I’ve always looked for ways to stir up interaction among my readers; not because I need the attention, but because it’s great for business. The more opportunity your audience has to connect with you, the better chance they have of getting to know you. And the more they know you, the more they trust you. Today, I thought I’d share some tools (or plugins) to help you win over the attention of your audience!
There are a number of ways to connect with your audience – on, and off – of your site thanks to WordPress Plugins. With the help of these (mostly free) plugins, we can add applications and interfaces to our site that will drive traffic faster than a $100 cash giveaway (which is another great way to boost interaction). Without further ado, let’s look at our Top Ten WordPress Plugins for Better Interaction. We’ll break them down into categories to make it easier to follow along.
Twitter is quickly becoming the number one social media choice of teens, young adults, and businesses worldwide. Therefore, we suggest incorporating your Twitter stream right into your blog or website. Kebo Twitter Feed does exactly that, and allows your readers to like, share, reply, and follow you directly from within your site. If you’d like to try it out, see our Twitter feed to the right which is powered by Kebo Twitter Feed.
Another popular choice for social media is Facebook. Everyone (and their grandmother) has a Facebook account. Facebook Members enables you to promote your Facebook page in any widgetized area of your site. You can add a customized Like Box and configure its colors to match that of your theme. See the example to the right of Crunchify’s Facebook Members plugin.
A picture is worth a thousand words. I suppose that’s why Instagram has become such an effective marketing tool for blog and website owners. Allow your audience to connect with your Instagram account by using the Yakadanda Instagram plugin. With this easy-to-use plugin, you can display a feed of your images, or images based on hashtags. What’s more, when someone clicks on an image they are taken to your Instagram account (where they can follow you).
For anyone who wants their website to blossom and grow, adding social sharing buttons is critical. And Simple Share Buttons by David Neal makes the process of setting them up a breeze. Simply choose the social accounts you’d like people to share with, customize the colors, and you’re done. You can also create your own custom share buttons for a more unique feel. This great plugin will bring interaction, and more readers, to your pages in no time!
Post comments have been around since the early days of blogging. In fact, blogging originated from a threaded comment system known as a forum (ever heard of that term?). Today, all blogging platforms (including WordPress) come with a built-in commenting system. And readers know that leaving a comment often brings interaction from the author, as well as from other readers. Although the basic comment system will work, there are other interfaces that make logging in easier.
Disqus (pronounced “discuss”) Comment System has made it’s way to thousands of sites around the Internet, somewhat streamlining the process of leaving comments. It offers threaded comments, comment by email, moderation tools, increased exposure, and is SEO-friendly. Not to mention, most readers now have a Disqus account, allowing them to easily sign in and comment on your posts.
Want to take your comment system a step further? Try Comments Evolved where your guests can use Google+, Facebook, WordPress, or Disqus to comment on your brilliant posts. The chances of someone commenting on your blog are greater when they don’t have to create an account. And the chances of them not having one of the aforementioned are slim to none. With a click of a button, they can interact with the ongoing conversation on your site.
There’s possibly no better way to build interaction on your site than to host a contest. The Voting Photo Contest plugin from Ohio Web Technologies gives you the power to run photo contests on your WordPress site, and it includes a plethora of features: social media integration, turn on/off vote count, control sort order, build custom fields, manage sort order, etc. Although this isn’t a free WordPress plugin, it would be worth the money for a larger site with many readers. And it would certainly drive traffic back to your site!
Flickr (pronounced “flicker”) is a photo/video hosting website that was created in 2005. It’s quickly become the top place to store, share, and organize your favorite photos online. And it’s free! Flickr Photostream allows you to show your Flickr Photostream, Photosets, Galleries, Group Pools, or Tags in your blog, with a very elegant and awesome layout. With the high quality thumbnails images, your readers will be eager to click on your beautiful pictures.
Ready to turn your site into its own social network? That’s what the makers of this new plugin claim to have accomplished. Mingle makes it easy to create a social network for your family, church, business or even a premium membership site. It uses your standard WordPress website and standard WordPress theme to create your Social Network instantly.
When a website developer wants to improve their site, they usually turn towards reader feedback. However, the comment section (with its public nature) doesn’t always yield results. The FeedWeb plugin gives your audience a private opportunity to leave comprehensive and precise feedback about your site or blog. By activating the plugin you can freely insert customized rating widgets into your selected posts. What better way to have your readers interact, all while improving the quality of your site?