You want your visitors to share your content with every single person they know, right? And in the digital age, otherwise known as the Age of Impatience, if they like the content and then only have to click once, maybe add a word or two, and click “send”, that’s reasonable. If they have to log on to their Twitter account (fine, it’s probably open), shorten your URL (that’s probably at least two clicks, if not a copy-paste or two), write a tweet and press send – they may not make it that far.
So we want to make it easy. Adding Facebook and Twitter Share buttons (and LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Digg, etc.) that are obvious, simple to use and even tell you how many times the post has been shared – is the solution.
But how do you add them easily and quickly? After all, we are living in the digital age, other known as…
The following few paragraphs are the story of how I found the information I’m about to share with you on adding easy Facebook and Twitter share buttons, and it contains a bonus ”How Do I SEO” tip hidden inside: if I see something I like on another site, how do I get it on my site? If you’re extremely impatie… efficient with your time, feel free to scroll down directly to the picture of the man pumping his hand in victory below.
About two months ago, I tried to put this type of Share buttons on our blog. I spent a few hours trying to work with the Tweetmeme buttons and place it on our blog posts, but I couldn’t get them to format on the site the way I wanted (apparently I needed more advanced web developer skills than I have – although that’s not saying a lot), so I put it on the back burner until I could ask someone with more programming experience.
Today I was inspired to try again by a blog post by Naomi Elbinger about how to get more readers for your blog posts. She recommended having the buttons so encourage your readers to share it… and thus draw more readers. I checked out what kind of share buttons Naomi had, and they looked neat and nicely formatted. Taking a look at the code for her blog post (right-click on the page and press “view page source”), I searched for “twitter” and pressed “next” in the find box until I got to what looked like code for a Twitter share button. I saw that the buttons came from a plugin called “Really Simple Share.”
(Yes, I know it’s cut off – but if I made it smaller you wouldn’t be able to read it.)
I put “really simple share twitter” into Google and one of the first results was a WordPress plugin page for a plugin called “Really Simple Share.” Yay – it’s a WordPress plugin and our site is built on WordPress – fantastic!
Go to your WordPress site admin dashboard.
You will get this screen:
You will get a screen telling you that the plugin has been installed. Click the “Activate Now” link.
Okay, that’s it, you’re done. Right?
Well, kind of. But unless your site is a series of blog posts, you could end up with some rather ugly things like this:
Oops. How do we get those off – and fast, before someone *sees* that page? (Yes, that went through my head.)
Follow me to part two! Don’t worry – it’s not hard, and we’re almost done.
Click again on “Plugins” on the side menu to get to the list of all the plugins on your site. Scroll down until you find “Really simple Facebook Twitter share buttons.” (Hint – the plugins are in alphabetical order.)
You will get the following settings screen:
Which Share Buttons:
I picked Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – but you pick whatever works for you.
What Pages to Show the Buttons On:
I put it just on our blog “single posts”, but at some point I might decide to put it on our pages also. (just not the homepage – definitely not the homepage…) Interesting point – the count seems to work retroactively, meaning it counts actual shares and not just those via the share button. This comes from the fact that when I had just put the buttons on, some appeared with numbers on.
Position of Buttons:
You might pick below if you think having the share immediately visible when the reader finished reading the post would encourage sharing, and you might pick above if you usually have a large number of shares and you want to give the visitor the impression that your post/page is really popular, to encourage them to read on. And you might pick both if you want both benefits.
There are a few other options about the appearance and size of the Facebook and Twitter button, but those are pretty self-explanatory, and the default options work pretty well.
[For anyone who wants more technical details about the plugin, this is the WordPress Plugin Page for Really Simple Share.]
That’s it. You’re done. Really. Go and enjoy your new share buttons. If you want to see how they look, take a peek below. And you can always try ours out, to make sure they work. :)