Getting your content to reach as many people as possible can be a struggle when competing against all the other information that we’re all exposed to every day. But it’s a fact that people are more likely to read and share content that their friends have linked to first, and there are hundreds of plugins for WordPress that can make reaching out to these friends of friends a whole lot easier. If you’re running your blog or website on WordPress, here are just a handful that have made my life just that little bit easier.
One of the easiest things you can do to make your WordPress site more sociable is to add those social sharing buttons that we’re all so used to seeing, and Sociable makes that very easy indeed.
Sociable is a free plugin that adds a collection of social media quick-links to the ends of your WordPress posts and pages. You can select from a list of social networks you want made available, including the big names like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, but also includes older, more targeted networks like LinkedIn, MySpace and Delicious, allowing you to fit the links with your specific audience’s needs. You’re also able to disable Sociable from appearing on specific posts or pages as you see fit, so that your less socially engaging pages don’t get the sociable bar added to them.
Commenting is a great way to up the likelihood that your content is shared, and to draw more visitors to your content who are more likely to engage and take part in a discussion – which in turn, will make your site more attractive to the Search Engines.
Disqus is a commenting system that’s being used by a lot of major sites (like ReadWriteWeb) and makes it incredibly easy to share your thoughts and opinions across the web, monitoring responses in one handy place. Since systems like Disqus make it so easy to manage all of your online comments, it’s likely to start playing an even greater part in online discussions across the web.
The Disqus Comment System plugin is a simple way to get Disqus comments on your site and keep up-to-date with users who comment, respond and track interactions with your site.
If you’re on Twitter, you should have a Twitter feed on your website. Feeds can add a little bit of freshness to those pages on your site that don’t change very often, so that visitors are reassured that something is going on and that your organization is keeping busy.
The Twitter Feed for WordPress plugin can be installed as a widget or embedded into your PHP, so it’s really versatile, but one of the great things about it is it’s interaction icons, that make retweeting, replying and bookmarking a tweet so much easier than many of the other Twitter feed plugins available.
Facebook pages can be brilliant for giving your visitors a taste of your personality, allowing you to engage with them in a way that traditional marketing doesn’t allow, so making the most of your Facebook content on your website (and giving users more of a taste than just a “Like” button) can help to drive up your fan numbers.
So, if you’d like to take a more focused approach to linking your website to your Facebook page, this plugin will help to make your Facebook content visible on your site and show visitors who your fans are – and if their friends are already fans, that can help them make the decision to become a fan too.
Photo by Andy Melton via Flickr
Kieron Gurner is a web designer & website builder, based in Bristol, UK. He spends most of his time working with creative
start-ups and on mobile apps, and writes a couple of blogs in between. He also writes regularly for Wix.com, the free Website builder.