The WordPress community consists of thousands of software developers who create free software for your blog, called plugins. And there are hundreds of social media plugins, designed to display your Twitter friends, pull in your Delicious tags or even import comments on a Facebook Note back into the blog post.
Don’t go crazy with plugins
A word of caution with plugins. If you’re like me, you want to add the latest shiny plugin to your blog. And before you know it, your blog looks like downtown Tokyo.
Two problems with adding too many plugins:
- You could drive away visitors who get blinded by an abundance of shiny objects.
- Too many plugins can cause performance issues on your site.
The good news about plugins is that you can try them out for free, and deactivate them if you run into any problems. The important thing is to focus on your blog strategy and not the latest cool gadget.
Mission Critical Social Media Plug-Ins For Your Blog
I used the word “mission critical” not to get your attention (well maybe just a little bit), but to point out several plugins that are important and why you should consider using them.
- TweetMeme – Guy Kawasaki loves this plugin because let’s people easily “spread the word about your websites and blogs“. This plugin also allows you to collect stats on how people are tweeting about your blog posts. Why mission critical? Because how people tweet about your content informs your content strategy.
- AddThis – This lets folks bookmark your post on pretty much any social media site. This plugin is critical to help you see how people share your content (which sites they’re sharing on, which posts are shared the most…). Social Bookmarks, Sociable (100+ different social bookmarking sites), ShareThis, SexyBookmarks are also great bookmarking plugins, but don’t have the reporting that AddThis does. Why mission critical? Because you need to be active on the sites where your content is being shared.
- WPtouch iPhone Theme – This plugin turns your blog into an iPhone application-style theme when viewed from an iPhone, iPod touch, Android or BlackBerry touch mobile device. Why mission critical? Because more and more of your readers will be reading your blog on their smart phones.
Other Social Media Plugins I Use
Below are a few other plugins I use to make my blog more social.
- Posterize – Sends an email to Posterous that will link to your post.
- Shorten2Ping – Allows you to update status at Ping.fm or Twitter (only) whenever a new blog entry is published.
- AWeber Integration – Provides a simple way to add one or more AWeber forms to your sidebar and optionally enable AWeber email web analytics for your website.
These are plugins that I’m using, but chances are I’m missing some good ones. What social media plugins are you using? Why? Please share in the comments.
Other great posts about social media plugins:
- 30+ Plugins to Make Your WordPress Blog More Social
- Top 7 WordPress Social Media Plugins
- Top 35 Plugins of WordPress to Share Your Blog Post
- Your Go-To Guide of WordPress Plugins
- The Top 111 WordPress Plugins
Finally, ask other bloggers you trust what plugins they use. And again, don’t be afraid to scale back the number of plugins you use.