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Before moving our blog to WordPress.org through SiteGround, Tinylovebug was hosted on Squarespace. I was so frustrated because I couldn’t use all the plugins that made the life of all the other bloggers so much easier.
If you haven’t started your blog yet, I really recommend you read Lucrezia’s post on how to start a blog and enroll in her FREE course blogging for new bloggers fast track so you can avoid the mistakes that we made.
Really, it was hard, as I was unable to get most plugins or tools. I had to figure a way to do what I wanted without that plugin or tool that all the other bloggers on self-hosted WordPress were using.
One of the plugins I needed the most was Social Warfare.
In my view, social media platforms are a really important part of your blog marketing, and managing them without this tool was stressful.
I wanted people to share my content.
And, when my pins went out to Pinterest I wanted the image I had chosen with the description I had chosen going out to Pinterest.
If you have a basic understanding of Pinterest you will agree with me that these things are a big part of Pinterest marketing.
I wanted my tweets worded with my own words and the hashtags that I had chosen.
We tried all the share buttons that were on the market.
We looked for all the tricks that we could use.
I used to hide pinnable pictures in my post via code. That seemed like a great idea when I was a newbie but now that I know better I recognize it was pure BS, and I don’t recommend you do that.
I was putting my pin description on the Alt Tag: a big SEO no-no.
So, as you can understand – the struggle was real.
As soon as we moved to self-hosted WordPress, the first purchase has been Social Warfare. The best $29 spent in my life!
If you know the importance of social networking, you will agree with me.
Today, I want to share with you why this simple plugin helps me so much with my social media marketing and how it does it.
Social media buttons are a must if you’re serious about blogging.
They invite people to share your content and they also work as social proof.
However, to work well the buttons have to be visible. You can write the best post in the word but if you make it hard to share it, know that not everyone will be willing to go the extra mile to share your post.
So, what should you look for in a social share button plugin?
You need to be able to customize your buttons because you need to make them seem part of your website but without blending in.
In other words, they need to be on-brand, but you also want the share buttons to be easily visible when someone decides to share.
Social warfare lets you play with colours and shapes easily.
This is how our share buttons look. We chose our brand’s specific red, and it also attracts the eye of the reader.
What is important here is that the share buttons won’t blend in with your website making it hard for people to notice them.
Also, you want the option to choose which buttons you put out there.
While you really need to put a Pinterest button (even if you aren’t on Pinterest yet), I don’t think you will need the Yum button if you blog about finance (or anything not related to food).
With Social Warfare you can also decide in which order to show the social buttons you choose to display.
If you want people to share your content don’t make it hard for them.Click To Tweet
You want the possibility to put the share buttons in multiple spots in your post. We have one at the beginning of the post and one at the end of it.
This is another way to make sharing easy for our readers.
You definitely want the floating feature.
Floating share buttons
Do you ever find yourself reading a very interesting article but you have to stop for some reason? Do you go back at the beginning of the post to share it? Do you scroll all the way down the end to click on a share button?
I don’t think so. If you need to stop reading, you’re probably in a rush and don’t have time to look for a share button.
But what if I tell you that with Social Warfare the share buttons follow your reader while they are reading?
Here you can see in the screenshot, we are half-way through an article and the share buttons are just there ready to be clicked.
Pretty smart ay?
Like I said before, the primary scope of social buttons is to make people share your content but they also act for social proof.
You want to show people how many times your post has already been shared so that they are more willing to share it themselves.
But honestly, when you’ve just published a post and there is only one share there, it doesn’t look so pretty.
Social Warfare lets you choose after how many shares the count becomes visible.
They have to be responsive
The most important thing is that your buttons are responsive.
A high percentage of people read our blogs from their mobile devices.
Can you image what would happen if the share buttons weren’t responsive?
They will probably cover your text. People won’t be able to read your text, and they certainly won’t share it.
Bye-bye readers.If your social share buttons aren’t mobile responsive you risk losing lots of readers.Click To Tweet
HOW SOCIAL WARFARE HELPS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn
Social Warfare lets you choose a specific image, a specific title and a specific extract which will be shown when someone posts your blog on one of these social media platforms.
Sometimes what works for your blog isn’t the same as what would work on social media. Social Warfare solves the problem by letting you use different stuff for your social media marketing.
It even tells you what the recommended size is for the image and keeps the count of the characters that you’re allowed to use.
You can write the perfect tweet and be sure that your post is tweeted with it!
What hashtags you use on Twitter is decisive and I’m sure you want to choose them yourself. Use Social Warfare and you can.
Here too, Social Warfare keeps track of the characters remaining and it automatically adds your twitter handle to every tweet.
For twitter Social Warfare has another fabulous feature:
Click to Tweet! This will help your Twitter shares so much!
You can insert a pre-written tweet in the body of your post.
And it has two pros: it makes your thought visually appealing and it makes sharing it much easier for your readers.
You can easily create your tweets by clicking on the Twitter icon on your WordPress toolbar.
Here you can write the tweet that will be sent out to Twitter (for example with hashtags) and in the second box you will write the quote that will appear on your post.
Lastly, you can choose a theme on-brand with your website (we use livin’on a prayer).
Social Warfare is the best plugin for your Pinterest marketing.
If you want to make your pins go viral they need to have the right image and the right description.
However, showing long images as the one required by Pinterest marketing on your blog post is not a great idea.
People will get annoyed as they have to scroll down for all the length of the image.
So, the solution is hiding the pinnable image in the post. The image will show up when people click on the Pinterest share button.
You can’t imagine how frustrating is, after all the time spent on creating a beautiful pin, seeing your post linked with the wrong image.
Social Warfare solves that problem!
It suggests you to add a 735×1102 image as your pin but you can add an image with a different size.
What’s the other element that makes your pin a good pin?
The description! So, you definitely want to create the perfect description to send out with your pin.
And guess what? Social warfare sends the exact description that you wrote with your pin.
You can be sure that your hard work to apply Pinterest SEO will be rewarded.
To be honest, even if Social Warfare had only this feature I would have bought it without a second thought.
The features that I showed you are only some of the fantastic features that Social Warfare has.
Other good ones are:
Social share recovery
Social Warfare plugin keeps your social share counts intact when you switch your permalink or when you move from HTTP to HTTPS protocol.
To avoid that your content will be hi-jacked by other social media users.
Show most shared posts
With a widget that comes with Social Warfare you can show a list of your most shared posts.
Is social warfare worth the price?
Absolutely! With only $29 a year, it solves so many problems and helps your social media marketing in so many ways that I couldn’t do without it.
$29 a year is not even a coffee a month!
Let me know in the comments if you use Social Warfare and which is your favourite feature. (Mine is the possibility of hiding a pinnable image without breaking any rules).