing of the content on your site to real time backup, security, spelling and grammar checks, subscriptions, notifications, stats and custom comment sets – you’d usually have to install half a dozen different plugins to get all of this, but here you have it all in one place. It may not have as detailed options for each of the features as some of the more specialized plugins, but it’s reasonably easy to install and setup for new users and has nice documentation to go with it.
Now here’s a small but useful tool for sites that already have a decent readership. The name pretty much describes what the plugin does – it scours the twitter for people who mention your content and places a comment with the twitter message as a message directly on your page.
It uses Twitter’s search API, meaning it can see even through shortened URL’s, it fetches the user’s real name and profile picture, linking them directly to the tweet itself. This is a relatively new plugin, but it’s gotten a lot of popularity and in a short period of time it has been made public, and it’s completely free to use.
While most of the regular formatted sites will not find this plugin too attractive, active bloggers and people who want their site to contain a nicely designed collection of all of their network social activity can find it invaluable.
It’s a commercial plug in with a reasonably low cost that retrieves status, posts, videos and images from different social sources in a timeline sorted from newest to the oldest. It’s simple to install, simple to customize and very simple to use. If you want your social network presence all on one page for your blog guests, this is a great tool to use, otherwise you can avoid it.
Pinterest has gotten a lot of attention as a growing social network lately, as it drives a lot more of referral traffic when compared to other social networks. This has made having a “PinIt” button pretty important for any site providing content of visual style, and that’s where PInterest Auto Pin for WordPress kicks in.
On the fly button creation, high quality API, AJAX settings, admin panels and extensive documentation explaining how to use every single one of the features, plus very good browser compatibility (It even perfectly covers Internet Explorer 7, unlike most modern plugins) this will be a great traffic driver for your site if it’s used properly.