Last week we looked at how you can boost social sharing on your site. At the beginning of that post, I explained that there are two broad strategies that you should follow:
- Build up a strong social network of followers to whom you can promote your content
- Have people promote your content on your behalf
We looked at step 2 in that post. Today, it is time to look at step 1.
A lot of people make the mistake of focusing the majority of their efforts on their blog. But the fact is, your blog alone will not attract that much traffic. Sure, in time, it may attract a decent level of search engine referrals, but that is a long term process. Building a successful blog is all about creating “outposts” that draw people in from alternative sources of traffic. Examples would be a mailing list, your RSS feed, and of course social networks.
The Key Is In Outpost Subscription
When a reader hits your site, the game is neither won nor lost. The key is to get them to subscribe to one or more of your outposts, so that you can get them to come back on future occasions. In order to do so, you must tightly integrate your outposts with your blog. A lot of people do this by adding mailing list signup forms, little “follow me on Twitter” icons hidden somewhere in the sidebar, and so on.
The plugin that we are looking at today places links to your social networks in a prominent position, therefore increasing your chances of obtaining more followers. So let’s take a look at Social Toolbar.
As you can see from the above screenshot, Social Toolbar places links to your social networks (and more) into a bar prominently placed at the bottom of the reader’s browser screen. You have a great deal of control which icons and sharing buttons are shown, as well as the color scheme:
The plugin is free, although there is a pro version available that offers extra features such as social bar placement (free version is bottom of screen only), more icons and color options, email support, and more.