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Two Ways to Increase Social Media Shares For Your WordPress Blog

Two Ways to Increase Social Media Shares For Your WordPress Blog

When it comes to blogging, most of us, follow the common approach of writing valuable content that is optimized for search engines to improve search engine rankings and visitor engagement.

Let’s Face The Harsh Reality

In today’s gruesome competitive web world, merely writing quality content with semantic relevancy isn’t enough. Instead, to improve the visibility of your content, it must be shared to a wider audience base.

Of course, you might have spent a substantial amount of your time and efforts in creating engaging content. But, the content is of no use if it doesn’t have any followers.

However, sharing your posts on social media networks can help in expanding your audience base. After all, social media networks are the major drivers of traffic from across the globe.

Two Best Ways to Increase Content Sharing on Social Media

You can increase your content sharing on social media sites using two different ways:

#Method 1 – Using WordPress Plugin

This is indeed the most obvious way, we all can think of when it comes to optimizing the posts of a WordPress site/blog for social sharing. Here I’ll be talking about four highly useful social sharing media plugins worth considering:

  1. Floating Social Share Bar

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It’s a responsive social sharing plugin that helps add floating social media buttons on the desktop version of a WordPress site along with a counter. The floating nature of the social buttons ensures that the content is displayed even when the user scrolls down the blog content.

The only problem with Floating Social Share Bar plugin is that despite being responsive, it fails to adapt to small screen displays. The upgraded version of the plugin enables users to add social sharing buttons for media sites positioned right under the blog post.

  1. Shareaholic

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Yet another free and excellent solution for improving social sharing is – Shareaholic. Also referred to as the “Content Amplification Platform”, Shareaholic comes with several abilities including the wherewithal that helps place social sharing buttons either above or underneath the content. In fact, it makes social sharing a snap for users.

Most importantly, it helps in increasing the number of shares and traffic by incorporating smart share buttons, such as the “pin it” button for the images. Also, it helps add floating share buttons in a bid to increase sharing engagement.

  1. WP Social Sharing

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The plugin makes it easy to add sharing buttons of six popular social networks, including the likes of Pinterest, Facebook, Xing, Twitter, etc. These social media buttons can be added not only to the posts, but also to the custom post types, pages or media. WP Social Sharing is a 100 percent responsive plugin, which helps you resize the social media button for mobile devices.

What’s more? The plugin allows reordering the social icon without much hassle. You can embed the social sharing buttons anywhere in the theme using the shortcode provided by the plugin.

  1. Social Media Feather

It’s an extremely lightweight social media sharing button that helps add nice and modern looking social media buttons and icons on a WordPress website. It helps add social buttons to allow content sharing. The best aspect about Social Media Feather is that does not add any unwanted burden to the site and add the share buttons in no time.

The plugin allows adding social sharing buttons for in-demand social networks like Facebook, reddit, Google+, tumblr, and many more.

Here’s another useful article that will help you know about several other great plugins for social media sharing:

Drive More Traffic To Your WordPress Site With These Social Sharing Plugins

#Method 2 – Adding Open Graph Protocol Feature

The second best way to share your content in a social-friendly manner is to enable the Open Graph Protocol feature. Launched by Facebook, the Open Graph Protocol is basically a set of rules that helps in integrating a web page into the social graph.

In short, “the Open Graph Protocol is used on Facebook and makes a web page include the same functionality akin to any other Facebook object.”

Essentially, the Open Graph Protocol provides a degree of control over how information moves from any 3rd party site to social media sites when content is being shared. For this purpose, the information is being sent using the Open Graph meta tags that are placed in the <head> section.

Two different approaches can be followed for adding Open Graph tags to your WordPress blog pages.

  1. You can use a plugin to perform the same task like WP Facebook Open Graph protocol, Social Warfare and Social Media Engagement, etc.
  2. The second option is to add the meta tags manually by writing code. But, prior to getting started with the coding part, make sure to create a default fallback image and upload it on your blog (in case your blog doesn’t contain any images).

For the uploading part, you will need access to an FTP client which helps save the images to the root folder. Or else, you can upload the images to the WordPress Media Library instead. Next, add the following code within your functions.php file to inform third-party services about the other tags (apart from HTML tags) available in the document:

function customdoctype_opengraph($opt) {

return $opt . ‘

xmlns:og=”http://opengraphprotocol.org/schema/”

xmlns:fb=”http://www.facebook.com/2016/fbml”‘;

}add_filter(‘language_attributes’, ‘customdoctype_opengraph’);

Next, you need to add a function given below that helps declare a global object for your post and determine if you’re on the post page or not. If yes, then the function will fetch the thumbnail from your post. In case, the post does not contain any thumbnail, then the default fallback image will be returned. The function also checks whether an excerpt is set for the post. If not, then the default value to the description:

function firstfb_opengraph() {

global $post;

if(is_single()) {

if(has_post_thumbnail($post->ID)) {

$img_src = wp_get_attachment_newimage_src(get_post_thumbnail_id( $post->ID ), ‘medium’);

} else {

$img_src = get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . ‘url-to-your-newimage-here.jpg’;

}

if($excerpt = $post->post_excerpt) {

$excerpt = strip_tags($post->post_excerpt);

$excerpt = str_replace(“”, “‘”, $excerpt);

} else {

$excerpt = get_bloginfo(‘description’);

}

?>

And finally, let’s view the code that helps in adding the Open Graph tags:

<meta property=”og:title” content=”<?php echo the_title(); ?>”/>

<meta property=”og:description” content=”<?php echo $excerpt; ?>”/>

<meta property=”og:type” content=”article”/>

<meta property=”og:url” content=”<?php echo the_permalink(); ?>”/>

<meta property=”og:site_name” content=”<?php echo get_bloginfo(); ?>”/>

<meta property=”og:image” content=”<?php echo $img_src; ?>”/>

Lastly, you’re left with the task of adding information to the <head> section of your post in the markup. To do so, use the following line of code:

add_action(‘wp_head’, ‘firstfb_opengraph’, 5);

Let’s Sum Up!

Gone are the days when only producing great content depending on best SEO practices was enough to drive traffic and boost conversion rate. In today’s age, wherein social media continues to remain the primary source of attracting traffic, it becomes necessary that you are sharing your blog or site content on social networks in the best possible manner. The post covers some useful and easy tips that will help you optimize your content for social media sharing.

Author Bio :
Sophia Phillips is expert frond-end & WordPress Developer. Currently, she is an employed with WordPrax Ltd. a renowned name in PSD to WordPress theme services. Sophia has had written a remarkable number of articles on WordPress tricks and tips.

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About the author

Amit Sharma

Hello Friends, I am Amit Sharma and I am running this blog to share my learning based on my experiments in digital media. India is having many great bloggers who are working in the same domain and they have always been my inspiration.

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