8 great plug­ins to in­te­grate your blog to so­cial me­dia

Daily Trust - - FEATURE - (Source: en.wikepedia.com & So­cial­mouths.com Im­age credit: Philippe Put fol­low @sinach360 and @ Dai­ly_Trust)

Want to in­te­grate your blog more fully with your so­cial profiles? Plug­ins make it easy. First of all what is a Plugin?

In com­put­ing, a plug-in (or plugin, ex­ten­sion, or add-on / ad­don) is a soft­ware com­po­nent that adds a spe­cific fea­ture to an ex­ist­ing soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tion. When an ap­pli­ca­tion sup­ports plug-ins, it en­ables cus­tomiza­tion. The com­mon ex­am­ples are the plug-ins used in web browsers to add new fea­tures such as search-en­gines, virus scan­ners, or the abil­ity to uti­lize a new file type such as a new video for­mat. Well-known browser plug-ins in­cludes the Adobe Flash Player, the Quick­Time Player, and the Java plug-in, which can launch a user-ac­ti­vated Java ap­plet on a web page to its ex­e­cu­tion a lo­cal Java vir­tual ma­chine.

But with so many plug­ins now avail­able on­line, how do you know which one to pick for your blog?

To help make that de­ci­sion a lit­tle eas­ier, here are eight great so­cial plug­ins worth try­ing.

1. So­cia­ble

Al­ready down­loaded more than 1.7 mil­lion times, the So­cia­ble plugin calls it­self “the fastest-grow­ing leader in the shar­ing space of Word­Press plug­ins.” Af­ter it’s in­stalled, the So­cia­ble plugin places a ban­ner on your site that re­minds read­ers to share your con­tent.

What’s more, with So­cia­ble, you can cus­tom­ize the shar­ing tool to your site’s style with text, color and length op­tions.

2. Sharea­holic

The Sharea­holic plugin not only pro­vides an at­trac­tive so­cial book­mark­ing menu and a re­lated-con­tent wid­get, but it also of­fers an­a­lyt­ics that pro­vide ac­tion­able met­rics about how your con­tent is per­form­ing.

3. Share­bar

The Share­bar plugin places a ver­ti­cal bar to the left of blog posts, fea­tur­ing links/but­tons to pop­u­lar so­cial net­work­ing sites. The bar is fully cus­tom­iz­a­ble and dy­namic, and it may be ver­ti­cal or hor­i­zon­tal in its dis­play.

4. Jet­pack

The Jet­pack plugin does a lot more than so­cial shar­ing, but as a plugin cre­ated by the mak­ers of Word­Press, you can bet it has good cod­ing and strong fea­tures—among them, its so­cial me­dia tools.

Be­yond its mo­bile op­ti­miza­tion, Word­Press stats in your dash­board, and ex­tra side­bar wid­gets, Jet­pack also in­cludes a pub­li­cize fea­ture that makes it easy to share posts on so­cial me­dia net­works, through au­to­matic post­ing. Sim­ply in­te­grate your dash­board with your so­cial profiles and de­cide to which profiles you want to au­top­ub­lish. Af­ter that, pub­lish­ing a new post sends no­ti­fi­ca­tions where you want them to go.

Jet­pack also in­cludes shar­ing tools to post con­tent on Face­book, Twit­ter, and other net­works with a few sim­ple clicks.

5. Float­ing So­cial Me­dia Icon

The Float­ing So­cial Me­dia Icon does ex­actly what its name im­plies: places a float­ing bar of so­cial me­dia icons/links on your site. Fea­tur­ing over 20 icon styles (cus­tom­iz­a­ble in size and or­der), the abil­ity to en­able or dis­able float­ing, and easy con­fig­u­ra­tion, this plugin gives you a lot of con­trol in the way you en­cour­age shar­ing.

6. Tweet Old Post

If you have ever wished for a way to breathe new life into old con­tent, you will love the Tweet Old Post plugin. Af­ter it is down­loaded, in­stalled, and in­te­grated with your Twit­ter pro­file, it au­to­mat­i­cally Tweets links to your old con­tent on the sched­ule you de­ter­mine.

With Tweet Old Post, you are even able to ex­clude cer­tain posts, right within your dash­board, as de­sired. So if you have some con­tent you don­not wish to re­share, you have to­tal con­trol over that, too.

7. Rel=Au­thor Plugin

Thanks to changes to Google’s search al­go­rithms and the im­por­tance of au­thor author­ity, link­ing con­tent to its au­thor is more im­por­tant than ever—and a plugin like the Re­lated Au­thor plugin makes that sort of link­ing easy. It places an au­thor box on ev­ery blog post, which links the post’s au­thor to his or her Google+ pro­file.

8. Pin­ter­est Pin It But­ton for Im­ages

If your blog or web­site re­volves around im­ages, you al­ready know that Pin­ter­est is a pow­er­ful source of re­fer­ral traf­fic—and with the Pin­ter­est Pin It But­ton for Im­ages plugin, you have an easy way to make the most of that Pin­ter­est traf­fic. Af­ter you have down­loaded and in­stalled the plugin, set your pref­er­ences about style of pin-it im­ages, and so on, your site’s im­ages will fea­ture a no­tice­able “pin it” but­ton when users hover over them. This en­cour­ages your read­ers to pin your posts to Pin­ter­est, ex­pand­ing their reach.

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