There are so many different “Social Media Plugins” for WordPress that I decided to look at a few to determine what would be considered “Best in Class”. It would have to be easy to install, easy to use and also have a positive visual impact on the pages / posts that we want to add Social Media buttons to.
I started with the TechGasp plugin Social Master and Social Master Add On. It installed easily enough really with the exception that you really have to install 2 different plugins. The Social Master plugin which is really the framework with limited functionality and the Social Master Addons which really has the functionality / flexibility that we were looking for.
This is the facebook plugin. I really like the way you click on the share and it keeps and incremental numerical total of the page likes. I also like the pop up component of the share. It keeps me on the page and allows me to share. I can share it on my timeline, a friends timeline, a group or on a page I manage. I can even message it to someone. The first try to share actually shared the Facebook page and not the post so I had to dig a little deeper which didn’t get me anywhere so I posted a support ticket on the Tech Gasp website.
While waiting for a response I decided to plow on to the next one. Tech Gasp Twitter Social Media Share is pretty cool. It give the reader the option to “follow” your Twitter account and / Tweet about the post with a link back to the post. It also shows how many followers you have on twitter.While these are good features I was a little disappointed to se that it doesn’t show you how many people Tweeted this particular post.
The Google+ button is what I would have expected for the Facebook share. It gives me the pop up window that allows me to add my comment and post an except of the post. Easy to use and looks professional.
The Pinterest Button triggers a pop up that triggers a pop up that will allow you to pop this post to a Board on your Pinterest account. It takes an except from the post but will allow you to edit the except which can be helpful if you need to add context to the post in Pinterest.
The Instagram button is a bit of a mystery to me. It basically just opens up your Instagram page. OK, so what? It also takes you away from your site which is not recommended. So this one doesn’t work for me to share posts.
The youtube button I still have not been able to get working. They actually had good documentation and what you needed to add. Your youtube user ID or Channel ID. Neither which worked for me and you just get this
Shortcodes IN vs Short Codes UN
The buttons above were create with individual short codes. You create the short code and you can place that short code anywhere on the site. You can create this kind of short could with 1 or many different buttons.
The Universal Shortcodes will be applied across the site. They can be on pages and posts or you can limit them just to the posts. As in the individual short codes the universal short codes can have many different buttons configured to be on. You can also place the on the top or the bottom of the page / post.