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⚠️ Update. This plugin has had a great run, no doubt about that! However, at this stage, I need to officially retire it. There are better solutions than it in the market right now, and I can’t reliably devote time to supporting the plugin at this time.
If you have a website, which you do, then you obviously need some social media share buttons.
But what if the buttons you currently use display all zeros? Like this:
There are probably very few things that are worse for your social proof than showing such numbers.
I guess this will sound quite obvious, but we’d surely wish to see this on our social media counters instead:
In fact, let’s just tell it like it is:
For new and up-and-coming sites, showing counters on social media buttons is negative social proof.
Now, you might be thinking that we all go through the low-numbers phase – that we all have to see those zeros before we can see 10s … 100s … 1000s (maybe).
So, do we?
Today, I want to give you the best quick fix I can think of.
I’ve developed a plugin that solves this problem.
Three of its main benefits are:
- It’s meant for new and up-and-coming sites.
- It gives you social proof you can leverage.
- It doesn’t give you negative social proof.
Introducing the Social Share Starter
In a sentence, it’s a social media buttons plugin. And while it may seem like the others, it’s not.
The two main features it offers:
(1) instead of showing an individual share number for each service, it shows a cumulative number for all of them.
(2) it allows you to set the minimal displayed number of shares.
By the way. Showing a cumulative number is a trend online, and we might as well just follow it.
Here’s what Pat Flynn does on his site:
Here’s what’s going on at Mashable:
Now, back to my plugin.
Here’s what the settings page looks like. All settings are optional:
Two examples of the usage:
Example #1: A page with a nice number of shares
If you go to my Sylvester Stallone post on this site, you’ll see the total number of shares, currently it’s 264:
But, when you put it through a popularity checker, you’ll see that the numbers are a bit less impressive from a service-by-service point of view:
Currently, I have 98 likes, 50 shares, 40 comments (Facebook), 18 Tweets, 54 LinkedIn’s, and 4 G+ actions. Together, though, they look great – 264.
So the plugin showcases nice social proof when it has the possibility to do so.
Example #2: A page that’s slightly less popular
Here’s the plugin in action on one of my older posts:
As you can see, there’s no negative social proof. Only the buttons are displayed without the counter.
I’ve been getting some great feedback about this plugin, so I was forced to speed up the development a bit. Long story short, there’s been a big update and now the plugin has one more cool functionality – a shortcode.
Here’s what the shortcode looks like:
Nothing fancy, right? Maybe at first sight, but what this shortcode does is it allows you to place the social media buttons wherever you wish. This includes:
In case you want to add another block of buttons in a specific place within your post.
I purposefully didn’t include any automatic placement for pages in the first version of the plugin. That’s because you don’t always want these buttons everywhere. For instance, my main email subscription page doesn’t have the buttons. The reason is simple, I don’t want people getting distracted, I just want them to subscribe.
But a shortcode is a great alternative. With it, you can selectively pick where exactly you want the buttons to appear on your pages.
Custom landing pages, custom post types, custom home pages, etc.
Basically, the shortcode works everywhere you need it to work.
The plugin is free
This is the first phase of its release, so I want to get it out to you and let you reap some of its benefits first before I release it to the official WordPress plugin directory.
How to get it?
If you’re reading this on the blog then all you need to do is tell me where I should send you the plugin.
If you’ve come here through the newsletter then you already have the direct link to the plugin in the same email message.
I need your feedback on this.
If you like to share your experience with the plugin, don’t hesitate to reach me through the contact form on this site.