We launched the new BuzzShift website last week and are continuing to update and improve our baby.

One of the key components of our website is to build a vibrant community around who we are, what we do, and what we love, hence our tagline: smart people. creating connections. building brands.

Building a community means sharing content across your networks. Social media services are the second biggest source of traffic (after search engines), which means the deeper social media is integrated in your website the more social media traffic you attract.

Social media plugins not only promote social media profiles but also encourage visitors to share your content with their friends and followers.

We want BuzzShift to be a “10” on the attractive scale. In order to gain attention we need to offer as many ways to share our content as possible, so we went on a scavenger hunt to find the best social media plugins for our WordPress blog posts.

Hurry, to the Internet!

Googling “social media wordpress plugins” led us to articles with titles like “Superb”, “Awesome”, “Elegant”. Go ahead and click on  those articles, check out the recommend plugins, but make sure to read the comments section. We love to read what people are saying and often get more out of the comments than the post itself. Sometimes we get a good laugh too.

For Buzzshift.com’s needs, we looked for a plugin that was all-inclusive(including Google+), were updated regularly, easy to use, looked pretty, and were inexpensive (or better yet free).

Here are the top social media plugins that fit our bill. We went with Sociable, but Check each of these out and feel free add your comments and suggestions, we want to hear from you!

SOCIAL MEDIA PLUGINS WE DIG

SOCIABLE

This free plugin adds social media sharing buttons to your posts, pages, and RSS feed. It supports popular social networks and is updated regularly. You can choose from a variety of icons or buttons that show the number of times an article has been shared, retweeted or liked.

Sociable offers tons of customizable features, including the style, color, size, and order, and placing of your social icons. Sociable has over 1.5 million downloads and even provides a video tutorial.

Find out more about Socialable.

SOCIAL TOOLBAR

This plugin is located at the bottom of your website. Social Toolbar displays your latest tweet just above the toolbar, and on the right are buttons and counters for Facebook likes and retweets. On the left is a horizontal list of all of your social profiles (making this both a sharing and following plugin).

The coolest feature Social Toolbar has to offer is it’s so easy to customize. In the settings you can modify the color scheme of the background, border and icons and set whether tweets link to your home page or individual posts and pages. The toolbar can be displayed on your homepage or throughout your website. Social Toolbar  is free, but also has a pro version for $25 that adds Google+ and Facebook fan pages to your page.

Discover options from Social Toolbar. Download from WordPress.

SHAREAHOLIC

The Shareaholic plugin adds bookmarks to your posts, pages, home page, category archive and RSS feed. The share bar hides half of each icon, revealing the full icon when the user hovers over it for a “sexy bookmark” look.

There are 86 sharing options to choose from, so yeah, shareaholic. Buttons for Facebook likes and shares, Google+ and retweets can also be added above or below posts and you can switch on or off the counters for each button.

The menu can be positioned above or below content (or both), positioned manually, and even hidden from mobile browsers. Change the color scheme, add or remove images, add tags to outgoing links, and even track your social network performance.

Bonus, Shareaholic is free. It is one of the few sharing plugins that allow you to configure the output for Twitter by customizing the tweet message and choosing the URL shortener.

Check out what Shareaholic has to offer. Download from WordPress.

 (image credit)