Social Media Buttons

A great way, perhaps the best way, to get your content noticed and generate more traffic to your site is to use the power of the social networking sites. First, you have to have good, interesting content on your site. But, unlike Field of Dreams, if you built it, they will not necessarily come. You have to advertise. Of course, an ambitious and loyal visitor may take the link to your content and submit it to the Internet at large, but why not make it even easier?

Adding social media buttons to your WordPress site makes it easy for readers to include your content in their rankings, ratings or aggregations, whether through the nerd-core Technorati or the more mainstream Digg. Getting consumers to share their preferences and point back to your content is the core idea of the "long tail'' of content; without recommendations from similarly like-minded people, your content never gets discovered. This is true for music, movies, or blogs.

The Sociable plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sociable/ and http://yoast.com/ wordpress/sociable/) currently maintained by Joost de Valk does just this. The Sociable plugin supports links to nearly 100 different social networking sites for your visitors to share your content. This plugin is very configurable and has a great admin control panel. You can configure which sites are enabled for sharing, allowing you to tailor it for your audience or just your own preferences. There are also several options for controlling the placement of the social networking icons on your site as well as some additional styling options.

The default options provide a nice Share and Enjoy snippet at the bottom of each post as shown in Figure 9-1.

Most admirable about this plugin is the simplicity. Out of the box, it just works, and it works as advertised. Visitors can read some of your great content and decide to share it on Digg. All they have to do is click the Digg icon and log in to Digg. It is that simple.

However, there are really two sides to this topic. One is taking your content and spreading it out to the social networks, such as Slashdot, Digg, or Reddit — which is what the Sociable plugin does. The other is linking to your own personal profiles on these sites from your own site.

Linking to your social networking profiles from your own site reinforces the idea of using your site as the hub. It validates your profiles as being truly you and representative of your online voice. Connecting these profiles together is a double-edged sword because not only does it certify your profiles and solidify your online reputation, but it also links profiles from separate audiences together. It is a choice you will have to make, which is pretty much the caution expressed throughout this entire chapter.

Validating your community profiles is a great thing if you are using your online presence for a professional endeavor. It's advertising how involved you are and in what capacities. Affirming your identities from your main site is like a trust system. This takes some doubt from your visitor and you do not have to deal with Twitter "Verified Accounts'' or changing your name to the @theRealDavidDamstra Honest.

You can link to your profiles pretty easily by editing the template files or using an HTML widget. In general, these links do not change very often, if at all. Nevertheless, some nice plugins handle all the hard work for you.

For example, the Social Media Page plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/social-media-page/ or http://www.norton42.org.uk/294-social-media-page-plugin-for-wordpress.html) by Philip Norton supports more than 100 social media sites. Once installed, all you have to do is fill in your username information and the links are built for you. You can then use the plugin's smart tag in a post or page or a widget to show the links. Figure 9-2 shows an example of the widget.

Making a social media page is pretty easy. Create a new page. It can be titled anything you want. In the content editor, switch to the HTML view; this step is critical. Then in content, simply use:

This smart tag will be replaced by links to all of your enabled social media networks. It is a nice way to centralize all your online presences into one easy-to-manage page.

Many plugins can achieve similar results. Check them out and make your own evaluation.

Make Money Messing Around On Facebook

Make Money Messing Around On Facebook

In this short guide you are going to learn exactly how you can start earning money in as little as 24 hours, doing the things that you already do on Facebook! Did you know that social media has become one of the biggest drivers of sales and new customers for businesses? Companies that used to spend millions of dollars on radio advertising, TV commercials and billboard signs, are now shifting huge chunks of their marketing budgets to social media sites like Facebook.

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