10 Essential WordPress Plugins for Increasing Social Media Engagement

Gaining online traffic to your blog is simple to do with social media. But after you’ve started your social media accounts and gathered an initial following, you may feel that your engagement is stalling. With these WordPress plugins for social media, you can design a painless process of sharing online while also encouraging your audience to share, like, +1, and follow you!  

  1. Google Analytics – Google Analytics can give you tons of valuable data about your blog and how your audience interacts with it. One important metric is the source of your traffic; this piece of information can help you determine which of your social media platforms is the most effective, and which is the least. If most of your traffic is coming from Pinterest, you know you’re doing something good there, and you might decide to spend most of your efforts driving Pinterest traffic.
  2. Simple Share Buttons – This WordPress app does exactly what the name claims: it adds social share buttons to all of your blog posts. It even gives your audience a share count, which can often influence them to share your content. Making it easy for your readers to share your content will increase your traffic from social media, as well as your engagement on social media.
  3. Sociable – Sociable adds social media buttons to your blog posts. This plugin adds a similar feature as Simple Share Buttons, but the images are social media icons rather than share buttons. Still, the same call-to-action is there, motivating your readers to share your content on their social media accounts.
  4. WP Pinner – Need a little help managing your Pinterest account? This plugin lets you schedule pins, track your Pinterest engagement, and automate pins of your WordPress posts from your admin panel. With this plugin, you can spend less time on Pinterest with the same amount of progress.
  5. Pinterest Image Pinner – Speaking of Pinterest engagement, this plugin will raise yours by adding a simple “Pin It” button to all of your blog post images. When it comes to Pinterest, readers are more inspired by your pictures than your text. You might lose the share if you leave your Pinterest CTA to the bottom of the post. Using this plugin allows your readers to pin your image the second they see it.
  6. Shareaholic – More social media buttons! These ones “float,” meaning that they follow the reader when he or she scrolls up and down on your webpage. Having the social share buttons immediately accessible will influence readers to share on a whim. Shareaholic also makes images shareable, gives the reader recommended and related content from your blog, and has social analytics from which you can glean valuable metrics.
  7. Tweet Old Post – This plugin will automatically tweet links to some of your older blog posts, reviving them and bringing in new traffic. Bringing readers in to some of your old posts with absolutely no effort on your part – what’s not to love?
  8. WordBooker – WordBooker streamlines the process of posting on Facebook. You can post content from your blog, status updates, and more into your Facebook page, any groups, or your own wall.
  9. The Google+ Plugin – Automate your G+ posts with this WordPress plugin. It also adds a +1 button to your blog and makes the process of adding you to a circle much easier for your readers.
  10. WP Instagram Widget – Use this plugin to display your latest Instagram pictures on your blog.  Attaching Instagram to your blog will direct your readers to follow you – giving them a taste of what you post can also be an added incentive.

What WordPress plugins would you recommend for increasing your blog’s social media engagement?

8 Tips to Help Bloggers Get Started on Pinterest recently reported that the social media website Pinterest brought more traffic to publishers than Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Google+ combined. In fact, the only social network to beat Pinterest’s success rate is Facebook.

This holds true for bloggers, some of whom report that Pinterest is often one of their biggest sources of reader traffic. Pinterest recently made it even easier for publishers to promote their writing by adding a new function for articles that are pinned: pinned articles have a different format than other types of pins, and provide information about the article otherwise hidden from the viewer.


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So if you’re a blogger and you aren’t yet on Pinterest, you need to start ASAP! Try a few of these methods to optimize your Pinterest experience:

  1. A Pinterest update made this year created separate accounts for businesses and individuals. Bloggers can be counted as a business. After creating your business account, make sure your website is verified. Pinners with a verified website tend to do better.
  2. The images you use will make or break you on Pinterest! Seriously, this may be one of the most important Pinterest tips you will ever find. Make sure your images are clear and beautiful. Use your best photography skills and original pictures. To make your pin even more popular, use a photo editing site to add words and a watermark.
  3. Pinterest is a social network, so make sure to be social! Comment, share, like, pin, and follow other users!
  4. Create or join a group board. This will bring your pins to a broader audience.
  5. Make it easy for readers to share your post on Pinterest by adding a Pin it! button on photos in every blog post.
  6. Connect your Pinterest account to other social media websites. Share your Pinterest account on Facebook through tabs.
  7. Share the URL to your pins on other social media outlets.
  8. When you pin something from your blog, make sure to fill out the caption box. Include the URL to your post to optimize your SEO. Put a call-to-action in your caption as well – these will increase the engagement on your pin by 80%.

7 Harsh Realities of Blogging

Every industry has its ups and downs, and blogging is no exception. While you are able to do what you love and maintain a creative spirit, you also have to put in tons of hard work in an industry that is difficult to break into. So before you start your blog, make sure you’re aware of all of the harsh realities.

  1. You’re not going to make it in this industry without Pinterest. For many successful bloggers, Pinterest is their main source of traffic. In the past few years, Pinterest has completely revolutionized the way bloggers blog. Now there is a huge emphasis on images that are appealing, or “pinnable.” Not only do you need great, original pictures and videos, but you need lots of them to break up the text in your post. It helps that the rest of the content marketing industry has also gone the way of images, adding to the Pinterest momentum. But unfortunately, there’s no getting around it: bloggers must be active on Pinterest.
  2. You don’t actually have to be a good writer to blog. You’d think this one would be counter-intuitive, right? Your job is to write blog posts – don’t you need writing skills? Go check out some of the most popular bloggers out there. See a viral post passed around by your Facebook friends recently? Chances are that blog post isn’t Shakespeare. It’s probably more like Stephenie Meyers. But in a way, this is good news: it isn’t a blogger’s writing prowess that makes them popular, but their ability to connect with their audience.
  3. You don’t actually have to say something new to be a blogger. Similar to #2, the content of the blog doesn’t have to be a wild, original creation. When a current event happens, how many personal bloggers jump on the chance to share their opinion? How many niches are flooded with thousands of bloggers? Answer: all of them. But again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; what makes us want to read blogs is how we can relate to them. Parents love hearing stories from other parents, crafters love learning from other crafters, and so on.
  4. 80% of blogging is grunt work, the other 20% is doing what you love. Unless you love buying a domain name, figuring out a host, building a website, designing your blog, formatting your posts, optimizing your posts for SEO, and then promoting the heck out of each post on social media. Most of your time as a blogger will not be dedicated to creating and writing. If you’re totally adverse to the technical side of blogging, maybe you need to find a great partner to work with. Or focus on your finished product, rather than the frustrating, boring part of blogging.
  5. Haters gonna hate. No matter what you say on your blog, someone is going to disagree with you. Before you dive into blogging, you need to be able to handle criticism. As you continue to grow your blog, work on developing a thick skin. The more popular your blog becomes, the more it will attract haters. Here’s the secret about haters, though: they could very well be right. As human beings, we make mistakes all of the time. You may have good intentions when you write a post, but end up accidentally offending someone anyway. And that’s okay. It’s okay to make mistakes on your blog, as long as you own up to your mistakes and, occasionally, apologize for them. Then, move on, learning to grow from the experience.
  6. The industry is super over-saturated. WordPress reports that there are over 74 million WordPress sites with 33.7 million posts being published each month. Entering the blogging world is the same as an aspiring actor or singer trying to break into their respective industries: it is extremely hard to get noticed. Fortunately, there’s a lot of audience to go around. More than 2 billion people use the Internet worldwide, and bloggers can share visitors. And this is one of the best parts of the blogging industry: bloggers do not have to be each other’s competition, and they can, in fact, help each other. Bloggers use guest posting, link parties, blog hops, and other features to give each other a boost in numbers. So don’t let the sheer number of blogs in existence get you down, because there is still plenty of potential for growth.
  7. Blogging isn’t easy. Something about blogging gives many the false idea that blogging is easy. Sure, many people do it from home, and you do spend most of your time behind a computer screen. However, the successful bloggers are working 12-14 hour days to make their due. Personal bloggers, in a way, never turn off: their entire online presence is part of their branding strategy. Not only does blogging require all the hard technical work, but you also must build relationships with other bloggers and advertisers. And this demands a lot of time.

As with any career choice, you have to weigh the pros and cons. If blogging can help grow your passion, then stick with it. And good luck!

What are some of the harsh realities you’ve learned about the blogging industry?

Sources: (29 Jan. 2014).

“More Than 2 Billion People Use the Internet, Here’s What They’re Up To (INFOGRAPHIC).” (29 Jan. 2014).