Social media: love it or hate it, but you can't ignore it. During the past few years, social media -- along with Facebook and Twitter -- have grown by leaps and bounds in popularity. If you have a personal or professional blog, you are already part of the social media universe. A great way to increase the popularity of your blog is by using other forms of social media to promote it. Wordpress has many plugins to help you with this endeavor.
The number of social media services is constantly changing, and so are the number of plugins that deal with social media. This article highlights six very useful social plugins for the Wordpress platform.
ShareThis is one of the most popular social media plugins. You likely have already seen it on someone's blog or a tutorial website. ShareThis has a simple application: it allows you to share a post with your friends or followers on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and several other social networks. It has a simple and compact interface and is highly configurable. When the plugin is embedded on your website, you can choose the list of social networks you want supported .
Aside from the nice name, the SexyBookmarks plugin offers a beautiful menu option for social bookmarking. SexyBookmarks is exactly what it sounds like, a sexy, new bookmark plugin. It's great on functionality and, if you keep the number of options to a minimum, it will only minimally interfere with your design -- often times it will fit right in. As a result your reader can simply click to add your article to social bookmarking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, and Stumbleupon. If your article picks up momentum and goes viral, it can do great things for your traffic.
In terms of what it does, the Sociable plugin is quite similar to the AddThis and ShareThis plugins. It adds a link and share icons to the bottom of your blog posts and pages to make it easy for your visitors to share your content through their favorite social network. However, what sets this plugin apart from the other two is the flexibility it offers. Whereas the other two plugins have gained in popularity with ease of use, the Sociable plugin offers a great deal of flexibility to the user. You can change the order of the social networks to which your readers can share your posts; you can change the way the icon reacts to a mouse cursor rollover; andyou can even have the share options appear in a pop-up window rather than as a spread out menu. Another great customization is the ability to use your own icons instead of the boring standard ones.