WordPress Social Plugin
How do you know if an article you write is doing well on social media? In other words, do you know which of your articles have been shared on social media? If you’re a publisher, chances are you’re using WordPress and WordPress has no way of telling you whether your posts are being shared or not. We noticed this and we built a tool to assist us in determining which content pieces were working for our clients – the tool made a massive difference. Such a big difference that we decided to turn it into a free WordPress plugin to share it all with you.
Download it here for free or continue reading:
Long post, put some music on:
WordPress is a Power House!
There is little doubt that WordPress has become the most popular content management system on the Internet, powering 26% of the entire world wide web. Out of the content management systems available, WordPress has a 59.4% market share – Joomla follows in second place with just 2.7%, then Drupal with 2.2%, Magento with 1.3% and finally Blogger with 1.2%. During 2015, 660 million posts were published using WordPress, that works out to almost 2 million blog posts every single day last year if my math is correct. That’s a staggering amount of content being produced by people around the world. It also shows us how competitive the world wide web is becoming, writing something that attracts people is becoming increasingly difficult.
For interest sakes, open up Google and search for “wordpress”, look at these results:
And if you ever doubted WordPress, did you know that The New York Times, Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy, People Magazine, National Geographic and Forbes are all powered by WordPress.
How do I Compete?
The creation of content has become a marketing channel that any business that wants to succeed on the internet needs to use. If you’re not producing amazing content for your company, the opportunity cost is frightening. Tying that back to WordPress.. due to it’s easy installation, amazing support community, abundance of themes & plugins and ease of use, it’s become common practise for businesses to use it as their choice in publishing platforms.
Anyone who knows anything about search engine optimisation (SEO), will know the sheer importance of content. Just think of it like this.. Google is powered by content. For every piece of content you publish, you stand the chance of capturing another search result. Write 10 unique, useful and insightful blog posts and you’re effectively casting 10 sales nets out into the world wide web. Now, considering that almost 2 million blog posts were published on WordPress alone last year, when we say unique, useful and insightful blog posts, we really do mean that – your blog posts need to stand out and offer something that your readers will gain great value from, more value from the hundreds of thousands of other posts covering similar topics.
We’ve worked on hundreds of websites over the years and we’ve learnt that too many businesses are publishing content for the sake of publishing content, common questions always arise:
- How short can the posts be?
- Can we use content from another website?
- Do we have to blog often?
All of these questions are pointing to the fact that most businesses see content production as a task that they would rather avoid or at the very least, get out of the way as quickly as possible. To be honest, writing blog posts that are really short and aren’t useful, you may as well stop blogging altogether and use that time for something else because they aren’t going to get you anywhere.
The world wide web is scattered with case studies of how content is revolutionising online businesses, spend a few minutes searching and you’ll see what we mean.
How do you go about writing something that is unique, useful and insightful? Well that’s a whole topic in itself, but we can certainly tell you that you need to write something that isn’t just a few hundred words long, you need to craft something and the starting point is writing something of great length with lots of awesomeness.
What’s Great Length?
Last year two huge agencies teamed up, BuzzSumo and Moz. The aim of the duo was to analyse the shares and links of over 1 million articles to determine whether there was a correlation between shares and links, and the type of content being produced. The analysis brought forward a lot of amazing insight, however the one that stood out most and is in context with this is that 85% of content being published is less than 1,000 words:
That leaves 15% of the posts being over 1,000 words, but what influence did the length of the content have to do with the links and shares? This table tells the story best:
There is a direction correlation between links & shares and the length of content, favouring longer pieces of content.
Here is another study:
Social Media and SEO?
The next important matter to look at is that of the synergy that social media and SEO hold, or don’t hold. Matt Cutts, Google’s ex head of webspam and our public facing SEO man has stated a number of times that there isn’t a direct correlation between the number of shares a piece of content receives and the value gained from an SEO point of view.
Mark Traphagen (Senior Director of Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting) published an in depth piece where he steps through all of Matt Cutts’ comments on the topic and if you’re interested in getting really deep on this topic we would recommend the read. The tldr; isn’t very clear, there isn’t anything set in stone on the topic, but we’ve personally seen changes in rankings for pieces of content that receive a lot of attention on social media and so have others. We remain firm believers that for Google to truly rank content they will need to take social media into account because it is such a huge entity on the world wide web. If people are sharing your content, it’s clearly of interest and if it’s of interest then it surely would make sense for said content to appear with high visibility in the search results.
Here is the video:
Social Media and Website Traffic
Social media is possibly one of the easiest ways to get people to your website, you simply share a link and at least a few people will come to your website. On the flip side, having a WordPress plugin that allows someone to easily share an article is another way of amplifying the website’s reach through other people’s social circles. Social Warfare, Monarch, Simple Share Buttons Adder and many more plugins are available to assist you with placing buttons on your website that will allow your readers to easily share an article across the many social media platforms that exist.
Last year Forbes published that social media drives 31% of all visitors to websites. That’s an astonishing number considering that social media is still relatively new. Here is a graph we found to show you which social networks are driving the most traffic:
This data is from early in 2015, Pinterest will most certainly have grown and the power of YouTube and SEO has become increasing popular in driving excellent search results as well as great leads.
When you have a piece of content that gets shared on social media and starts to get shared further, this wave of viral-like action needs to be capitalised on. If you see a blog post starting to get great traction, it’s time to amplify it further – it justifies your time. Ensure that the post then gets shared on other social networks, update the post with more useful information and ride the wave as much as you can.
However, there’s a problem, WordPress doesn’t tell you how a website is performing on social networks. Right now you have to use third party software to determine which of your posts are getting shared and this software is usually quite expensive.
Let us introduce you to WordPress Social.
WordPress Social Plugin
WordPress Social is a free plugin that takes just a few seconds to install and set up. Once installed and set up, the plugin adds a new column to your posts list and indicates which of your posts are being shared on social media, thus allowing you to determine not only which posts are getting the most traction on social media, but which topics people are most interested in. Here’s a simple screen shot:
We’ve built this plugin with a lot of features, such as:
- Adjusting the frequency that your posts’ social scores are updated.
- Excel export functionality of all your posts with their social scores.
- Custom social scoring parameters.
We’ve tested the plugin on some massive websites, websites that receive hundreds of thousands of visitors a month and websites that plugin ten’s of posts every day. Our performance adjustments have allowed us to release the plugin knowing that it will put no strain on your website at all and will quietly run in the background.
The whole idea here is to add a missing piece of the puzzle to WordPress.
100% free: https://wordpress.org/plugins/imod-social/
We have a partnership with Elegant Themes and Warfare Plugins.