Having a website with WordPress is only half the story. It doesn't matter whether it's a blog, an online shop with WooCommerce or a website for your company or agency. If you want your content to be seen, there's no getting around using social media. To help you along your way, today's article explores five popular social media plugins for WordPress.
The social media plugins in this guide can help you increase the reach of your website. Just consider for a moment, how do readers or customers even find your site in the first place? There are almost two billion websites on the internet. That means, on average, there's a website for every fourth person on this planet. It's therefore almost impossible for large numbers of people to find your website on their own – unless you already have a huge target group, giant brand or the necessary level of awareness.
SEO, offline marketing and social media
There are many ways to make your WordPress website more popular. First of all, you can optimize your content for search engines like Google. This is called search engine optimization (SEO). See our step-by-step instructions on WordPress SEO, SEO audits and keyword research. You could also do offline marketing if you already have a brick-and-mortar shop. But the easiest way is via social networks.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Telegram, Pinterest, Clubhouse – there's the right network for almost every target group, as our social media comparison shows. But it's not enough to simply set up profiles on social media platforms and actively run them. You also have to optimize your WordPress website for social media. The following points are most important here:
- Linking your channels in a visually appealing way
- Offering an easy way for visitors to share your content
- Automated and time-saving tools for you to also share this content via social media, i.e. for social seeding.
We decided to select and test five social media plugins for WordPress that can boost your website's reach. You do, however, still need to check the compatibility of these WordPress plugins with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). More on this later.
The basics of social media marketing
Social Media Share Buttons Popup & Sharing Icons
- Development: UltimatelySocial
- Active installations: over 200,000
- Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars with over 5,000 reviews
If your WordPress theme doesn't come with social media buttons out of the box (which should be standard these days), or perhaps you have higher requirements for the included options, the WordPress plugin Social Media Share Buttons Popup & Pop-Up Social Sharing Icons may be a suitable option for you.
This plugin allows you to integrate social media buttons into your website in many different ways. Theoretically, you have more than 200 social media platforms at your disposal. These platforms include the most important ones: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Telegram, Pinterest, WhatsApp and a button for sharing via email.
In addition, you can integrate these buttons into 16 different designs and place them exactly where and how you want them. This includes, for example, the option to display the buttons "sticky". This way, they always remain in the picture, even if the user scrolls down. Moreover, the plugin supports pop-ups and counts (i.e. a display of how often your posts have been shared).
As with any other plugin, you have to pay attention to the GDPR component here. To this end, the developer has set up an information site where you can see exactly what the plugin does in terms of data protection on your site.
The plugin is available for free in the WordPress plugin directory. If you need even more options, there is also a premium version for $30 to $40 (depending on whether you run a commercial or non-commercial site ). With over 200,000 active installs and top marks with over 5,000 reviews, "Social Media Share Buttons Popup & Pop Up Social Sharing Icons" is very popular and well-liked.
Blog2Social: Social Media Auto Post & Scheduler
- Development: Blog2Social, Adenion
- Active installations: over 70,000
- Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 1,300 reviews
The plugin Blog2Social: Social Media Auto Post & Scheduler is aimed more at those who like to write and blog a lot. Anyone who runs a flourishing blog knows how time consuming it can be to share blog posts in each network in a targeted way with a suitable individual approach to the target group. There's a reason why large blogs employ their own social media management staff. The tool wants to take some of this type of work off your hands.
The plugin promises automated sharing of posts with customizable cross-posts for each major network. This alone is a time saver as you don't have to open each network individually for each post. You can simply write and publish the posts for the networks directly within your WordPress website.
The free version includes the networks Facebook (profiles and pages but no groups), Twitter, LinkedIn profiles, Xing profiles, Pinterest, Instagram (only personal profiles, no business profiles) and some smaller networks.
If you need more options, you'll need to go for the premium version. This is available in three different versions for 69, 99 and 249 USD per year. The premium versions not only include more networks, but also allow you to plan posts in advance (e.g. during holidays), to share posts automatically via RSS feed and to use a team calendar.
In short, anyone who wants to run their social media management more professionally will find a suitable solution in the premium version of Blog2Social: Social Media Auto Post & Scheduler. The plugin is currently running on 70,000 WordPress instances - and apparently quite smoothly, as the 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 1,300 reviews show.
How can you tell how good a plugin is?
Revive Old Posts - Social Media Auto Post and Scheduling plugin
- Development: revive.social
- Active installations: over 40,000
- Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars from over 400 reviews
A similar approach is taken by Revive Old Posts – Social Media Auto Post and Scheduling Plugin. Here, however, the focus is even more on not letting old blog posts disappear into the digital nirvana by making them visible again on a regular basis. This solves an all too familiar problem for bloggers. You write high-quality content, share it and get your five minutes of fame in the social networks for it. And then at some point, the post disappears into the archives and is never seen again – except perhaps via Google, Bing or sustainable search engines like Ecosia.
With this plugin, you can set how often new and old articles should be pushed to your social media channels. Unfortunately, you need the premium version very early on if you want to achieve more than that. The free version only includes Twitter and Facebook and a few options. The paid version, on the other hand, is much more powerful and costs between 75 and 299 euros per year.
Anyone who runs a large, content-heavy blog or magazine should test the free version in detail beforehand. The social media tool plugin currently runs on over 40,000 WordPress projects and has 4 out of 5 stars from over 400 ratings.
- Development: Yoast Team
- Active installations: over 5 million
- Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars with from 27,000 reviews
The Yoast SEO might seem like a surprising addition to this list. But in fact, the most popular and best-known WordPress SEO plugin in the world can also do something for your social media presence. We won't go into the extensive SEO functions here but of course they still exist. We're only looking at the social media component in this article but you can check out the SEO aspects in more detail in our Yoast and Rank Math comparison.
First of all, in Yoast SEO you can set your social media profiles. This helps search engines understand which social media channels belong to your website. In addition, you can use Yoast SEO to ensure that social networks like Facebook or Twitter pull all relevant information when sharing posts and display the posts correctly (for example, the correct images). This is called "Open Graph Meta Data".
If you have a Pinterest profile, you can also verify it with Yoast SEO. All you have to do is enter the meta tag that Pinterest shows you during the verification process in the plugin settings. Yoast SEO will then take care of the rest. In addition to these settings, Yoast SEO also helps you to individualize the social media posts for Facebook and Twitter for each post.
If you want to, you can adjust these within the SEO box below a blog post and thus display a different title on Facebook than on Twitter, for example. This way, your articles can be optimized even more for the individual networks. Yoast SEO is available in a free version, which is completely sufficient for 80 percent of all users. 5 million active installations and top ratings from 27,000 reviewers speak for themselves.
Social Media Follow Buttons Bar
- Development: Space X-Chimp
- Active installations: over 20,000
- Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars from 30 reviews
Of course, in addition to sharing your posts, you also want to make your social media channels visually appealing. If your WordPress theme doesn't offer a suitable solution, there are countless plugins for exactly this purpose. One of them is Social Media Follow Buttons Bar. With it, you can build buttons for 127 social media platforms and display them via shortcode anywhere on your WordPress website.
This plugin also comes, as is now common almost everywhere, with a free version. The free version should be sufficient in normal cases but there is also a premium version that you can buy for 29, 69 or 199 US dollars. This allows you to create several shortcodes, for example, if you want to display different channels in different places. The plugin runs on more than 20,000 instances and has so far received top marks from users, albeit with only 30 ratings. So you have to test it yourself.
Conclusion: Social media plugins make your life easier
Nowadays, social media is part of the game – nothing can be done about that. But with the help of a social media plugins, the effort required to operate social media channels professionally can be significantly reduced. Before using any such plugins, however, you should always check whether your WordPress theme has the desired functions already. Plugins for displaying social media sharing buttons or buttons that link to your channels are often superfluous if these functions already come with your theme.
As with every plugin, you should always check social media plugins for GDPR compliance. Make sure that no user data is unintentionally transmitted to the social networks. For example, if you directly integrate the interactive buttons of the networks. And make sure that plugins itself does not log any personal data. Ideally, clarify these points with a law firm for online law and data protection so you don't end up on the receiving end of legal warnings.