Over the last two years, social media and social networking have grown exponentially. The ability to constantly (and automatically) promote your content has been a godsend to startup bloggers and businesses across the world. More exciting than that, there are tons of plugins that will allow your content to be promoted by your own readers. That’s right, the system of checks and balances has finally reached the blogosphere. If you create good content, it will be apparent by the number of readers willing to put their sea of approval – publicly – on your content.
Ah, remember the days when you had to manually add each individual social media bookmarklet? Then, having the cluster of 18 tiny images at the bottom of each post, messing up your theme and annoying the heck out of your readers? I’m glad those days are gone.
The interesting thing about these plugins is that they all basically do the same thing. The “better” of this group is their ability to seamlessly integrate into your blog. A lot of it is aesthetic, a lot of functionality, but basically these are the best plugins to keep your blog from looking amateur, and keeping social bookmarking quick, easy, and organized.
(This plugin was included in the 10 Must-Have Plugins for WordPress) The reason I like ShareThis is simple: you can customize its appearance to match your site, it’s unobtrusive and doesn’t mess with the theme, and it’s quick. “Click, click, click” is all it takes for you or your readers to submit to nearly any social media platform. There are tons of appearance-related options during the configuration process, so you can be sure it looks exactly how you want.
Aside from the alluring name, this plugin offers an aesthetically unusual (in a good way) option for social bookmarking. You can see them in action at the bottom of this post. I feel like SexyBookmarks is exactly what it sounds like, the sexy, new bookmark plugin that’s taken the ‘net by storm. It’s definitely functional and, if you keep the number of options to a minimum, can only minimally interfere with your design – often times it will fit right in.
I consider this plugin to be one of the best-kept secrets of the blog world. Adding the Wibiya Toolbar does much more than just give your readers an easy way to submit your content to social media, it adds a wealth of additional interaction and functionality to your bloh. After installing Wibiya Toolbar, your readers will have a toolbar at the bottom of each of your pages (floating) which allows them to search, submit to Facebook and Twitter, subscribe to your RSS feed, and tons more. This plugin is so advanced it actually has plugins for the plugin. You can add specific functionality to the Wibiya toolbar to perfectly fit your needs.
Yes, another straightforward name for a straightforward plugin. Social Bookmarks adds a text link to the bottom of each post that, when clicked, delivers a drop down menu with icons for each social media site supported (which gives you a lot to work with). You can then choose to hide the buttons, once you’ve submitted to keep the post clutter-free.