WordPress – Facebook Integration: What’s New in 2012

WordPress – Facebook Integration: What’s New in 2012

WordPress – Facebook integration is a hot topic round these parts.

The latest tools for WordPress - Facebook integrationIn a short period of time, Facebook has become an indispensable tool for promoting your WordPress blog and fostering a community with your readership.

These days, any serious WordPress blogger who isn’t integrating with Facebook is doing themselves, and their site, a huge disservice.

With an estimated 800 million Facebook users around the world, and an impressive collection of tools for integrating the social media platform with your WordPress site, this is a bandwagon that you really can’t afford not to jump on.

The latest trends in WordPress – Facebook integration

Use Facebook to promote your WordPress siteLike all social media platforms, Facebook exists in a constant state of change and evolution. Everything moves at a cracking pace, and today’s cutting edge innovation is tomorrow’s garbage.

To stay on top of it all, you really need to keep a finger on the WordPress/Facebook pulse at all times. Blink and you’ll miss something important.

If you feel as if you’re not quite up to speed on the latest and greatest in WordPress – Facebook integration, we’ve put together a little refresher for you. This is essentially an update on a lot of material that we’ve already covered here at WPMU.

Facebook social plugins

These are the suite of social tools that Facebook currently offers to webmasters, to incorporate different elements of the ‘Facebook experience’ into their own websites.

  • Activity Feed – You can display a customized feed of your recent Facebook activity on your own site.
  • Comments – You can use this as an alternative to the standard WordPress comments system. Let’s users comment with their Facebook account, and publish the comment to their profile.
  • Facepile – Displays a mini image gallery on your site, with the profile photos of those who have liked your content on Facebook, or signed up to your site using their Facebook account.
  • Like Button – This is one of the original social plugins from Facebook, and we’re all familiar with it by now.
  • Like Box – If you have a Facebook Page, the Like Box allows your readers to interact with that page directly from your own WordPress site. Handy for getting more ‘likes’ from your visitors.
  • Live Stream – Allows realtime Facebook commenting on your site. This plugin is intended for ‘live events’ on your site, such as webinars or live video streaming.
  • Login Button – Displays a Facebook login button on your site, as well as the profile photos of a Facebook user’s friends who have already signed up.
  • Recommendations Box – Displays personalized recommendations for content on your site, based on the viewer’s Facebook history.
  • Registration – Lets people register or sign up for your website, using their Facebook account details.
  • Send Button – Allows your readers to send content from your WordPress site as a Facebook message. We have tutorial here on using the Facebook send button.
  • Subscribe Button – Let’s your readers subscribe to your public Facebook updates directly from your WordPress site. I covered this tool in more detail in a previous article.

Using Facebook social plugins on your WordPress site

Remember that these ‘social plugins’ are not WordPress plugins; they’re general tools that can be used on any website.

WordPress plugins for Facebook integrationIt’s worth noting that a lot of people have reported difficulties implementing these social plugins on WordPress sites. Facebook’s Developer tools and WordPress don’t always seem to play nice together.

If you’re having trouble using the code from the Facebook Developer site, try using a WordPress plugin instead. Most of these Facebook tools have been incorporated into one plugin or another – a quick search through the Plugin Directory will point you in the right direction.

If you want to get serious about WordPress – Facebook integration, the Ultimate Facebook plugin from WPMU DEV is well worth checking out.

This plugin offers the most comprehensive set of Facebook tools available for WordPress. The wizards over at DEV keep this bad boy updated on a regular basis, so whenever new Facebook integration tools become available, you’ll have access to them muy pronto.

Further reading

Beyond using these social plugins, there are other important steps you can take to integrate your WordPress site with Facebook. For a comprehensive overview, check out The Complete Guide to Optimizing Your WordPress Site for Sharing on Facebook.

Over to you – what are your favorite tools for integrating WordPress with Facebook? Which plugins are you using on your own site?

Photos: Suus Wansink, Wallie the Frog and Facebook Social Media (Bigstockphoto).