One of the best ways to get quality content known to others is through free social media. This simple guide shows how to quickly add social share buttons in WordPress to posts and pages.
Why Bother with Social Share Buttons?
Social sharing is a great way to encourage user interaction and bring new visitors to your website. All WordPress site owners should take advantage of social sharing for 5 reasons:
- Receive more targeted web traffic
- Build a loyal following
- Others can easily share your content with their friends and followers
- Commercial sites can generate extra leads and more potential sales
- Helps to build brand recognition and reputation
All the above assumes you publish great content that others naturally want to share.
Social Share Buttons Plugins
The amount of social share button plugins for WordPress can be overwhelming to the novice site owner. However, most of them are good nowadays. The one used for this tutorial seems to have an edge on the competition with features and customisations. It’s also a lightweight WordPress plugin, so there’s no risk of it slowing down your WordPress blog or website.
Grow by Mediavine Plugin
As with all plugins, this one also has free and premium (paid) versions. We’re only going to exploit the free version for this tutorial. The main features include:
- Before & After Content Share Buttons
- Floating Sidebar Share Buttons
- Updated Social Share Counts & Total Share Counts
- Editable Button Labels
- Retina Ready Sharp Share Icons
There are 10+ extra premium features, so check those out as well if you’re interested.
How to Use Grow by Mediavine
See How to Install New Plugins first if you’re new to WordPress.
Log in to your WP Dashboard.
Install and Activate the Grow by Mediavine Social Share Button plugin.
We now need to activate the social button preference. Let’s start with the Floating Sidebar.
Click Grow => Toolkit from the Dashboard side menu.
You’re now at the Social Share Tools screen. There are two options. One is for the floating sidebar, and the other is for Inline Content.
- Click the Floating Sidebar toggle button to ON
- Click the Settings link to configure sidebar sharing buttons
This takes you to the Configure Sidebar Sharing Buttons screen.
Click the Social Networks button to open network options for the floating sidebar.
The free options include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Email, and Print. If you need others, then you need to upgrade to the pro version.
For this example, let’s select Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Click Apply Selection to save the selection.
The next screen lets you edit the labels to whatever you like or remove a social network. This section also lets you drag and drop the buttons to the order you want them.
Below Social Networks are the button styles. Choose your preferred design, then scroll down.
The Settings section is easy to navigate and has a lot of customisation choices.
Here are the current display settings for the free version of Grow by Mediavine.
- Button shape: rectangular, rounded, circle
- Button size: small, medium, large
- Show icon animation: ON/OFF
- Buttons position: Left/Right
- Show button labels: ON/OFF
- Button spacing (bottom): ON/OFF
- Intro Animation: none, fade-in, slide-in
- Show after user scrolls
- Show on mobile: ON/OFF
- Mobile screen width (pixels)
Point to note: You can go back and change any of the display settings at any time.
Social button share counts (optional)
Next up is the Button Share Counts. What they do is let you choose how the numbers display and where. Clicking the toggle switches open the customisation options. They include share count round (rounds numbers down higher than 1000, e.g., 1,136 becomes 1.1K). The Minimum Global and Minimum Individual share counts only show shares above your pre-set values.
The penultimate section is a custom colours picker. It lets you choose the button colour and add a different hover (mouse-over) hue if you want one.
The last section is the Post Type Display Settings.
Choose where to display the social buttons on your WordPress blog or website.
Click Save Changes once you’re happy with the customisations.
Point to note: The same customisation choices are available for inline content.
Here’s how the floating bar and inline social share buttons look on the sample website. Yours may look a different depending on your preferences and the active theme in use.
Lastly, there are a couple of superfluous settings that may interest some of you.
Go to Grow => Settings from the Dashboard side menu.
The first of these is the Social Identity option. When a user clicks the Twitter share button, it auto-sends a tweet to you at your Twitter handle to notify you of the share.
Add your Twitter name (handle) into the Twitter Username field.
Turn the toggle button to ON for Add Twitter Username to all tweets (optional).
Under Social Identify is the Misc. section.
The first one is a Facebook Share Counts Provider. FB counts are not possible without activating this option. You can choose either the Grow by Mediavine App or Facebook Graph API. Each service has its own tutorials for setting up FB share counting.
Also in the Misc. section is Disable Open Graph Meta Tags. It’s advisable to leave this at disabled if you have SEO plugins installed. The reason is that it may cause conflicts with shared data.
Last up is the Enable Twitter Tweet Counts.
Twitter disabled share counts in 2015, and this option offers a free fix for that. You need to register your website with TwitCount so that Grow can return the Twitter share numbers.
Set the toggle switch to ON, then go and register your site on TwitCount.
Click Save Changes to finish.