10 WordPress Plugins & Other Enhancements That Will Make Your Business More Social

by 21 01/12/2012

One of the great things about using WordPress as your blogging platform or website content management system is the ability to enhance the functionality of the base system with widgets, plugins, add-ons, buttons, and other tools. These can help you do just about anything, including make your blog and your website more socially engaging. The following enhancements will help increase social engagement and community on your site.

Build Your Following

One of the first challenges many businesses have with social media is finding followers for their accounts on social networks. The following badges, buttons, and boxes can be added to your WordPress site on pages or within a Text Widget in your website’s sidebar to help increase exposure of your social networks to your website visitors.

1 -  Twitter Follow Button

What’s great about the official follow button from Twitter? With a regular Twitter icon or link, you are just directing visitors to your Twitter profile and then hoping they take the action to follow you. With this button, they will be following you instantly once they click it. This should result in higher conversions when it comes to gaining new Twitter followers.

2 – Facebook Like Box

Similar to the official Twitter follow button, having the Facebook like box on your website will allow people to become fans by clicking the Like button. A recent study showed that every Facebook fan for a brand was valued at $10, so the more fans the better!

If you’re not interested in taking up so much real estate on your website with the like box, you can always use your fan page’s URL with the like button code to get the same results.

3 – Google+ Badge

Connect people with your brand’s Google+ page using the official Google+ badges. You can use icons if you prefer, but the badge allows people to add your page to their circles directly from your website.

See These Buttons, Boxes, and Badges in Action

If you’re curious how these buttons look together, then check out the subscription box on Mashable’s website as shown above. You can’t go wrong following one of the leading social media sites!

Increase Social Sharing

Next on the list of increasing social engagement on your website is adding social sharing buttons. This makes it easier for visitors to share your content with their social networks. The following buttons, badges, and plugins will help make social sharing on your site a piece of cake!

4 – Add This

AddThis is a social sharing button plugin that works for a variety of blogging platforms including WordPress. It allows you to add sharing options for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and other social networking sites to your content for easy sharing. By registering with their site, you can also receive analytics about your content’s social sharing.

5 – Share This

ShareThis is a social sharing button plugin similar to AddThis (but with different styling options) that works for a variety of blogging platforms including WordPress. It offers many sharing options for the top social networks and also analytics when you register with their site.

6 – Digg Digg

Digg Digg is a social sharing plugin for WordPress that allows you to create a floating sidebar to the right or left of your content, or a static display at the top or bottom of your post with social sharing buttons to popular social networks. You can see more implementations of this plugin on the official page for the Digg Digg WordPress plugin.

7 – Official Sharing Buttons

Last, but not least, if you want to steer away from plugins, you can add the official sharing buttons from top networks directly to your website’s WordPress template using the following official code generators.

Strengthen Blog Discussion & Community

Another way to make your website more social is to allow visitors to comment on your content. The following plugins will increase the community engagement with your website leading to more social proof, repeat traffic, and visitor loyalty.

8 – GASP

Does your blog comment form have a captcha? While it is a good thing to have from an administrator’s standpoint to cut down on spam comments, it is also the most frustrating thing a commenter can run into which could lead to less comments!

Try this WordPress plugin instead. The GASP plugin creates a captcha in the form of a simple check box that the commenter has to tick before they submit a comment. No strange shapes, numbers, or letters to figure out or sound files to play.

9 – CommentLuv

Want to allow your visitors to share even more about themselves in your comments? The CommentLuv plugin for WordPress allows each commenter to leave the link to one of their latest posts behind with their comment. The advantage to them is getting to share their latest post link with your audience. The advantage to you is that you will get to learn more about your commenters by quickly seeing what they write about.

10 – Subscribe to Comments

Subscribe to Comments is a plugin for WordPress that adds a checkbox to your comment form. When a commenter checks the box, they will receive email notification for new comments to that particular post. This leads to additional engagement as commenters may return to reply to future comments on your content. You can also add comments yourself (such as an update to the post) so that subscribers are notified.

These are my favorite social and community engagement enhancements for WordPress. Now it’s your turn – what plugins, buttons, and badges do you user to increase visitor engagement?

About 

Kristi Hines is a freelance blogger, ghostwriter, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani covers blog marketing and blogging tips for personal, professional, and business bloggers.

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21 COMMENTS

Ileane

Hi Kristi! We absolutely need to make sure we have social sharing and following options clearly visible on our blogs. I use most of the ones you mentioned. I also like the ShareBar plugin which allow you to add any button including Buffer and the ReplyMe plugin is nice alternative to Subscribe to Comments. Thanks for the post.

January 12, 2012 Reply

Ben Beck

Another fantastic post Kristi!

Thank you for this post,especially for the great comment plugins! I haven’t heard of most of them.

Is there a reason why you don’t use Disqus or Facebook comments? I like commentluv and will have to give it a try.

Thanks again for the post!

January 12, 2012 Reply

    Wasim Ismail

    I use CommentLuv on all my blogs, I converted from Discuss. CommentLuv does give you more flexibility, control, and its great for the commenter’s, as they can also share the link to their last post and also their twitter account. Great for engagement.

    January 13, 2012 Reply

    Kristi Hines

    It’s because I like the plain jane WordPress system. Disqus works great for many sites, but I’ve seen the one out of a million time where it makes a big mess with the WordPress admin.

    January 15, 2012 Reply

Barb Cooke

I’m new to WordPress. Thanks for the useful tips.

January 13, 2012 Reply

Daniel J. Lewis

I would also prefer a commenting system plugin because of the extra moderation controls, features, and especially ability for comments to “login” with their social accounts. But I’m currently testing LiveFyre and Disqus and finding shortcomings that lead me back to IntenseDebate for now.

January 14, 2012 Reply

Anastasia Koltai

Oh, thank you very much. I was looking for this Digg Digg plugin.

January 15, 2012 Reply

Chuck Glenn

Facebook will allow you to shorten your fan page URL so it is easier to send out and print out and remember. BUT… they require you to have at least 25 likes before you can change it.
Bad if you just started your page and want to shorten your link like me :( Help me shorten my link so it doesn’t look like this. just need 25 likes. Thanks!!!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Countdown-Fun/106528032802708?sk=app_190322544333196

January 21, 2012 Reply

Roger Hicks

Perfect timing. I was just attempting to determine which widgets to add or remove. Thanks.

February 24, 2012 Reply

    Nia

    Test drove Yoast’s SEO plugin and it works like a charm. The great thing is it irorcponates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimize your pages content, images titles, meta etc.

    March 31, 2012 Reply

David Wood fin

Hi,
Thank you for your nice article. It will help me.
Thanks

April 11, 2012 Reply

David Woodfin

Hi,

Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you find this collection useful.

Thanks

April 26, 2012 Reply

Mike

We just added commentluv to our blog as well as sharethis and are about to add Google +. Really seems like Google + gives you a headstart over the competition for highly competitive search terms as well. GASP I didnt know about, but that looks like a good one. Thanks!

June 20, 2012 Reply

Traci

I’m curious to find out what blog system you’re working with?

I’m having some minor security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more safe.
Do you have any recommendations?

August 3, 2013 Reply


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