Top Social Share Posts is a premium plugin from Design Chemical that lets you promote your most shared articles.
It supports 9 social media services such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. It can also display the total number of shares. Two widgets are included for showcasing your most popular posts however there is also an internal statistics board that works in the same way as Social Metrics.
All 9 social media services are set to on by default though they can be switched off. The corresponding icon for each service can be changed but you cannot add any additional services (you could do this manually by editing the plugin).
Shares can be tracked for posts, pages and attachments. To avoid older posts being listed, you can specify the maximum age for content.
In my opinion the default styling looks good though the plugin has a useful style editor that lets you change how the widgets are displayed. You can change headings, background colour and add your own custom css code for advanced styling.
The advanced settings area allows you to control how stats are tracked. For example, if you find the performance of your site has been affected by the plugin you can reduce the time delay between statistic updates.
The top social statistics page can be found in the admin area. Results can be filtered by social media site, post category and by posts and pages (but not attachments). It’s a great way of seeing, at a glance, which posts are being shared most by visitors.
The top social share posts widget lets you showcase the total number of shares for each social media service. Results can be filtered for posts or pages if you wish. Alternatively, you can show the total number of shares for posts and pages.
You may find that many your posts don’t have many shares in certain social media sites such as Pinterest or Digg. Thankfully you can configure the widget so that only specific sites are shown e.g. Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
The Top Social Posts Widget shows you the most shared posts (rather than just the number of posts). Once again, it can be configured to only display shares from specific social media sites. You can show the top posts for each social media site or simply the most shared (i.e. only the number 1 shared post).
In the accordion style option all posts are hidden initially.
The user can then see a list of the most shared posts for each service by clicking on the icon and displaying a drop down list of posts.
Posts can also be displayed in a list It could be a useful style option if you only wanted to display shares from one particular social media site though isn’t practical for displaying posts from lots of services as the widget would be too long.
The third style available is carousel. This is one of the best options as it allows you to neatly rotate the top posts from each service. It looks great on Design Chemical but carousel didn’t work correctly when I tested it on WP Mods. The widget rotated every few seconds as planned though no posts were displayed. I spoke to Lee about this and this was likely due to a clash with another plugin Specifically, the social bar we have at the left hand side of posts is not using the latest version of jQuery. I have no doubt it will work correctly once jQuery is updated as it’s working great on Design Chemical.
There are two parts to Top Social Share Posts: the widgets for displaying your most shared posts and the top social statistics page in the admin area that will help you analyse your social media performance. The most common way of tracking popular posts on WordPress is comments though I am not a big fan of using comments as a way of gauging the success of a post as many short posts have long discussions but the post themselves aren’t as useful as others. In that respect, the top shared posts is a much more reliable way of tracking the performance of posts, and the ability to specify the maximum age of posts ensures that all posts that are listed are still relevant.
A license for Top Social Share Posts retails for only $8 from CodeCanyon. I recommend checking it out if you want to analyse your social media performance or showcase your most popular posts.
Link: Top Social Share Posts
* Thanks to Top Social Share Posts for providing a test copy of Top Social Share Posts for the purpose of this review.