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

5 Weekly Tool and Technology Tips - Week 13
How to make your WordPress blog Pinterest Friendly

About the author

Ian Cleary

Author: Ian Cleary is the Founder of RazorSocial and is super passionate about helping people leverage tools and technology to improve effectiveness of your social media presence.

  • Lilach Bullock

    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?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Lilach, I’ve always had the side bar. On your posts at least you have the sharing at the start and at the end of your posts which is good. So not sure if it will increase with the side bar. Ian

    • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

      Hi Lilach, I was on your site on the other day and wondered why you are not using sharing buttons!

  • http://www.tylerjanderson.com/ Tyler Anderson

    Once again, great list of tools here Ian. I have never heard of Flare, but definitely plan on checkin that one out.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Tyler, I like Flare, it’s pretty cool!

      • http://www.tylerjanderson.com/ Tyler Anderson

        Yeah, I just installed it on the Scoreboard Social blog. I like in that it give social proof at the top, yet reminds people to share as they scroll throughout the article. Plus, if they haven’t shared your article by the time they finish, you can hit them up again with the widget at the bottom. Clean looking widget too!

        • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

          Cool, lets see how your sharing goes up!! We love a bit of action around here :-)

  • http://www.simplicityadmins.com/ Sarah Santacroce

    I’m also using Flare, because I had issues with Digg Digg on mobile devices. I just wish they had a ‘Facebook Share’ and not just ‘Like on Facebook’ button.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Sarah, you’re right that would be nice! Ian

  • http://CarlaJGardiner.com/ Carla J Gardiner

    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?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hi Carla, do you have it up and running now? Can you send me a link so I can take a look? Ian

      • http://CarlaJGardiner.com/ Carla J Gardiner

        Sure, thank you Ian. http://www.CarlaJGardiner.com

        • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

          Hey Carla, works perfect on my monitor. So the only way of fixing it would be adjusting the size of your website i.e. it only effects some monitors!

          • http://CarlaJGardiner.com/ Carla J Gardiner

            Thank you Ian. Appreciate the look see and confirmation that it works. Now to watch and see if interaction increases…

          • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

            Thanks Carla, find people in your niche and start interacting and sharing their content more and that will help with your shares. Also when you post something make sure you share out on all your social profiles so there is at least some shares already kicked off!! Ian

  • http://just-ask-kim.com/ Kimberly Castleberry

    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.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      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

      • http://just-ask-kim.com/ Kimberly Castleberry

        So did you go to their support forum on the WP site and make feature suggestions?

        • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

          Nope, but I guess I should (p.s. it’s very late for you, you must be having trouble sleeping!)

          • http://just-ask-kim.com/ Kimberly Castleberry

            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 :P

          • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

            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

          • http://just-ask-kim.com/ Kimberly Castleberry

            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

          • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

            Ok, thanks!! I’m on the case!

  • Nabiha Zeeshan

    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!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      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

  • http://www.spinxwebdesign.com/ Alan Smith

    I like to use share buttons top and bottom for easy sharing :)

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Yes that works Alan, saves people scrolling back up to the top of the post. Thanks for your feedback, Ian

  • venkyiyer58

    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?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      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!

      • venkyiyer58

        Yes, I see only half the width. The resolution is 1024 x 768

  • http://acooze.co/ Cameron Upshall

    What are great Article. Just installed the fair plugin on my site! Thanks !

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thanks Cameron, it looks good on your site. The share numbers take a bit of time before they start appearing (i..e a few hours)! All the best, Ian

  • http://thetecnica.com/ Devinder Maheshwari

    Awesome post. The problem which i now see with my own blog is that sharing buttons go invisible in mobile version.

    Nice post.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Thank you Devinder!

  • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

    I see you have Flare here.. is that your choice as the best option? Have you done/seen any test for results between any of these?

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      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

      • http://warrenwhitlock.com/social-media-expert Warren Whitlock

        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.

        • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

          Thank you Warren. I think DIGG DIGG is in maintenance mode. I don’t see any development other than bug fixing!
          Always great to have you stop by.
          Ian

          • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

            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!!!

          • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

            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!

  • http://www.wisestep.com/ WiseStep

    I agree with your view that social media plays an important role in increasing the traffic and status of blog.Thanks you for letting me know!!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      You’re welcome. Ian

  • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

    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!

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      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

  • Will Scott

    Which of these widgets (if any) are compatible with Blogger.com? They all seem to be limited to WordPress.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Hey Will, Unfortunately these are wordpress only! Ian

  • MalikaBourne

    I love, love, love the idea of Tweeting within the post.Will be checking this out in the AM.

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      Cool!!

  • krazzykoder

    Thanks. It helped alot :)

  • krazzykoder

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

  • amyjyoffie

    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

    • http://www.razorsocial.com/ Ian Cleary

      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

  • krazzykoder

    Liked ur post