There is no doubt that social networks are one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website. It’s the fastest way to spread the word and get more eyes on your content.
When it comes to social media networks, Pinterest is one of the biggest traffic referrals, sending more traffic to websites than Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn. More importantly, a Pinterest pin has much longer life span than your average Tweet, or posts on Facebook and Google+ — a single pin will be repinned the same day, next week, next month, and even years later.
If you are serious about upping your social media strategy, then you should definitely consider adding Pinterest to your arsenal.
And one of the best ways to do that, is to use social media sharing buttons on your website. In the world of WordPress plugins, there’s a plethora of social sharing plugins, both free and paid. Choosing the right one is certainly no easy task.
But if you want to stand out from the rest and use one of the best social sharing plugins on the market that can seriously boost your Pinterest engagement rate, look no further than Social Warfare.
It’s the same social sharing plugin we use here on WP Superstars.
Social Warfare – The social sharing plugin that will boost your social engagement
Social Warfare is a premium plugin we’ve covered before on WP Superstars. Aside from the fact that it boasts itself as the fastest loading social sharing plugin, Social Warfare makes it easy to add attractive social share buttons to your posts. The options include adding them to posts and/or pages as well as customizing their look and feel.
With Social Warfare, you can control whether share counts are displayed and even set a minimum amount of shares required before counts are displayed.
There are also post specific options with this plugin which allow you to upload custom social sharing images for different social networks and craft a custom message for each network. In other words, Social Warfare makes sure your content looks great, even when you are not the one personally sharing it.
Before fully exploring how Social Warfare can help increase your Pinterest engagement rate, let’s go over a few technicalities – namely installing and setting up Social Warfare.
How to add social media sharing buttons with social warfare
To get started, you need to purchase Social Warfare from their website. A single site license is available for $29 and it includes updates and support for one year.
Once you have purchased the plugin, you will be sent an email with the link to download the plugin, or you can alternatively log in to your account and download it from there.
The rest of the process should be familiar – log in to your WordPress dashboard, go Plugins à Add New and upload the plugin zip file. Once the plugin is installed, go ahead and activate it. Finally, navigate to Social Warfare menu in the admin sidebar and enter your email address to register the plugin.
You can then go through all the various options to configure the plugin to your liking.
For starters, you can choose which social networks you would like to use for your sharing buttons.
Next, you can select the visual style for your buttons. There are 6 different button styles that you can choose from and 10 different color schemes. You can also choose your own custom color, making this one of the few plugins that can integrate with your branding seamlessly.
Social Warfare also offers a floating sidebar which immediately shifts to the bottom of the screen on mobile devices without preventing users to see your content.
It’s one of the very few truly responsive sharing plugins which only adds to its appeal.
As you can see, there are plenty of options to configure with Social Warfare. But for now, let’s explore Pinterest-specific features of the plugin.
Once the plugin is registered on your site, you’ll discover some interesting features when you go to create a new post or edit an existing post.
How to boost your Pinterest engagement rate with Social Warfare
Social Warfare has really superb Pinterest support and it includes the ability to upload a Pinterest specific image and a description for it.
Here’s how it works:
Unlike other social media networks, Pinterest prefers long and tall images with a 2:3 ratio. And while Yoast SEO allows you to set an image for Facebook and Twitter, if you wanted an image for Pinterest, you had to upload one directly to the post.
In certain cases, this isn’t a problem. But in some cases, adding a tall image in the middle of your post, can detract from the content itself; not to mention people often forget to scroll back up just for the sake of pinning an image. And most of the sharing plugins don’t always pull the correct image let alone the correct description.
That’s where Social Warfare really shines. Thanks to the post-specific features, you don’t have to add the image to the post itself.
Instead, you can upload an image designed specifically for Pinterest, along with a description directly into the plugin settings area below your post and the plugin will take care of the rest. Their recommended image size is 735px by 1100px. Now every time someone decides to share your post on Pinterest, the content will be pre-populated with your specified image and description.
That same area is where you can upload a custom image that is optimized for maximum exposure on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn with the recommended size of 1200px by 628px, as well as write your own description and craft a custom Tweet that will go out once someone clicks the Tweet button.
Setting aside a few minutes to set this up is well worth it, considering doing so can significantly boost the impact of your content shared across social media.
Other notable features
Click to Tweet
Among its many features, Social Warfare also gives you the option to insert Click to Tweet boxes directly into your post. This eliminates the needs for an extra plugin. Utilizing parts of your post as tweetable quotes simplifies sharing your content on Twitter because your visitors don’t have to spend time thinking what they should say – you’ve already done that work for them.
Click to Tweet feature allows you to select between 6 different themes as well as the ability to create your own style via custom CSS.
Finally, all the tweets you create will include your Twitter handle and the post URL automatically.
Display or hide share counts
Another notable feature of the plugin is the ability to display social share counts. We all know social proof adds to your credibility and authority, so what better way to show your visitors that you know what you are talking about than showing that people enjoy reading and sharing your content? And if you’re a newcomer to the blogging scene and your numbers aren’t impressive yet, you can easily set the share counts not to display until a certain number of shares has been reached.
But what about Twitter share counts?
Recently Internet was buzzing with news that Twitter removed their share counts but with Social Warfare you don’t have to worry about that. Using a third-party network New Share Counts, Social Warfare lets you easily display the number of times your content has been shared on Twitter.
Share counts recovery
If you’ve ever used a different URL format than you are currently using, this feature can be used to recover the share counts from those other URLs. Simply turn this features on and then select the URL pattern that you used along with the previous protocol. Once active, the plugin will begin to fetch shares for both the current URL pattern and the former one. It will add them together and display the new total. This feature is especially useful if you recently switched from http to https protocol.
Pin it button on images
In a recent update, Social Warfare added the option to display a “Pin it” button on images.
This is a great way to encourage shares (and generate more traffic) by leveraging the images in your content – no longer will you need to use a separate plugin for this.
Social Warfare is truly an impressive plugin. It’s packed with features, yet lightweight enough not to slow down your website. It’s perfectly responsive which is extremely important when it comes to mobile traffic.
What’s more, it’s truly a plugin that can and will boost your social media engagement rate, especially when it comes to Pinterest. You can grab a copy of the plugin from the official website for $24.