The Best Social Media Plugins For WordPress

Social media has become a very important and vital element for all kinds of online marketing strategies. Brands, small businesses and even bloggers now recognize the need for social engagement. This is why we find social media share buttons on almost all online platforms; apps, mobile games, blogs, eCommerce sites and almost every other platform you can think of.

As a WordPress user you can easily utilize these social buttons on your website by simply selecting one out of the several social media plugins available for WordPress. One would think the task of selecting a social plugin for a WordPress site would be an easy one, but for some reason there is no perfect social plugin out there. Some of us need beautiful buttons that match the design of our site, while for others it is all about functionality. It doesn’t end there, some people prefer social plugins that will not slow down the site while some of us want the social plugin to use a URL shortener.

I have selected and explored five popular WordPress social sharing plugins so as to help you select a suitable WordPress social media plugin to use on your site.

1. Monarch

Monarch is a new solution to social sharing on WordPress. The plugin was created by ElegantThemes and it is already gaining traction. Monarch is easily one of the best WordPress social plugins available and one should expect that as it is a premium WordPress plugin. I have personally tested and reviewed this plugin and it might just be the perfect WordPress social media plugin.

Buttons

Monarch has options to select and display almost all relevant social sharing buttons.

Customization

Monarch is easy to customize, thanks to its user-friendly dashboard. You can select and combine five different placement options and add a social follow widget among other things.

URL Shortener

No

Twitter Mention

Yes (via @username)

Placement Options

  • Sidebar
  • Inline
  • Pop Up
  • Fly In
  • Media

Speed

Monarch is a fast plugin, it is coded to the highest standards and it is surprisingly light on page load.

2. Digg Digg

Digg Digg is a versatile WordPress plugin by Buffer that helps you share your content on various social networking sites and bookmarking sites. It can be easily used with Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Buffer, Twitter, Resist, and Pinterest.

Buttons

Digg Digg can display almost all popular social sharing buttons you can think of.

Customization

Digg Digg is easy to customize and it comes with four menu configurations; Global config (General settings), Normal display (enable, select, and configure buttons for the normal display), Floating display (enable, select, and configure buttons for the floating sidebar) and Manual placement.

URL Shortener

No

Twitter Mention

Yes (via @username)

Placement options

  • Floating Bar
  • Normal Bar with Large Buttons at Top
  • Normal Bar with Large Buttons at Bottom
  • Normal Bar with Small Buttons at Top

Speed

It did not have any significant impact on site speed when I enabled Lazy Loading. Disabling button count can also reduce impact on page load.

3. Shareaholic

As the name suggests, this WordPress plugin makes sharing easier for you. It helps you share your content on social media. Shareaholic also provides you with unique features and stylish buttons that let the users share your content easily. Also, it comes with recommendations & a Related Content tool, as well as Classic Bookmarks.

Buttons

Shareaholic offers buttons for all the social networks you need and even those you have never heard off.

Customization

Shareaholic is very interactive and easy to customize.  It comes with a visual popup that guides you through every setting you need to get the plugin running. It has two admin bar sub-menus: App Manager and Advanced settings. App manager offers you customization options to select button types (with count/without count) and related post options.

URL Shortener

Yes (Click edit general settings, it is on the right of the app manager screen)

Twitter Mention

Yes (via @username)

Placement options

  • Above Content (Horizontal/vertical)
  • Below Content Horizontal/vertical)
  • Floating Bar (Can be enabled on the shareaholic page)

Speed

Had minimal impact on page load speed, page loaded under 1 second.

4. Socialize

Socialize helps you with an easy way to add actionable social sharing buttons on your website. You can post your content in a ‘Call to Action’ box. Socialize has 12 sharing buttons and can also be integrated with Bit.ly.

Buttons

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Google +1
  • Pinterest
  • Sphinn
  • Dzone
  • StumbleUpon
  • Delicious
  • Buffer
  • Pocket

Customization

Socialize is very easy to customize. You can select buttons, where you want to display them, you can integrate with bit.ly and add a twitter username.

URL Shortener

Yes (Bit.ly integration)

Twitter Mention

Yes (via @username)

Placement options

  • Above Content
  • Below Content (Call to action bar)
  • Floating Bar

Speed

Decent load speed

5. Slick Social Share Buttons

This is one of the most popular social plugins for WordPress. It is very easy to install and allows you to install a button panel on your website that can either slide or float on the screen. If you wish to customize its style or want to set its location or set its animation speed, you can easily do so.

Buttons

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +1
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • Buffer
  • Pin It

Customization

Customizing Slick Social Share is very easy and straight forward. Simply click on the social buttons tab on the dashboard sidebar and customize the plugin to suit your taste. You can select a floating option or slide out option, type of buttons, integration, twitter username, facebook app ID, pinterest default image and some other options.

URL Shortener

Yes

Twitter Mention

Yes (via @username)

Placement options

  • Top Left
  • Top Right
  • Bottom Left
  • Bottom Right
  • Left
  • Right

Speed

Didn’t have any significant impact on page load speed

6. Share Buttons by AddToAny

It offers support in 19 languages and is made for 100 social sites. It is amongst the most popular plugins for WordPress and has over 3 million downloads. The best part about AddToAny share button is it can be easily customized and supports interactive clicks as well as shares. This includes a ‘tweet’ button for twitter, Facebook likes, ‘pin it’ for Pinterest and much more. The email buttons are integrated with email services such as Yahoo mail, Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, and so on. You can also customize the position and the appearance of the AddToAny share bar.

Buttons

Almost all share buttons available.

Customization

Easy to customize, has minimal settings. It offers a floating bar and a standard placement option, you can select your buttons from a large list of services and select where you want to integrate them.

URL Shortener

No

Twitter Mention

No

Placement options

  • Top
  • Bottom
  • Top and Bottom
  • Floating Bar

Speed

No major impact on page load speed.

The definition of best social media plugin varies from user to user. For Don Caprio, the best social plugin must not depend on external resources to work and it should have no JavaScript stored on the server. He couldn’t find one so he wrote and published his own plugin – DC Simple Share Buttons.

For me, the best WordPress social plugin must support integration with a URL Shortener and it must not slow my site down. 

What is your definition of best social media plugin for WordPress?

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