Social networks, social sharing, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. are terms that we are all very familiar with. However, they also raise many questions when it comes to your own blog or website like which one should you use first or how will you connect your site to your social networks? One easy thing to do, regardless of whether you are active or not active on social media, is to allow your visitors to share your site on their social networks. Let’s see how to grow your audience with AddThis social share.
What is social sharing?
According to the Oxford Living Dictionaries, social sharing is “The practice of sharing content from a website on a social media site or application”. For your blog or website, it translates to a visitor coming to your site and sharing one or more of your pages or articles on one of their social media sites. This is done via social share buttons installed on your site. Once installed and configured, there is nothing to do on your part. You just let your visitors do free advertising for you (providing they like your content and would like to share it).
How to allow your visitors to share your site on their social networks
So how do you make this magic happens?
With the use of a plugin.
All you usually have to do is sign up with a social share provider, install a plugin on your WordPress or Joomla site, adjust a few settings and you are all set. Nothing difficult.
However, when you start looking at the amount of social share providers available, the number of plugins to choose from, when you try to compare free and premium packages, it is easy to get overwhelmed very quickly. And trust me, they are NOT all the same.
Things to look for when you are researching a social share plugin
- What kind of packages do they offer?
- Is the advertised “free” or “basic package” really free? Or is it free to download the plugin, but once installed you will need a subscription.
- Will you be able to get analytics? In other words will you be able to know if your site is actually shared or not?
- What is actually included in their basic plan?
- Will their plans and functionalities fit your needs?
- Do you like the “look and feel” of their social share buttons?
- Are you able to brand their buttons? (Customize their button’s colors)
These are all criteria that are important to consider when researching a social share provider and plugin.
Why I like AddThis Social Share
AddThis is a wonderful social share provider if you want to start growing your audience and you are looking for an inexpensive package that will do everything you need. Here is what you’ll get with the basic plan:
- A plan that is absolutely free, all you have to do is sign-up
- A sign-up process that is easy
- For WordPress
- The ability to activate or not social share on your blog posts, either above or below posts, or both
- The possibility to personalize which services you want to be displayed
- A social sharing sidebar to appear either on the right or left of your site, with between 1 to 10 buttons, which always include a PLUS button that will allow your visitors to access any of the social networks currently available. You also have the ability to personalize your sidebar with specific social networks.
- Your choice to activate social share on mobile devices or not
- The ability to track your shares with Google Analytics
- A choice of languages
- AddThis analytics
Yes, you get all of this, plus if you dig into your account on their website, you’ll find more useful freebees like social share for your newsletter.
Note: if you use a Joomla website, the recommended way to install what AddThis calls “Tools” (which is everything I’ve just described above) is by getting a code in your AddThis dashboard and copying that code onto your website. It is a little more complex than using the plugin. If you’d rather use the plugin (which is called the Smart Layer Module), then you can download it here:
5 easy steps to grow your audience with AddThis social share.
- Go to addthis.com and select GET STARTED
- Create an account
- Copy your AddThis account number
- Download and install the plugin from your WordPress dashboard or from the above link for Joomla
- Activate the plugin, then configure the settings to your liking and SAVE
A final word on growing your audience
A major part of running a blog or a website is definitively spent on marketing, that is taking steps to promote your site and its content. Some of those steps are not difficult and will facilitate that process. Using AddThis social share is a great way to get started with your web marketing journey and will help you attract new visitors and grow your audience.
Please leave a comment and share your experience.