We’ve all been there right? Seen or read a great piece of content online that we wanted to share with other people but weren’t able to because the website publisher hadn’t added share buttons.
Did you end up doing what I do sometimes? Copy the URL and paste it into different networks (including email) by hand? Gets old fast, and often I’ll just give up rather than make that effort. (Please don’t judge me…!)
So sadly, those publishers miss out on the opportunity for their content to be seen by a wider audience, for the sake of a few minutes invested in setting up the WordPress plugin.
How to do it
As amazing as WordPress is, out of the box it doesn’t come with the ability to share content with your social networks via Twitter, Google+, Facebook, even by email. But it isn’t a very hard thing to fix.
There’s any number of plugins available at wordpress.org that will allow you to add the ability to share your content. On this site we use ShareThis. Not only is it one of the best WordPress sharing plugins out there, it also works very well on our mobile site.
With smartphone usage increasing almost daily, having a website that works on a mobile phone is very important. Make sure you test all your plugins and your website design on a mobile phone every time you add something new.
And now back to the installation of ShareThis!
The installation is extremely easy for such a powerful tool:
- From your Dashboard select Plugins / Add New
- Search for ShareThis – it is written by “ShareThis” and should have well over 1 million downloads. There is a similar product called Share This (note the space) but it is not the plugin we are after, don’t be fooled!
- Click on Install Now and once it has finished installing click on Activate Now
- The setup options are available under Settings / ShareThis. We’ve chosen the following but feel free to amend as necessary. The great thing about having control over your own website is that you can make decisions almost on the fly, see how they work out and change them if you don’t like them. Not something you can do on a ‘rented’ property.
- Regular buttons – just because they look good on our site.
- Only selected Google +1. Our work doesn’t lend itself to Pinterest but if you have a visually based business then this is something you should select. And I’d rather people shared items on Facebook (which is a default option) rather than simply ‘liking’ it on our site.
- Stuck with the default of “Multi-Post”.
- Registered with ShareThis (free) to take advantage of their additional reporting abilities.
- Changed the option to automatically add ShareThis to pages to “No.” As pages are generally static pieces of content covering your location or company profile they’re usually not the most share-worthy of content.
And that is it – you’re all done now. By installing this plugin you have easily added the ability for your visitors to share your content.
The question now is will they? But that is a question for another time!