Update: We no longer recommend this plugin. It was acquired and the new owner made changes we are not happy with. See our new recommendation.
When someone enjoys a sermon or blog post on your church website, will they share it on Twitter or Facebook?
Make it easy for them to share by adding social share buttons to your content. The easier something is for someone, the more likely they’ll do it. The mere presence of social sharing buttons also acts as a suggestion to people who otherwise would not have considered sharing your church’s content.
I’ll show you how to add social sharing buttons to your church website.
A Great Plugin for Social Sharing
Simple Share Buttons Adder is something we use on this site (look at the bottom of this article). I use it on my personal blog too. It’s a WordPress plugin so you’re in luck if your church website is one of the 70,000,000 other websites that chose WordPress.
Installing the Plugin is Easy
It only takes a moment to install a WordPress plugin.
- Go to Plugins > Add New
- Search for Simple Share Buttons Adder
- Click Install Now then Activate Plugin
Configuring Simple Share Buttons
This plugin has several options. You’ll need to tell it where to show buttons and how to make them look.
Go to Settings > Share Buttons to configure Simple Share Buttons Adder.
Where to Show Share Buttons
I like to show share buttons after content because that is where the reader naturally ends up when they’re finished. Showing buttons before content is fine too. Try not to create clutter by showing buttons in too many places.
Note that “Posts” includes blog, sermon, event, location and person.
What to Show
I remove the Share Text to keep things simple. The “Simple” image set blends into many sites nicely (“Somacro” is a round version). Drag the social networks you want to show icons for into the Selected column. Facebook and Twitter are essential.
Be sure to hit Save at the bottom when you’re done with configuration.
The above settings produce this at the bottom of a sermon on our Exodus church WordPress theme.
You’re good to go at this point but there are a few tweaks you can make to spruce the buttons up a bit.
- Go to Styling and change Size from 35 to 50 pixels.
- Go to Counters and enable share counts
Now your buttons are more visible and more interesting.
Lastly, go to Advanced and enter your Twitter username for Twitter Text to cause it to be appended to the tweets your visitors make.
This will let those who see the tweets know who you are right away. This will also help you see who is sharing your content because the inclusion of your username counts as a mention on Twitter.
Bonus Tip: Reach More People
Send an email newsletter out to your congregation whenever you publish new content and ask them to share it on Facebook and Twitter. Their social media friends, family and co-workers likely include people in your area.
That’s It, You’re Done
Churches produce great content — and a lot of it, especially when sermons are considered. I love seeing sermons put online. This is content worth sharing. Adding social share buttons to your website is a way to help reach strangers on the Internet with the gospel and draw people from your community into your church.
Your turn. How do you like this plugin? Are there any others you’ve found useful for social sharing?