So you have invested thousands of dollars on what you hoped to be a killer website and/or blog. Yet something is still missing. You are still lacking social engagement.
You may be creating the right content but you are making it too difficult for people to share it with their friends and community. Visitors to your site may want to engage with you on other social networks and become part of your community. The problem is they can't do such if they are not invited.
You can't be too shy in inviting them to join your other platforms. You don't have to tweet noise at them all day asking them to join you on Facebook. Instead, create compelling content and kindly include social plugins that make it easy for them to join you on other social networks, share your content if they so choose to do such.
We get many calls from small to enterprise corporate organizations asking us “please help make our site and online presence more social and get more customers.”
There is no easy answer to do such overnight, and no plug-in is going to solve your online marketing problems. However, there are few ways you can increase engagement in the short term as you work on building a real online conversion funnel and integrated strategy that will deliver results. One of the first ways it to ensure your website or blog is social friendly. Make it easy for people to share, engage and contact you if they are interested to learn more about your products or services.
Below are 10 of my favorite WordPress plugins to increase engagement. While there are many more that could be included on this list, these are my favorite and what have helped my blog thrive the past few years.
Please feel free to add any I missed that you know and love in the comment section below.
10 WordPress Plugins to Increase Social Engagement and Build Community
1. Gravity Forms
One of the most important features any website or blog must have is the ability to contact the owner. Gravity forms make this easy. You can easily setup forms and use them on as many pages as you want with just a copy / paste of the short code via the WordPress toolbar when editing a page or post. Requires no programming or super technical skills to get started. You can set it up to send an automatic reply to user submitting the form and also notify administrators as appropriate. It integrates easily with iContact and aWeber email marketing programs in addition to numerous other platforms and technologies.
2. Digg Digg
Enabling your visitors to easily share your content with their network is a key requirement for any successful blogger. Digg Digg is a social share bar that was acquired by BufferApp in 2011. I recommend including at minimum the Twitter, Facebook like and share, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Buffer buttons. Buffer enables users to set a schedule for auto posting content to their social networks over a period of time versus all at once. Take time to learn how the plug-in works and how to modify it to your specific website design. There are options for the bar to float on the side of the page or have a single row of buttons below or above the content.
3. Social Stickers
It is important to make it easy for people to get to your social network profiles. An easy way to do such is to include these simple buttons in a widget on your sidebar or footer.
At minimum I recommend you include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your RSS feed and Google plus if you're using it. Additional options are of course Pinterest, Slideshare, and more. Choose the buttons based upon your goals, objectives and audience.
4. Facebook Like Box
You can easily use the code provided by Facebook to include a like box anywhere you want on your blog or website. You can opt to include the conversation stream. At minimum I suggest you include the faces of the people who like your page. By default it will include friends of the person viewing the page if there are any.
5. Follow on Twitter button.
This is a one click button to follow a Twitter account on Twitter. Within one click any visitor to your website or blog can follow you on Twitter. Pretty simple.
Check out the Follow on Twitter Button
6. All in One SEO or Yoast for SEO Optimization.
One of the first things you also need is the ability for people to find your blog when searching for content. The model “just build it and they will come” is a myth. It no longer works that way, sorry. Truth is it never did.
Both of these plug-ins add much efficiency to properly optimizing your blog or website for the search engines. We use All in One SEO and have had great results for ourselves and client sites. However, we are also testing Yoast on a couple of sites right now. Both are good.
Check out All in One SEO
Check out Yoast
7. Facebook recommendations
Provide personal recommendations to visitors and encourage them to visit additional pages, share content with their Facebook community.
Check out Facebook recommendations
8. Facebook subscribe plug-in.
Makes it easy for people to subscribe to your personal Facebook profile status updates.
Check out the Facebook subscribe plug-in
*Note: This plug-in was updated from the original LinkWithin that originally appeared here.
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Hi Pam, helpful article Thanks for sharing. Question. Plugin #9 – LinksWithin- I could not find that as a wordpress plugin. Is there a different name? I notice you didn’t hyperlink it in this article so I wondered if it might be spelled differently? Once again, Thanks. – Steve Kayser
[…] The right wordpress plugins can help increase engagement, social shares and build community. […]
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Its an awesome list, thanks for sharing it! :)
I was just thinking of taking Disquis off my site and here you are defending it. Guess I’ll keep it.
Nice work, Pam.
Facebook actually has an official WordPress plugin here: http://wordpress.org/plugins/facebook/
I would recommend this one because it handles all the “Like”, comments and Like Box functions, eliminating the need for multiple plugins. Plus then other plugins can use the open graph data, which you can be confident is actually correctly implemented.
Disqus is great if you have a lots of traffic. For new site with little traffic and want to attract more comment I recommend CommentLuv.
You offer links as incentive for visitor to leave comment. The cons will be lots of low quality comment that you need to delete.
I have written a review on Commentluv at my blog http://www.wsolist.com/commentluv-increase-visitor-engagement-and-traffic-to-your-blog/
Very nice article Pam. Looking for article that can help me to have sharing buttons in the right location.
If already published please share the link :)
Reading this list, I realize there are a couple of items missing from a blog I’ve been working on. Great review
Hi Pam, Great list of plugins. I like how you empasize Twitter and Facebook sharing because those are the two social sharing sites that bring the most traffic to my blog.
I’m not a big fan or either Disqus or LiveFyre though. When I’m reading an article on my iPad, I often can’t log into those services to leave a comment.
I prefer CommentLuv that rewards commenters for commenting.
LinkWithin looks like a really valuable plugin. I will have to check that out. Thanks for this great list!
Installed Social Stickers as a sidebar widget. All I got was a text widget – No icons?
Thanks Pam for the great collection! I have tried most of the plugins above and
they’re all great. I have this plugin for embedding a photo stream on my
website. Simple to use and works fast http://wordpress.org/plugins/iframe-embed-for-momentme/. It automatically collects images from social events worldwide and its free.
Thanks for this post – I’ve been looking for that social stickers plug-in for a week. I love it. I’m always looking for new plug-ins that will engage my readers and this post is very helpful. Warmly, Susan
Have you tried this plugin? The SEO Booster works to optimize everything social on your site and it has almost 39,000 downloads on WordPress.org right now:
Thanks for info on WordPress plugin.
Hi Pam! I’ll be launching another WP hosted blog site soon. I will surely integrate some of the plugins you have in the list and oh, social sticker seems so me…
Well SEO focuses on Social Media part of Off-Site SEO, this pluging really plays a significant role to be in market place with virtually assisting through Social Media Profiles, thanks for information.
I use Floating social bar for my WordPress websites
thank you for sharing
I am using ” Social Stickers ” My page |www.CongNgheMay.info | Chia Sẽ Phần Mềm, Kiến Thức Lectra, Gerber, Gemini…. And More
“Below are 10 of my favorite WordPress plugins to increase engagement.”, it is great,well known fact to be mysteriously open from this blog, thanks for the information.
Thanks for sharing. I don’t use All In One SEO but I do use Yoast SEO for that matter.
testing out the Facebook plugin now :)
i use commentluv instead of discus, and found it better and i was looking for a bar that used to come at the bottom and had alot of features if anyone remembers please let me know, i have forgot its name :(
I was looking for a plugin like digg digg for a long time
found it by reading your article
thnx for the help
Thanks for this post Pam.
I’m loving the Disqus comment system and have been adding it to all of my sites. I think a worthy addition to your list is the Floating Social Bar Plugin, it looks great and works very well. (I’m in no way affiliated.)
Hi Pam, thanks for the post – I am currently tweaking my new website and it has come in handy.
Thanks. this is the third time I am using your article to help myself with setting up my blog – http://www.finixpost.com Thanks a lot! I have used two three plugins from your list. :)
Article is Missing one very important plugin “Social Networks Auto Poster”. Enjoy
Thank you. Very useful tips!
Thanks Pam for sharing those useful plugins. These plugins will surely help increase social engagement (likes, follows, shares), especially when applied and implemented the right way. Really useful!
Hi Pam, I just released a new plugin that I think you’ll like: it lets you highlight and share specific phrases to Twitter and Facebook. Slate and Medium have something similar
on their sites, this is the first that gives the same functionality to WordPress users.
Maybe you could add it to this list or keep it in mind for a future post?
Hi Pam, thanks for your post. I have been trying to find an ideal social media widget that does the job and looks visually impressive, so thanks for recommending Social Stickers. I notice you have used it too. Regards, Nick
The top plugins helped me alot and thanks for sharing.
[…] There are many, but my favorite is the Facebook Like Box plugin described in this article. […]
If you have some time, it would be great to give a try to the ” “most shared plugin” ? I developed it for people using the authorship markup.
This plugin imports the articles you have authored, and displays the
best ones, even if they have been published outside your blog (Most
Shared Articles For WordPress : http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordiz-most-shared-articles-for-authors ).
Your feedbacks would be welcome !
Wp MashSocial is good. I use shareaholic for blog sharing and for my sidebar and footer i use my own CSS 3 animated social widgets.you can find them on http://www.blogire.com
Thanks.,. for sharing this list. I agree that most of these plugins are essential and im using some on my site brightverge.com. Some were new to me, though. I’ll definitely look into them. Is it possible to add more Instagram profiles on my WordPress websites?
Wonderful blog & good post. It is really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging ! White Hat World
Thank you Pam for that cool list! However: why are we not on there?
We recently released a FREE plugin which allows to add social icons to a website: https://wordpress.org/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/
We think it’s the best one on the market and user feedback seems to confirm that: in less than 4 months we got over 60k downloads, >280 5-star-reviews and an overall rating of 4.9/5.0.
Please let me know what you think. Thank you Pam!
Hi, Pam this is really great review.. i liked facebook like box its really great plugin.
also i want to any best newsletter for my blog: http://www.xperiaz5sony.com/
this is a niche blog..
Hey you article is so good.I love the Digg Digg plugin.Thank you for share with us.Social news :http://emersionblog.com
Great article Pam! Very useful for everyone struggling to increase the social media engagement with their brand, and if you don’t understand the key points or use the right tools, it can become very frustrating. Thanks for sharing these 10 WordPress plugins, they can save us a lot of time driving social media engagement. An expert in Digital Marketing shares other 5 WordPress plugins to drive social media engagement in this article: https://goo.gl/6ssAVo
Hope you like it! :)
You discussed here very important WordPress Plugins, it will really help to increase the social presence.