A guest post from Mike Goodwin
Everybody wants to get social with their business nowadays, often without stopping to ask if it’s actually the right thing for them to do. There’s no doubt that in some circumstances, Facebook, Twitter and even Google + can be good for your business – and luckily WordPress is well equipped to help you out if you decide it is right for you.
Now obviously, if you are setting up an online store or web-connected company you’ll want to have been through the basics first. There’s no benefit to having thousands of ‘likes’ and followers if you haven’t taken the time to set up the basics. Sites like MoneySupermarket can offer advice, as well as price comparison on things like business insurance, so could be a great place to start if you need help. However, when you start looking for help on WordPress plugins you could feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of recommendations out there. Here are five WordPress plugins that stand out among the many thousands you’ll no doubt stumble upon (no pun intended) that should be the first you start with.
Facebook Comments by Alex Moss
A simple but effective way for people to offer you their thoughts on your pages while logged in to Facebook, this plug-in is very simple to set-up and could be useful for general feedback that will be seen by others. Of course, having people able to post at will on your page – like all social media channels – comes with a certain amount of risk involved, so make sure you are able to monitor and moderate what is being said.
Twitter Profile Widget by Twitter
It isn’t always easy to keep your site updated with every single thing you are up to, but people will want to know that you are active and communicating within your industry – which is why Twitter can be so great for business. The Twitter Profile Widget allows you to place a small sidebar widget on your site that shows your most recent tweets as they go out. Be careful to share only what you want to, but add this to your site if you want to add an extra bit of regularly updated content to your pages.
Google +1 Button Plugin by AJ Batac
Whether we like it or not, Google+ isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – and as the search engine is pushing its fledgling social network more and more into its results pages it seems that businesses would do well to not ignore it. Once you have a page for your company, you’ll also want to make your web pages sharable to those who visit, luckily there are countless widgets that allow you to add a +1 button to your posts, but this one is simple and effective enough to not take up too much of your time and energy.
Social networks are a minefield for business if you don’t know what you are doing, so it’s worth thinking carefully about whether or not they are right for you. However, if you do want to make your site more accessible to the millions who now log on to their accounts on a daily basis, these three plug-ins are a great place to start.
Mike works as a technology blogger and enjoys sharing the latest tips and tricks for small businesses and startups. He lives in rural Cheshire and is a huge advocate of building self hosted sites with WordPress.