Social media is the call of the hour and can sometimes drive you more visitors than what you get from Search Engines. In October, the top eight social media sites drove as much as 29.49% of all traffic that sites received on September 2014 (Source). Now this is the fact that can kick your butt, to optimize your site to best suit for social media shares and traffic. You have no option but to share your posts to various social media sites and ask your readers to do the same. The best thing you need to do to increase your social media referral traffic is to use social share buttons or plugins which enable your readers to share blog content on to their social profiles.
If you don’t put social share buttons on your blog, I doubt if your audience will share your posts by copying the link then pasting in their statuses to share because it doesn’t look easy for them but if you have share buttons installed, they can easily share your blog posts in just 2 clicks.
Thus your blogs must have social share buttons in order to make the posts easily share-able. There are multiple social sharing button plugins available for free which you can install in your blog.
In this post I am sharing an ultimate list of social share buttons for WordPress blogs which are as:
1. Shareaholic: Shareaholic is by far the best social sharing plugin (downloaded 1.2 million times) that can be found on the WordPress repo. It is not just a sharing plugin, they have other options like adding related content, a “pin it” option on images when they are hovered on, and also has the option to monetize your visitors with affiliate link ups and showing ads.
Shareaholic offers sharing functionality to almost all platforms and can be used either at the beginning of the post, in the sidebars or at the end of the post. It can be used anywhere on the web with the call of shortcodes.
2. Flare: If you wanted the best looking social sharing plugin that did not alter your page loading time then it is Flare. The lite version of flare is free and still works even if the parent version has stopped receiving support from the makers. It can be used as floating bar on the left, right side of the blog thereby constantly urging the readers to share the post.
3. Social sharing by Danny: Social sharing by Danny comes with the simple concept of “why to increase your page load time with images other coding for a feature (sharing) that 95% of your users will not use”. They have simple share options which appear as links. It has a simple script of just 600 bytes (jqerry independent) that will not induce loading of your site. The only con is that it offers only 3 options for sharing like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
4. Floating Social bar: Floating social bar is developed by WPbeginner, the most popular site for WordPress tutorials. It is light and floats on the header of the post as the user scrolls down. This acts like a floating bar but this does not have much effect on the site loading speed as they don’t load the script while the page is loading, instead show a replica of images with all the count till that time.
5. Sharethis: With over two million downloads, sharethis shows that simplicity and style can be amalgamated without having to sacrifice functionality and page load time. You get an option to add from over 120 social channels and as floating sidebar or below the post or above it, all at your choice. Sharethis provides the analytics on the sharing activity of your site through the unified social analytics dashboard.
6. Add this: Addthis is also with 2.14 million downloads showing it is the king of social share buttons. The plugins have a staggering support for over 300 social channels including the modern and “trendy whatsapp sharing feature”. It also provides analytics based on social usage of your site that is emailed to your registered account. It has also recommended content option and other tools that might otherwise have called for a separate plugin.
7. Digg Digg: This is been developed by the bufferapp and is the best when it comes to website loading time and simplicity. The plugin has lazy load effect that means it loads after the parts of your website with higher priority loads. This can be placed with the top, bottom or sidebar of the post.
8. Simple Social buttons: Simple social buttons does what it says. It has elegant simple social share buttons like the Pin it, Google plus, Facebook and twitter share. This free WordPress social sharing plugin can be customized to be used anywhere in your post, top or bottom.
9. Jetpack: Jetpack is not actually a social sharing plugin but is by far one of the best ensemble of plugins from Automattic, the developers of WordPress. They have huge number of functions including free WordPress social sharing buttons that work with non-java enabled browsers like opera mini. They are simple yet powerful and fully featured. Besides this jetpack has a plethora of other useful features.
10. SumoMe: SumoMe has become the top choice for many people because it simply offers fabulous gifts which otherwise are paid features through other plugins like optin monster. SumoMe has email subscription widget and elegant social sharing buttons for the sidebar of your WordPress blogs. It adds sharing options for your blog’s images and highlighted text too. This can come handy for sharing text quotes and custom images too.
11. Share buttons by Add to any: Add to any is among the top most downloaded WordPress social sharing plugins for WordPress. It offers retina display enabled icons and is over 3.5 million times. This huge number speaks for its popularity.
12. Professional share plugin: Professional share plugin gives a professional social share widget on WordPress and it is decent in looks. The social share plugin for B2B businesses and other marketing blogs is Professional share plugin. It can however be customized to be placed in any part of your screen.
13. Simplified social sharing: After shareaholic, this is the only good looking yet effective social sharing plugin for WP developed by Loginradius. I really like its style and it displays floating bar as well as top and bottom bar. The main thing is it displays cumulative social sharing buttons that helps in psychological effect. Individual shares might not be that good but cumulative social share will add an effect that tells the reader that the post is hugely liked.
14. Social sharing toolkit: Social sharing toolkit is a simple and popular social sharing option for WP blogs. The plugin is supporting social subscription for your social profiles too so that you don’t need to add too many social sharing plugins to your site. This one serves the purpose of both. It supports shortcodes so that you can call the social sharing plugins anywhere between your post to increase share counters using this [social_share/].
15. Evolution social shares: It’s a pretty good looking social share button plugin, including sharing options to various popular social networks. This social bar claims it is faster than digg digg and includes social shares along with Java script that loads at the footer.
16. Wp social share: WP social share includes sharing of your blog post to eight major social channels including evernote. Though it’s downloaded only 25 thousand times. This plugin is a good social sharing contender with its sleek design.
17. Slick social share buttons: Slick social share buttons is really good looking social share plugin and it supporting various URL shorteners for your twitter share options. This is a boon as twitter has character limits and sharing with URL shorteners can increase space for more hashtags and other information while tweeting.
18. Social share motivator: If you want your readers to pay you something for reading your posts, then this plugin enables you getting paid by your readers in order to read. This free social locker plugin enables your readers to read a blog post only upon an exchange for a social share of the post.
Beware: unless you are a popular blogger or your content is as valuable as gold, don’t use this as it may make your readers leave your blog forever with disgust!
19. Less buttons: Less buttons is a beautiful free social sharing plugin for WordPress that displays share counters too. This plugin believes in converting your visitors by giving them less number of options to share. This social share plugin is supporting mobile devices and has asynchronous load effects like Google AdSense that will not hinder in the path of your website load.
20. Social media feather: This is the lightest social sharing plugin for WordPress. It supports disabling of social floating bar and making the icons static. It has retina display support for high end devices like iPad 5 and so on.
These were the ultimate list of top 20 free social share buttons/plugins. These plugins look better on blog and do not interfere with load times. So which is your favourite social sharing plugin? Do let me know through comments.