In the following post you’re going to learn exactly which WordPress plugin I use as my go-to plugin for displaying social share buttons. You’re also going to discover some other great social bookmarking plugins that will help improve get more social shares on the sites where your audience hangs out online.
Recently a lot of my readers have been asking me which plugin I’m using for social sharing here on Blogging Wizard through comments, emails and Twitter so I thought it was time to bring my answer to a larger audience because I know a lot of you would like to know.
To add as much value as possible I’ve included some other social bookmarking plugins in the mix so you’ve got more choice when you decide which WordPress social sharing plugins to use.
To help you get to what you’re looking for I have broken this list down into both free and premium WordPress plugins, you can click on the links below to navigate to the relevant section:
Previously known as Sexy Bookmarks, the Shareaholic plugin boasts some very useful features. Choose your theme, layout, size and whether you want headlines above your sharing buttons.
What’s more is you don’t just get sharing buttons, you also get a related content widget and a top bar that displays social sharing buttons that floats down your page. Shareaholic also comes with helpful analytics to gain an insight into how successful your content is.
Update 7th February 2014 – I have recently swapped out the Digg Digg plugin and replaced it with the Shareaholic plugin. The main reason for this is that I prefer the unique design of the social sharing buttons that come with Shareaholic. While Digg Digg is still a great WordPress plugin to choose, this just fits better with the look of my blog.
More services are supported too, even Inbound.org which is something I haven’t seen on any other social bookmarking plugins.
2. Digg Digg
One of the best social sharing plugins available and it comes packed with features.
Add a floating social bar or fixed social sharing buttons then pick which services you want to include.
There’s quite a nice selection of social media platforms that are supported here but no where near as many as the Shareaholic plugin.
It’s a great example of two great plugins being used together well.
AddThis provide social sharing buttons for a variety of platforms, not just WordPress.
Certain elements of this plugin aren’t as customisable as the likes of Digg Digg although they are continuously rolling out new features.
You’ve got a variety of button layouts and what works really great here is the analytical data you get access to when you sign up for an AddThis account.
4. Slick Social Sharing Buttons
If Flare or Digg Digg just don’t do it for you then this is a great plugin to try that I’ve used on a few sites without any issues.
You’ve got the option for a floating or slide out sharing bar where you can customise all of the button types (vertical counts, box counts and that type of thing) and also which pages, posts, taxonomies that these social sharing buttons appear on.
The other thing I like about this is that you also get a social statistics panel within your admin area so you can see at a glance how well your shares are doing on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin.
This is a great social sharing plugin that I first saw it on Neil Patel’s blog (Quicksprout) and since then I’ve seen it appear all over the place.
Flare provides you with share buttons that can float at the side of your post or appear above or below your post.
You can then choose exactly which services you want people to share on and the shape of your share buttons.
You can then go to the follow section, add the links to your profiles, customise your social profile buttons and head over to your widgets section and add yourself some social profile buttons into your sidebar.
I’ve used a lot of these types of plugins and this is by far the easiest plugin to use that provides social sharing buttons and social profile buttons.
Update November 5th 2013 - While I’m still a big fan of the Flare plugin, the plugin is no longer being developed. It has been superseded by a hosted app version that’s more complicated to setup. Also the free version forces you into providing a link back. You can choose to pay to remove the link though, but it seems a bit much considering 100% free plugins like Digg Digg and Shareaholic.
6. Simplified Social Sharing
The company behind this plugin is LoginRadius, they specialise in integrating social media logins into various content management systems including including WordPress.
Simplified Social Sharing allows you to choose from all of the main social media platforms and a variety of layouts. You can choose to display social buttons vertically at the side of your content or horizontally on posts or pages.
A very straight forward plugin that I’ve used on a few sites in the past and it’s worked very well.
Sometimes free WordPress plugins (even social sharing plugins) just don’t offer exactly what you need, this may be priority support, the look or the functionality.
That’s not to say you can’t get some good support from free plugins, but providing support for a free plugin? It’s not something I would expect from anyone due to the amount of time and resources that are needed for that sort of thing.
7. WP Sharely
WP Sharely is a content locker that allows you to ethically bribe your readers into sharing your post.
It’s easy to use and comes with a number of themes for your content lockers along with some other great features.
I have used this plugin successfully to boost social shares on certain posts by 30-40%.
It’s compatible with Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and has some great functionality.
Below is an example of exactly how it works, just click one of the share buttons to see how well this works:
See how easy that was?
Just think of the possibilities: you could use this to offer exclusive content such as free templates, downloads and more.
Skyrocket your social shares and traffic in a snap.
8. WordPress Social Share Buttons
A premium alternative for the likes of social sharing plugins like Digg Digg and Flare that comes with some great functionality including floating social sharing buttons and also shortcode for adding social sharing buttons exactly where you need them.
WordPress Social Share Buttons comes in at only $8 so it’s very reasonably priced.
9. Social Network Tabs For WordPress
Social Network Tabs for WordPress is a great plugin for drawing attention to the updates you are publishing across major social networking sites. You can choose from 16 of the top social networking sites and a total of 69 feed options, all in all this is a very customisable plugin.
You can choose various positions for this widget to appear, customise colours and the plugin also supports custom CSS.
This plugin makes it easy for your blogs readers to follow you on the social networks that they are most active on and interact with your updates.
10. WordPress Super Share
There are times when you will want to use shortcodes to add social sharing buttons – this plugin allows you to do just that and supports Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
The plugin can easily be customised using CSS and features some great styling options. This plugin looks seriously cool.
11. Advanced Social Widget
The Advanced Social Widget will make it extremely easy for all of your blogs readers to connect with you by providing you with this handy widget.
You can integrate all of the main social networks along with your RSS feed and email sign up.
While this version is only compatible with Feedburner, there are other versions available that allow you to integrate other mailing list providers such as Aweber and MailChimp.
There are 4 different layouts that this plugin comes with but there’s not where the customisation ends because you can change the majority of colours of the design and choose from 38 backgrounds. This means you can easily customise the plugin to fit your blog perfectly.
12. WP Easy Social Hover
There is a big opportunity that bloggers often miss out on when it comes to images and that is using them to as a way to get more social shares.
WP Easy Social Hover allows you to do just that by displaying social sharing buttons when your readers hover over all of your images. You can choose from 1 of 12 different effects and 10 different backgrounds to display to your readers. Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Twitter and Pinterest are currently supported.
It’s pretty straight forward really.
Having more social shares makes your site look like more of an authority – social proof really works.
And not to mention the traffic benefit that comes with more social shares.
The truth is that if you aren’t making it easy for your readers to share then most of the time they won’t.
That’s not to say there won’t be people that go out of their way to share, but generally not that many people will do that (although we can always hope).
Now, over to you – what social sharing plugins are you using on your blog right now?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.