Adding social sharing buttons to your site with a WordPress plugin is a simple way to increase the amount of social shares your posts receive. These buttons place social media icons at the tops, bottoms or sides of your posts. These plugins even include counters that let new readers know how popular a particular post is based on the number of times it’s been shared. We’re going to list a few of the best free social share plugins to use in 2016.
Before we jump into our list, let’s go over a few of the best premium social share plugins to use in 2016.
Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress
This premium plugin by Appscreo is available at CodeCanyon.net, which is part of the Envato Market. This is among the most versatile social sharing plugins you can have in your social media marketing arsenal due to one simple fact - this plugin enables you to place a social share bar wherever you need it.
You’ll have the option of using it as a floating social bar for the side, top or bottom of your post, a static social bar or even a floating mobile social bar. It even comes with social triggers, such as pop-up and fly-in features. You’ll even have over 25 templates to choose from, giving you the option of fine-tuning the design of your bar based on the design of your site.
Monarch by Elegant Themes
Monarch is a premium social sharing plugin that comes with Elegant Theme’s Developer and Lifetime Access plans. These plans also come with over 85 premium WordPress themes as well as all of the other plugins this developer offers.
Monarch is a versatile social share plugin that can be used to create stunning floating social bars you can place on the sides of your posts or static horizontal social bars you can place at the bottoms or tops of your posts. You’ll have over 20 social media icons to choose from, the ability to use the plugin’s image-sharing, pop-up and fly-in features as well as loads of design settings to change.
Social Warfare is a social sharing plugin developed by the Warfare Plugins team. It’s less versatile than the previous two plugins as it’s only available as a floating horizontal social bar that sticks to the bottom of your site, but it comes with affordable pricing options and plenty of features.
These include analytics integration, the ability to only show share counts after your post reaches a certain number of shares as well as over 75 different design and color options. You can even use the plugin to integrate a click-to-tweet function in your posts.
Free Social Sharing Plugins
Now let’s jump into our list of the top free social share plugins of 2016.
SumoMe is most popular for its traffic-building tools, but it’s free version comes with the SumoMe Share app. This app places a floating or static social bar wherever you want it, whether it’s the side of your posts, the bottoms or a floating social bar for mobile.
SumoMe Share Pro comes with additional features. These include the ability to remove the SumoMe branding from your bar, an increase in the amount of social shares you receive by 20%, as claimed by the developer, as well as UTM tracking that lets you know which social networks are bringing the most traffic to your site.
GetSocial, or Social Sharing, Smart Popup & Share Buttons by GetSocial.io, is a free and versatile social media plugin. This plugins lets you choose between placing a floating social bar on the side of your post or placing a static social bar at the top or bottom of your post. The free version comes with multiple design features.
A premium version is available at an affordable monthly rate, and it comes with a floating social bar for mobile as well as additional design settings. You’ll even have the ability to remove social share counts for your buttons as well as the ability to add your own Twitter handle to the plugin’s click-to-tweet feature.
AddToAny Share Buttons
AddToAny Share Buttons is one of the most popular social media plugins available for WordPress with over 200,000 active installs. This plugin places simple floating social bars on either side of your posts as well as the tops or bottoms of your posts.
You’ll be able to change several features with this plugin, such as adjusting sizes for social media icons, dictating how far the bar appears from the top of the page, whether or not to include social share counts and more. One of the most unique features of this plugin is the ability to add icons from over 90 different social media networks, communities and services.
Custom Share Buttons with Floating Sidebar
This plugin allows you to add floating social bars to the sides, bottoms and tops of your posts. It’s not a responsive plugin, and its customization features are limited, but it’s a great alternative to other bars.
A premium version is available with additional features, such as a responsive design, the ability to hide the floating social bar from the home page, regular pages and category pages, and a responsive lightbox contact form that appears when a reader clicks on the Mail icon.
Sharify Social Share Buttons
This is a lesser-known plugin, but it’s responsive and clean design makes it a top contender for our list of Top Free Social Share Plugins of 2016. The plugin is simple, and its clean design allows you to add social share plugins to your posts without adding clutter.
A major con of this plugin is its lack of floating features as well as its inability to add social bars to the sides of your posts. It also lacks social bars for mobile devices, so you’ll need to install additional plugins to include these types of social bars on your site.
No matter what social share plugin you choose, make sure its style matches the design of your site, and make sure your social media icons aren’t so large that they obstruct the overall design of your post.
Add a static horizontal social bar at the top or bottom of your post at the very least. A floating social bar gives the reader the ability to share your post no matter how far he scrolls through it, so consider opting for a plugin that includes one. Last but not least, keep in mind the amount of time people spend on mobile devices these days. Do your best to include responsive and mobile social bars in your posts to optimize your blog for mobile users in 2016.