How to encourage blog visitors to share blog posts

7 Powerful ways to get blog posts shared on social media

social sharingMore Sharing means more traffic to your site.

Do you want to increase the number of shares on your site?  Do you want to encourage sharing from a mobile device?

We reviewed our site and took a look at what other people are doing to increase sharing.

1.  Display a Floating Widget to the left

As you scroll through a blog post it’s useful if the sharing options are still visible.

Digg Digg is a popular social sharing widget that supports this.

On Buffer App’s website you can see they use Digg Digg.  As you scroll through the post the sharing side bar moves with you.

 

social sharing buffer
The sharing option is always available

 

One problem with Digg Digg is that this bar doesn’t work particularly well on a mobile device.  When we used Digg Digg this is how it appeared on a Samsung mobile device.

 

Digg Digg Mobile
On a mobile device it’s difficult to see the sharing options

 

2.  Display a Floating Widget on top

You can display the widget so it appears up top and is always available when you scroll.  Syed Balkhi from wpbeginner has just released a social sharing widget which is fast to download and display and can be placed on top of your posts.

 

wpbeginner social share plugin
This sharing option is always available

As you move down the post this sharing option is always available.

3.  Display a floating toolbar on the side and on top

My friend Donna from Socially Sorted uses a plugin called Flare on her site which is quite similar to Digg Digg.  One big advantage is that as well displaying the widget on the left you can also display it on top of your posts.

When you view it on mobile the sharing bar on the left doesn’t appear but that’s fine because the one on top will!

 

socially sorted
Sharing works fine on a mobile device

 

 4.  Display Sharing at the bottom of a post

At the end of a post could be good place to encourage sharing and there are a couple of options.  Here is a plugin called Socialize which is used by guys over at SkyHiT Blog.

 

At the end of a post is a good place to encourage sharing
At the end of a post is a good place to encourage sharing

 

Another option is using a plugin such as Optinskin.  Flare also supports links at the end of a post also.

 5.  Display sharing options within the post

On Derek Halpern’s Social Triggers site you see that sometimes he uses click to tweet within his posts.  When there is a useful quote or piece of information within the post users can click a button to tweet it out.   When you click on this link you are brought back to the post.

 

Click to tweet
Click the button to tweet out the quote

 

6. Use a popup

You can also use a popup box which encourages you to tweet, share on Facebook etc.  Popup’s can be quite obtrusive so you need to be careful and ensure they don’t annoy your visitors.

 

7.  Give users some option for sharing

When you do decide which sharing method make sure to give people a couple of options (twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc).  The only thing to consider is that too many options can also lead to less sharing.

Neil Patel from Quicksprout only provides 3 options (Facebook, Twitter and Google +) as he found he gets more shares with less options.

So it’s important to give some options but not too much!

 

Final Comments

There are many ways to encourage blog visitors to share blog posts.  One key thing is to make sure it’s easy to share and it’s visible as users scroll.

What works for you to encourage sharing?  Will you check out any of the above tools we discussed?

 

photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa via photopin cc

53 Responses to 7 Powerful ways to get blog posts shared on social media

  1. Great post Ian. Everyone wants more shares 🙂

    I like your side sharing bar, I must admit I’m currently not using one but am thinking of adding it – have you found it’s helped increase your shares?

  2. Thank you for the indepth explanation of the various sharing tools. I’m going to give the sidebar floating widget a try…only issue I have with it is on my desktop monitor I can’t always see it nor access the buttons to share. What would you recommend in a case like this?

  3. I’m glad you pointed out the issue with the floating sharebar in digg digg. Unfortunately, that floating issue presents itself in most of the major plugins and has to do with how they connect to the outside of the content container.

    • Thanks Kim, DiggDigg appear to be just doing maintenance work on the plugin and not enhancing functionality. At least with Flare you have an alternative option to encourage sharing on a mobile device. Thanks for stopping by! Ian

          • I’m a night owl, chronically! I may be part vampire 😉

            It would be great if you dropped in and left them some suggestions though. We often forget that we are actually obligated to do OUR part for all of these GPL class plugins we use.

            Often it’s easy to cast theories and such about what they are or aren’t doing but not easy to get constructive feedback to where they need to go 🙂

            Besides, I don’t mind stalking your blog 😛

          • I love blog stalkers! You’re right, I do provide honest feedback directly to developers that I’m in contact with but I don’t add in suggestions on the forums. I’ll start doing that, thanks! Ian

          • It’s tricky with suggestions because often they look like they get ignored. Yet developers almost always copy paste all of them into a notebook and look for ones that keep showing up and use those for roadmapping a plugin. So don’t feel disappointed (on any GPL plugin) if you don’t get a lot of feedback on a suggestion – it’s still an important thing for the community! <3

  4. I wouldn’t appreciate a pop up of I was a visitor on my own blog so no no to that but the rest of the options you’ve talked about are definitely worth it. LinkedIn needs to improve social sharing toolbars as well. Right now they display it at the top which means once you’re done reading and are ready to share, you then have to scroll all the way to the top! I hope they read this post!

    • thanks Nabiha, I agree with you. You need to make sharing very easy and getting people to scroll back up to the top is not really going to happen!!! Thanks for your feedback, Ian

  5. On my desktop, I am only able to see about half of your widget on the left. Would that because of a problem with my monitor or with the plugin? I am not sure how long it has been since you switched from Digg Digg to Flare, but would you say it was worth it?

    • I only switched a couple of days ago! My main reason is that now people can access the sharing on mobile device. Can you try http://www.jonloomer.com to see if it’s the same issue as he has flare also.
      I assume when you say you only see half that you see the full length of the it but only half of the width? What resolution is your monitor? Thanks for your feedback!

    • Hey Warren, I’m testing out Flare at the moment and do really like it. The problem with Digg Digg is that the side bar doesn’t appear on a mobile device. It doesn’t appear for Flare either but at least with Flare you can put it at the top and bottom of the posts.

      If you want something that loads the quickest then Syed Balkhi’s plugin mentioned above will be the best because he knows WordPress better than anyone and goes for quality all the time. But Flare currently supports more options and I like having sharing appear as you scroll down the page!

      Thanks for your feedback Warren,
      Ian

      • that’s pretty much what I’ve seen. At one point, I searched quite a bit for anyone working on this and couldn’t find even a mention of the DIGG DIGG problem. Support query to them went unanswered, so I tried flare.

        This is the first post I’ve seen that covered it… Way to go on getting out front on something important.

          • You are right, they are. Digg Digg is owned by the Buffer Boys and they are so busy with Buffer I think Digg Digg has not had a lot of extra development thrown into it – which is a shame as it was one of the best out there (at least potential wise). You would think there would be more options coming out that are sexy (it’s important!) and have great functionality!…c’mon developers!!!

          • It’s a shame they didn’t do anything with Digg Digg. Maybe they are working on a completely replacement that is way cooler than anything out there. We’ll see!

  6. Hey Ian – thanks for the mention re Flare! I do love the Flare plugin. I am hanging out to see what they do with their updates as they recently did an update that upset a lot of people and they are apparently rethinking their idea, in that they automatically added an extra “button” in the update that was purple and basically was a link to their products. This was like forced advertising when people hadn’t “opted in for it. Their ratings went from multiple 5 start to the opposite as people changed their ratings, so they listened pretty quickly! We all provided feedback that we loved Flare but adding a marketing button without warning was not cool. I just reloaded the previous version of Flare to remove it and I am now waiting to see what they do – it is quite possible that they have removed it by now as they advised they would be.

    Also, there is apparently a way that you can get the code changed so that it is says Shares instead of Flares (just a wording change in the code) – I haven’t done that yet. Lewis Howes, you, Nikki Parkinson from Styling You and a bunch of other top bloggers are using it, and i think people are getting used to the “flares” idea (again, a small marketing ploy on their part – ha ha). But overall I like the look and feel of it. I was finding Digg Digg a little buggy (but still love it) but so far I am sticking with Flare!

    • Thanks Donna, I seen your comment on this and when I uploaded the latest version of Flare it had an option to switch that off. So they listened!!! I seen that the Postplanner guys changed Flare to Share which is probably a good idea!!! Thanks for your feedback, I’ll get the developers on the case. Ian

  7. know how fast you type by running this java code : kodingexamples.blogspot.com/2014/03/calculate-tying-speed-using-java-code.html

  8. Very helpful, Ian. I have social media on the side bar (large icons), but no counts. Do the counts matter? I fear there will not be a lot of people clicking on the icons yet. I’d love to know if you think they are comparable to using a sidebar. Thanks1

    • Counts are social proof that shows people that the post is popular. It’s negative social proof if the counts are very low but useful when you can share some reasonable amount of shares on the post. Ian

Leave a reply

476 Shares