With 1,230,000,000 active users, Facebook, the largest social network is not something you should be ignoring in your blogging endeavors. Taking advantage of its huge userbase doesn’t have to be hard though, if WordPress is your CMS. It’s simple to automate increasing your following and growing your brand presence on Facebook with a selection of different plugins and scripts.

Here’s a look at how to make WP and FB work seamlessly together.

Integrating Facebook with Blog Comments

Humans are inherently lazy (don’t try to deny it). That’s why shortening the steps necessary to get people to do something you want increases conversions (or in this case, comments). Integrating Facebook with your blog comments allow people to straightaway add their thought without having to go to the trouble of filling out their name and e-mail address (provided that they are signed into Facebook).

Facebook Comments By Alex Moss

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This plugin is a simple, pain-free way to integrate Facebook with your blog comments. Install and activate it, and you’ll get a new notification in your dashboard telling you to create your Facebook app ID.

To do this, you’ll have to register as a Facebook developer and create an app (takes approximately thirty seconds). On the information page at the end of the process, you’ll see an alphanumeric string of text called your “app ID”. Copy/paste it into the provided box, save changes, and you are ready to go.

Facebook Comments also allows you to add multiple moderators for the comments. If you’re ready to customize, then you can change the language, color scheme, width in pixels, and more.

Careful, though — Facebook comments aren’t there to stay. If you change to a new plugin or revert back to ‘normal’ comments, then you will lose all the comments you’ve racked up.

Automating WordPress-to-Facebook Updates

Although automating your social media isn’t always recommended, the time saved benefits are still considerable. Bloggers are busy people, and often forget to notify their social media followers when they publish a new post (I know I sure do). Automating this process takes care of that.

Besides, even if you aren’t a fan of autogenerated updates, you can always follow up later on with a customized message.

Facebook Auto Publish

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This plugin from XYZScripts takes 30 seconds to set up. This time, you’ll need to enter the app ID, the app secret (also on the information page), and your Facebook ID.

Yes, there is a long, complicated process to finding your Facebook ID involving hovering your mouse over your profile image, (feel free to share it in the comments if you know it), but there’s also a simpler one that takes five seconds.

Go to Find My Facebook ID, punch in your Facebook page URL, and hit “Lookup numeric ID”. Copy/paste that number into the provided box, and your Facebook automation is in business.

With Facebook Auto Publish, you can also customize the string of text that goes along with the link in your Facebook update. The default is “New post added at {BLOG_TITLE} – {POST_TITLE}”. But that’s boring — who’s gonna click on that?

Try “We just published a new post on <your blog niche>. Check it out here! {POST_TITLE}{PERMALINK}” or “Learn about {POST_TITLE} in a new post at {BLOG_TITLE}. {PERMALINK}”.

Facebook Sidebar Widgets

I’m a big fan of sidebar widgets — it’s a lot of free real estate to promote whatever in the world you want. Your Facebook page should be one of those promotions.

Facebook Widget

Facebook Widget is an easy way to add a like box to your sidebar. Install the plugin, drag the widget to the desired location, punch in your app ID and page URL and you’ve set yourself up for new Facebook likes on autopilot.

You can customize the height, width, color scheme, border, and more to accommodate your theme.

Flare Follow Widget

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This widget plugin from Flare isn’t limited to Facebook — it’s a great way to increase your blog presence on all the major social platforms. Besides its fantastic floaty social sharing function, it also comes packaged with a cool widget that allows you to showcase links in icon form to your social profiles.

Flare Follow Widget

It can be located on the Flare settings plugin page (the URL should be http://yoursite.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=flare.php/follow). You can add Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, SoundCloud, and GitHub icons.

Facebook Contests

This is where WP + FB gets really interesting — contests. Whether they are with your e-mail list, your social following, or just in your blog comments, contests are a fantastic way to increase brand awareness and drive hordes of new, interested visitors to your site quickly.

You won’t find any free plugins to help you hook up a Facebook contest,  but there are a few cheap premium scriptsr from CodeCanyon that do the job quite well.

Facebook Viral Contest Application

Facebook Viral Contest Application

The entry-level solution to Facebook contests.

This premium plugin automates a lot of the process for you. You can view the statistics of your reach in real-time, collect e-mail addresses and names and easily draw a winner for each of your unlimited contests. Quite a few popular Facebook pages use it. You should be able to make a positive ROI with this plugin in no time at all.

Easy Facebook Contest

Easy Facebook Contest

The noob-friendly solution to viral social contests.

Easy Facebook Contest is a bit more expensive than Viral Contest, but it offers a lot more features and automation. To start with, you can automatically import contestant e-mail addresses into MailChimp (how’s that for a cool way to build your list?). Plus, you get a complementary Facebook page builder to help you create custom designs and a way to reward users for referring friends to the contest.

Content Lockers

In my opinion, locking your content is the fastest way to increase your social signals per blog post. Period.

If you don’t know what they are, here’s a quick description of how they work. A blogger “locks” a section of content on his page/post. To view this section, a user has to pay with a Facebook like, tweet, or Google plus. When they use one of the channels, they get access to the locked content.

OnePress Social Locker

OnePress is by far the most popular content locker out there — I’m not even sure if I’ve ever seen another. It’s easy to use to — just place a given shortcode around the section of content you want locked. OnePress is SEO-friendly too — even though it’s not viewable to users right off, search engines will still crawl it.

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The premium version is $21 on CodeCanyon, but there is a free version also.

Summing Up

Facebook doesn’t have to be hard with WordPress. Automating your updates, increasing your following, and growing your brand presence are simple when backed by a few of the right plugins and scripts.

Which plugin are you gonna download first?


Jonathan John is a WordPress enthusiast and freelance writer for hire. He specializes in writing about WordPress and content marketing.

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One Comment

  1. Helenka17234

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