Disclosure: this is a sponsored review but opinions are our own.
Have you ever looked at the social sharing plugins on the market and thought that there was something missing?
A few of the issues I’ve noticed with social plugins include:
- Dated or generic design
- Lack of important features
- Limited support and slow development
- Not well optimized
But imagine for just a moment if there was a plugin that solved all of these issues.
No longer would you want to jump between different plugins searching for a plugin that did what you wanted it to do – you could finally have a social plugin that ticks all of the right boxes and looks visually stunning.
No more wasting time searching.
In this post I’m going to share a new social sharing plugin with you that could be the solution to all of the issues mentioned above.
What is Monarch?
Monarch is a new social media plugin from the team at Elegant Themes.
While Elegant Themes are better known for creating WordPress themes, they makes some very useful plugins too.
Monarch will help you do the following:
- Add social sharing buttons to key locations
- Add social follow buttons
- Encourage social sharing
- Monitor your social shares
And it does all of that without compromising the design of your site.
Add eye-catching social share buttons with Monarch
The primary function of Monarch is to make it easy to add great looking social share buttons.
You can add these in the following locations:
- Fly in
- Media (overlaid onto images etc)
You’re able to pick multiple locations if you prefer:
You have a choice of all the popular social networks and some additional options like “Printer Friendly” and “Email”:
You can then customize individual settings for each display locations:
One thing I particularly like is the option to hide share counts unless they’re above a certain number – this is great for avoiding negative social proof.
Once you save the settings everything will be updated and you’ll now have some great looking share buttons added to chosen location:
There are two locations that are particularly interesting as a way to further encourage social sharing.
This includes share buttons displayed within a popover via various triggers such as time delays or as you are about to leave etc:
You can also display a fly in share box:
Add social follow widgets with Monarch
If you want to increase your social following, you need to make it easy for your websites visitors to find you on social networks.
The best way to do this is to use a social follow widget.
With Monarch you can display this via shortcode or a widget which could look something like this:
When adding social networks you can choose the text, URL and add counts manually.
While this does mean that people can use this function to mislead their readers, anyone who does so will earn a bad reputation VERY quickly so these are more of a convenience than anything else:
You can customize settings for the shortcode and widget independently which is helpful:
Monitor your social statistics with Monarch
Another great feature of Monarch is the ability to monitor your social shares and followers.
Monarch will start monitoring your shares, likes and follows as soon as the plugin is activated:
Elegant Themes Pricing
Elegant Themes operates on a membership model.
Monarch and all other plugins are included for either $89/year or $249 for lifetime access.
In addition to all of the Elegant Themes plugins, you’ll also get access to more than 80 very stylish themes, including their latest theme; “Divi” which I’ve used in the past.
You will also get access to new themes and plugins released as long as you are a member.
Learn more in our Elegant Themes membership review.
Monarch pro’s and con’s
- Share buttons look great visually
- Lots of settings to customize how buttons are displayed
- Easily export settings and import them on another website
- Custom CSS is supported
- Share counts are cached but you can adjust how often this happens
- Easily see your social share statistics at a glance
- Avoid negative social proof when displaying share counts
- No shortcode support for social shares
- Social analytics can only pull in shares from when plugin is enabled
- Different networks can’t be chosen for “media” display
This plugin is new and I can imagine there may be a few kinks to be worked out that I didn’t find when testing. Elegant Themes like to do regularly updates so I can see them taking on feedback and improving this plugin as time goes on.
On a personal note, I’ve found myself trying so many social sharing plugins and generally being disappointed – That’s how my experience with free social media plugins has gone.
The likes of Flare and Digg Digg have ended up being somewhat of a disappointment so a premium plugin seems the way to go if you want to get something more advanced.
I like what the Elegant Themes team has done with Monarch. It’s straight forward and has all the important features but it doesn’t have so many features that it’s overly confusing to use.
It’s simple to setup and does the job effectively with some other interesting options.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but opinions are our own. Read more.