As a blogger you would wish that your content looks attractive and easy on eyes to captivate readers. Since I have been testing various plugins for my blog, I would pick the best 6 WordPress plugins and discuss about them in this post.
The common question here is why do you need WordPress plugin for social sharing? The answer is, you need to optimize key elements in your content to give your post that extra edge in social sharing and search results. If you are a WordPress user you need not rely only on rich snippets on HTML.
You will have unlimited options to choose from easy to use WordPress plugins to optimize your content. Anyway let us look at the six best according to my opinion.
1) Implement Twitter cards for rich media tweets
If your content is being shared in Twitter then normally there are two expectations. a) You want other twitters to follow your content back. b) You want your username to be published as an author or publisher. But in many cases the responses are not up to your expectation. If you implement Twitter cards you add rich media elements to your content and it will link the Twitter handle with tweets of your content. That means in a tweet the title, description and a featured image for the blog will be shared. A link to the publication also goes to the Twitter handle.
If you wish to get this functionality in your WordPress then Twitter has few recommendations.
a)Jetpack – If you are a WordPress.com user you must be familiar with Jetpack which comes free with the blogging platform and has loads of other feature enhancement for WordPress as well.
b)JM Twitter cards – This is a simple plugin which only handles Twitter card implementation.
c) Yoast WordPress SEO – One of the top SEO plugins which not only handles Twitter cards but Facebook Open Graph and Google+ authorship.
Once you have installed a plugin you can validate the content by using Twitter card validator. Once you sign in using Twitter account, click the ‘validate and apply’ tab. Check a link from your website. Twitter will ask for approval to use Twitter cards. Once approved checkout the rich media elements associated with your content in Twitter.
2) Control your Facebook page with Open Graph Protocol
If you share a post on your Facebook page, you have the liberty to edit the link title, preview image and description. When others view your post they only see what Facebook chooses to display from your post.
Implementing Facebook Open Graph protocol ensures publication of your choice of Facebook post, that is as to what suits your content description the best.
In short the cut off is in your hand. People who shares your post, share exactly the best designed post which can excite others to click your link. Facebook recommends the official Facebook plugin to integrate with Open Graph Protocol. Along with giving you the power to control your Facebook update, it also also gives you the chance to know your audience better through Facebook insight.
As an alternate you can use Yoast WordPress SEO mentioned earlier for this function.
3) WordPress Yoast SEO
Let’s say you do not choose either of Twitter cards or Open Graph to optimize your content. The next best option is Yoast WordPress SEO. It comes down to modify your SEO title tag and meta description. This title tag and description can be shared in LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. Google+ and Pinterest will only show the title image as description. It can also be shared in social bookmarking site like Bizsugar.
The advantage is, title tag and meta descriptions are also used in search results. So if you are not using Twitter card or Open Graph Protocol do use Yoast WordPress Plugin to optimize your site for search results and social sharing.
Related: My 20 Best WordPress Plugins List
4) Encourage social sharing with official social sharing button
By installing official social sharing buttons from top network, people can share your content with social proofs to your website. You can adjust and manage these buttons manually in your WordPress plugin by using official coding from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, StumbleUpon and other popular social networks. You can speed up the process by using the plugin Digg Digg.
With this plugin you can speedily add social sharing buttons floating in your site either at bottom, top left or top right corner of your content. When you do the button set up with a Digg Digg, make sure you add your Twitter username to the Twitter button. This will keep your username in the tweets of your content.
5) Link your content with Google + profile
If you can establish a link with Google+ then you can own a portion of authority over Google search. The advantage you have is your blog link gets optimized for social search as well as social sharing. It attaches your name, photo and profile to each content you share via Google+ and also shows the same in search results.
There is couple of ways to establish Google+ authority manually but if you own a WordPress website then you can use the Google Author Link plugin. This plugin gives authors the space to include their Google+link in their profile within the admin panel of your WordPress. The plugin will automatically handle the code placement. You can test the authorship link by previewing one of your content through Google’ s Structured Data Testing Tool.
This tool will detect if your authorship has been set up correctly and how your link will fare in search results. If the authorship set up is faulty you get additional information as well as an authorship verification email. The latter is only applicable if your email is associated with domain from which you publish your content.
6) Use Social Metric Pro to see which pieces gets the most shared
As a blogger you have to keep a tab on popular pieces of content that interest readers more. It is how you can design and shape your content according to popular choice. Social Metrics pro is a premier WordPress plugin which keeps a track on social sharing of your content within your WordPress dashboard.
This plugin, measures the shares in Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon , Google+ and other networking sites. It is a good way to keep a check on sharing from social sites that brings more conversion to your business. You can also filter post by author, date and category to know trends.
You create content with the aim to bring credibility to your name via social sharing and also bring business to your brand. So it is important that your content designs and looks are great to appease your readers and encourage them to share your content with other viewers.
The WordPress plugins discussed above are great companions to give your content a different light and make it popular in social sharing and social searches.
Do you want to share other best social media sharing plugins for optimizing content, please share this with us.