If you are a WordPress website owner you should definitely have a Facebook page too.
Having a Facebook page with an audience you are growing opens you up to the potential of tons of free traffic by getting your content liked and shared.
To grow your Facebook fan page with free likes install a Facebook Page Plugin (like the one we have for fbAdvance in the top right) into your WordPress website.
Even if you don’t have a fan page you can tap into Facebook’s traffic sending capabilities when you make it easy for your website visitors to share your posts and pages on Facebook.
This is done when you add social media sharing buttons into every page you want people sharing.
I recommend implementing social media plugins for WordPress to achieve this.
The three social media sharing plugins I use and recommend are:
- AddThis Smart Layers
- Floating Social Bar
- Yoast SEO
I also reveal a free tool from Facebook that updates the information they are displaying from your website.
All plugins reviewed in this blog post are free to download and use in your self-hosted WordPress blog.
Shareaholic is a well designed plugin that also has the ability to enable a Related & Promoted Content widget into the bottom of all of your posts.
I prefer to just use the Share Buttons feature of Shareaholic.
As you can see from the screen capture below you can choose what types of pages you feature the Shareaholic share buttons on.
The red arrows in the image above were added by me and are the two post types I recommend you enable.
If you want your homepage to feature Shareaholic share buttons select “Index” as well.
When you click one of the “Customize” buttons the customization screen below appears.
The order of the buttons and how many buttons are used can be customized and I recommend putting the Facebook share button closest to the arrow.
You can even change the headline. My favorite is “Share and Enjoy!”
2. AddThis Smart Layers
AddThis Smart Layers is the name of the plugin responsible for the share buttons on the left that follow you as you scroll down the page.
These share buttons are one of four features offered by the plugin, and although the other features are decent I use the share feature only on this blog.
Below the WYSIWYG editor where you can select the side of your blog these buttons show on and how many buttons display.
With the custom API configuration you can get more ninja and specify which social media services you want to feature.
I used the custom API mode of this plugin on fbPower to feature just a floating Facebook share button and nothing else.
All and all I think this is a powerful plugin that I think more people should be using to get more social media shares.
3. Floating Social Bar
Floating social bar is a simple bar of social media share buttons that displays at the top of your posts or pages.
As it’s name suggests the social sharing bar will float and follow you as you scroll down the page.
Since I have a Hello Bar that floats at the top of the page already I have the float feature disabled and these buttons stay stationary.
Customizing the buttons you want to feature is easy, you simply drag the buttons you want into the featured section and click “Save.”
Make Sure You Optimize Your WordPress Featured Image For Facebook
Your Featured Image is the image Facebook scrapes to display when someone shares your post on Facebook, so make sure it is a good one.
I recommend using a resolution of at least 600 x 600.
If your featured image is 200 pixels or less it will display the default image for your site (if you have one set).
Keep in mind, especially with square images, that Facebook only displays the middle of your content on many devices.
Make sure if you have text in your image that it in the middle of your image.
The white band in the image below shows the section of a square image that will display on most computers using Facebook.
To ensure your website displays properly in Facebook I recommend testing all posts you publish.
The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress gives you control over how the default settings for how your site will appear in Facebook.
The plugin helps to pre-populate share data for other social media sites as well.
Social SEO: Control How Your Website Previews on Facebook
Using the Yoast plugin you can specify the default settings for when your site is shared on Facebook.
Below is the Facebook tab from within the “Social” section of the Yoast SEO plugin.
Whenever you publish a new post you should click a Facebook share button to make sure the share preview is displaying properly.
A common error is when the share image is not displaying properly.
If you encounter this issue you can update your featured image then get Facebook to display this new image instead using the Facebook debugger too.
Fix Share Images With The Facebook Debugger Tool
The Facebook object debugger is a tool that is used to update Facebook with new information about one of your web pages or blog posts.
If the share image for one of your posts is not showing up update your Featured Image for that post in WordPress and then update your post.
The Facebook debugger tools is actually a scraper and scrapes the page you enter into it for information.
Enter a URL into the debugger tool and click Debug.
From there you can click the “Fetch New Scrape Information” button to do just that.
Now Facebook will display the proper image and meta data when your content is shared on Facebook.
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