Jetpack by WordPress.com
Think of Jetpack as a supercharged plugin packed with various features to truly help you maximize your site’s potential. While many plugins may offer one simple, yet important piece of functionality, Jetpack offers a ton of them. As for the plugin’s social media perks, there’s a Twitter Widget that displays a users latest updates. The Gravatar Hovercards feature adds small popups in the comments section that give a sneak peek into user Gravatar profiles. Easier sharing is enabled through WP.me Shortlinks. Want to implement embedding functionality? Jetpack will do that so videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and Slideshare can be embedded with ease. Last, but not least, Jetpack also gives users the power to share your posts via social networks or email.
Sometimes a visitor may stumble upon your site and wish to comment on one of your posts. Having to register to do so may discourage them altogether, causing a possible loss of a loyal follower. With the Social Connect plugin, you can make the login and registration processes much easier thanks to the integration of social networking credentials. Instead of having to go through a tedious registration just for your site, a visitor can use their credentials from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, or their WordPress.com account to log in and comment. Social Connect intelligently adds its login buttons to the login, register, and comment areas of your site via icons that represent different services. After your user logs in, they can begin participating via comments and start generating conversation with others.
SEO Facebook Comment
The SEO Facebook Comment plugin offers two basic advantages for your WordPress site. First, it integrates Facebook commenting. Second, it helps boost SEO. This is all accomplished with minimal resource usage, so you can take any extra loads off your server and maintain solid performance. The plugin is easy to install and configure as well.
By placing a Facebook comment form at the end of your posts, SEO Facebook Comment makes it easy for visitors to leave feedback without having to register for your site or perform any other tedious logins. In addition, the plugin looks for any other Facebook comments existing on your site and adds them to the WordPress Database. Doing this helps SEO by avoiding typical embedded iframes associated with Facebook comment forms that Google cannot read.
Tweet Old Posts
Facebook may be the social networking king, but Twitter is certainly picking up steam as well, and it’s a great tool to help drive visitors to your WordPress site. Tweet Old Posts is a plugin that does exactly what its name implies – it Tweets your old posts. Of course, you could always tweet the posts manually, but why do that when this plugin can do all the work for you? Best of all, it comes with plenty of configuration options that you can tweak to fit your needs.
Once you set a specific interval, Tweet Your Post will randomly pick an older post and tweet it. This comes in handy if you created a Twitter profile to promote your site, but your site has already been up and running for a while. With the plugin, you can now promote your older posts and get even more traffic. As for the aforementioned configuration options, you can exclude certain posts, select how many tweets you want to post at once, create priorities, and more. There’s also an option for posting to Facebook and Google+ to really give you a well rounded social networking presence.
Described as an “all in one social bookmarking plugin”, WP Socializer handles the task of inserting social bookmarking buttons into your site. The strength of the plugin comes from the fact that it supports over 100 social bookmarking buttons, so if you want to add functionality from more sites than just the popular ones, you are covered. Addthis and Sharethis buttons are included, and you can customize the look by choosing 16px or 32px button sizes. You get plenty of flexibility to tweak the plugin’s look thanks to its variety of eight different social and sharing button designs. Existing templates makes it easy to add buttons quickly so you can move on to more important tasks.
Simple Twitter Connect
Focusing on Twitter to drive traffic to your site is a smart idea, and one way to integrate the social network into your site is through the Simple Twitter Connect plugin. In actuality, the plugin’s creators call it a “series of plugins” that allow you to incorporate various Twitter functions with ease. The plugin is highly customizable and comes via minimal code.
Installing Simple Twitter Connect places basic Twitter functionality on your site. After that, you can proceed to add on more mini plugins to maximize Twitter usage. As for the mini plugins themselves, they offer the ability to log into a site using Twitter, comment using their Twitter identities, plus tweet the comments automatically to show others their activity. That’s just a sampling of what Simple Twitter Connect can do, so if you want to integrate Twitter the right way, you can’t go wrong with this plugin.
Tracking where your traffic comes from is extremely important, as it allows you to see which avenues are really worth your time. Social Metrics is a WordPress plugin that lets you track how your content is shared across the major social networks to pinpoint what is working and what isn’t. Lightweight and easy to use, Social Metrics gives you a visual overview of the exact number of times a post or page has been shared. By seeing this information in a comparative format, you can decide which social network to focus on the most.