42% of the world’s population uses social media today. That’s 3.2 billion users around the globe.
People are glued to their screens throughout the day. It’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Reddit, Quora, or YouTube all the time in an endless cycle.
As a matter of fact, people spend an average time of 2.5 hrs every day interacting with one or the other of these platforms.
That’s the power of social media. But you probably know this already. I mean, that’s why you are here, right? You know that to go viral, or increase the number of your followers, it is necessary to ensure that your content is shared continuously by a large number of people.
So, the main question is, how do you tap into this huge pool of social media users and get them to share your content successfully?
In my opinion, there are two ways to get your readers to share your content –
a. You add social sharing buttons and hope that they share the content on their social accounts
b. You use content locking to ensure that your readers necessarily share the content before they can access it
The key to increasing your social media followers is to understand what they think and why they think that way.
Once you know this, you can automatically influence their line of thought and nudge them into taking the action you want – case in point, sharing your content on social media.
Let us explore the social sharing plugins you can use for your WordPress website.
Best Social Sharing Plugins
The conventional social sharing plugins for WordPress let you add links and buttons to social media platforms so your readers can share the content they find interesting right away.
Remember those small square social share buttons you see at the end of an article? Or the ready-to-tweet line in the middle of the blog? Social sharing plugins help you set up such features for your blogs as well so that the number of social shares increases.
1. AddtoAny Share Buttons
The most popular social sharing plugin on WordPress, AddtoAny has a host of sharing options that you can customize as per your requirements. It supports standard and floating sharing buttons and allows you to display the share count there as well.
You can position the buttons before the content, after the content, or both. There are special sharing buttons for images and vectors and you can even use custom designs as sharing options.
Furthermore, AddtoAny integrates flawlessly with Google Analytics, so you can keep track of shared links and show the share count accordingly.
AddtoAny Share Buttons is one of the most effective social sharing plugins for WordPress and has over 500,000+ downloads. You can’t go wrong with this one.
Best Features of AddtoAny Share Buttons:
- Integrations with 100+ social media sites and apps
- Customizable placement and appearance of icons
- Google Analytics integration
- Accelerated Mobile Pages supported
- Custom icons for sharing can be uploaded
- Multi-language support
2. Social Snap
Social Snap is a Freemium plugin with an excellent user interface. The buttons are completely customizable, right down to size, font, and color, which makes it easy for you to design them as per the look and tone of your website.
It has a ton of display options for the social sharing buttons, including a floating sidebar, inline buttons, sidebar widgets, sticky bars, and more. In addition, you can change the shapes of the buttons and add cool animations to highlight the social share button.
One of the features of Social Snap is that you can control how the content is shared on the social media platform, i.e. you can add custom images and content to ensure that it is shared precisely the way you want.
Best Features of Social Snap Plugin for WordPress:
- Show the number of social shares after a particular count has been reached
- Recommend your best-performing posts to visitors to increase shares
- Recover share count even after permalink is changed
- 30+ popular social sharing platforms to choose from
- Display different share buttons on different devices
1 Site 1 Year = $39
3 Sites 1 Year = $99
15 Sites 1 year = $299
Monarch by Elegant Themes is one of the savviest social sharing plugins you’ll see. With the signature Elegant Themes sleek interface plus great speed, the plugin is a great asset for websites that rely heavily on social media marketing.
Monarch has an in-built panel in your WordPress Dashboard from where you can customize every detail of how your social share buttons are placed, displayed, and used.
One of its great features is that it lets you add social sharing options in exit-intent pop-ups which means that the reader has no scope to forget that he/she can share your content.
However, if there is one downside, it can be that of too many functionalities. Monarch is a great option if you need extensive integration with your social media platforms, like say a photography or fashion website might need these features to increase social sharing. For those who need just the basic features, though, it can be slightly over the top.
Best Features of Monarch Social Sharing Plugin for WordPress
- Integrated Dashboard for managing social sharing settings
- Automatic pop-up and fly-in triggers based on activity prompts for users
- 35+ social networks to choose from
- Customizable settings to display sharing buttons in any location
- Detailed statistics about social shares for each type of content
- Easy export of social share data
Pricing: (The license includes Divi theme, Extra, and Bloom plugins)
1 Year 1 Site = $89
1 Site Lifetime = $249
4. Social Warfare
Social Warfare is one of the most light-weight social sharing plugins, which makes it easy to add social media buttons without bogging down your website. In addition, Social Warfare lets you display your most popular posts and content in customizable sidebar widgets.
The plugin enables the sharing of every image on Pinterest with a strategically placed ‘Pin’ button. Plus, going one step further, it lets you upload a custom Pinterest image and image description, so that your readers share the exact image you want.
As a nice touch of sharer gratification, the plugin provides an option to add author and publisher attribution, which ensures that everybody involved gets due credit. As with Monarch, it can be a case of too many features if you are looking for something simple and straight. Otherwise, though, Social Warfare is a great option for setting up highly customized social sharing buttons.
Best Features of Social Warfare for WordPress:
- Complete control over how images are shared on Pinterest
- Option to add author and publisher attribution on Facebook and Twitter
- Ready shortcodes to place content anywhere on the page
- Content protection in place to prevent spammers from sharing content with added advertisements
- 6 different button shapes and 8 color themes – all customizable – for creating unique sharing buttons as per your website branding
- Ability to recover lost share counts if page URL or permalink is changed
Social Warfare Pro
1 Site 1 Year = $29
5 Sites 1 Year = $89
10 Sites 1 Year = $139
Unlimited Sites 1 Year = $349
5. WP Social Sharing
WP Social Sharing is a simple and easy option to set up social sharing on your website. It has all the basic features you need, plus some auto-customizations such as responsive icon size.
It is a good plugin if you are looking for something basic to start off with and don’t need high-end customization, or can customize it yourself.
Best Features of WP Social Sharing Plugin for WordPress:
- Responsive button sizes
- Simple setup
- Basic functionality and lightweight code
These were some social sharing plugins you can choose from. The problem here, though, is that you cannot always rely on people to share your content organically.
Think about it. How many of us are actually prone to sharing or tweeting posts even if it is mindblowing content? Very few.
At the most, you might share the link to personal WhatsApp or Instagram chats. But that isn’t enough. For your social visibility to increase, you need all the traction you can possibly get.
Which is why the second solution – locking your content so that people have to share it – is better.
Best Content Locking Plugins for WordPress
Content locking essentially involves locking your posts or videos so that people have to share them to access the content in its entirety.
Why do you think BuzzFeed quizzes are so popular?
You come across an interesting quiz, say, ‘What Kind of an Onion Are You?’. You are intrigued, interested, so you take the quiz.
And then right before you discover what type of onion you are, BuzzFeed tells you that you can see the answer only if you share it to your Facebook profile.
By this time, your curiosity has reached such a peak that you don’t even think twice about it and agree to post it on Facebook. Finally, you get what kind of an onion you are (P.S. I got White Onion :P).
But, in the meantime, your friends and family have seen this post on your wall and now they are curious too. They decide to take the quiz.
And so, the cycle begins again.
This is an excellent example of content locking to increase social shares. To implement something similar for your posts or pages, here are some plugins you can use for your WordPress website.
6. WP Content Locker
WordPress Content Locker is one of the best plugins to setup conditional locking for your posts on social media platforms. It works in two different ways – one, you can let readers read some part of the content and then lock the rest so they have to share it to read it completely; and two, you can lock the entire piece of content which is made accessible only after they share it.
Another alternative is to let users sign up with their email addresses to access the content. This makes WP Content Locker a great tool for creating email lists as you get a highly relevant pool of people who are interested in your content.
One significant advantage of the plugin is that it does not prevent search engines from indexing the content even when it is locked. This is great for guides and long posts which you know will generate traffic and leads, both.
Best Features of WP Content Locker for WordPress:
- Two types of content locking – partial and complete
- Enforce sharing on Facebook/Twitter/Google+/YouTube to access content
- Existing templates to design your locking page
- Compatibility with all major social media platforms
- Ability to export collected email addresses
- Integrated analytics to see how people are interacting with the content
- Option to track the performance of every locked piece
- Multi-language support
WP Content Locker Pro
2 Sites 1 Year = $67
1 Site Lifetime = $299
7. Social Content Locker by OnePress
Social Content Locker by OnePress lets you lock specific parts of the post or page, providing access to the rest of the content. This means you can lock the most valuable part of your content and get readers to sign-up or share the page to access that part. The advantage of this technique is that readers get an exact idea of how important the locked content is, which makes them more amenable to sharing or subscribing to the page.
The basic version contains links to the three main social platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. More options are available in the premium version. The plugin has attractive, reader-friendly, animated locker designs that can blend with the look and tone of your website.
Social Content Locker is compatible with the Visual Composer page builder, which means you can place lacked content on your page without it breaking down.
Best Features of Social Content Locker Plugin by OnePress
- 4 types of content locking options
- Optimized for speedy loading
- 8 social buttons and 5+ themes for lockers
- Countdown timer to show locked content which increases time spent on the page
- Relock content after a specific duration
Social Content Locker by OnePress – Free
Social Content Locker Pro:
1 Site 1 Year = $27
8. Bloom Email Opt-in Plugin for WordPress
Bloom email opt-in is essentially an email opt-in plugin which has a content locking feature. The plugin created by Elegant Themes has several types of opt-in forms, which can be customized and triggered based on visitor activity.
Now, since this is not precisely a social content locker, it does not integrate with social media platforms. You can simply use it to build your email list by locking that content until people subscribe to your blog.
Best Features of Bloom Email Opt-in Plugin for WordPress:
- Extremely well-designed user-interface
- Content locking till readers opt-in via email
- Dedicated dashboard to track opt-ins from posts and analyze if content locking is working
(For Divi theme, Monarch social sharing plugin, Bloom Opt-in plugin, and Extra magazine theme)
1 Year Unlimited Websites = $89
Lifetime Unlimited Websites = $249
OptinMonster is another email opt-in plugin that has content locking features. The main advantage of this plugin is that you can limit content access to only your subscribers, while those who have not signed up will only see blurred content.
Gated content is usually a great strategy for increasing the number of your email subscribers so if you already have an OptinMonster subscription, you don’t need a separate content locking plugin. If, however, you don’t then you might want to think if you need a full-fledged email opt-in plugin or a regular content locking plugin will do.
Best Features of OptinMonster for Content Locking:
- Integrated content locking option for email lead generation
- Get high-quality leads
- Increase number of blog/page subscribers
(for the complete OptinMonster plugin)
1 Site 1 Year = $108
2 Sites 1 Year = $228
3 Sites 1 Year = $348
10. Social Sharing and Social Locker
The Social Sharing and Social Locker plugin is a combination of four main functionalities – social sharing, content locking, social platform integration, and fan counter measurement.
It is a basic plugin, good enough if you simply want to integrate these features into your website. However, if you are looking for something advanced and customizable, this plugin is definitely not a good option. It might get the job done, but not very well.
Best Feature of Social Sharing and Social Locker plugin:
- Includes all popular features of social sharing, content locking, social platform integration, and measuring the number of likes/shares
Social Sharing or Content Locking?
If increasing the number of your social followers is the target, it is better to use a content locking plugin that integrates with social platforms – like WP Content Locker or the OnePress Social Locker – so you are sure of getting the required hike in shares.
On the other hand, if you are focused on creating a highly targeted email list for future promotions, an email opt-in plugin with content locking features might suit you better.
If increasing the number of shares for a particular blog post or page to make it rank better for search engines is your intention, a social sharing plugin should be your optimum choice.
What are your thoughts about increasing social sharing for WordPress? Any other plugins you think can help? Drop a comment to let us know!