A review of the Social Plugin for WordPress.

IMPORTANT: The Social plugin is now discontinued. The continued inclusion here is for historical reference only.

Social Plugin by MailChimp
Social Plugin by MailChimp

Through use of a proxy application, you can associate your Twitter and Facebook accounts with your blog and its users. Once you publish a new post, you can then choose to automatically broadcast a message to any accounts authenticated with the overall blog or your current logged-in user.

Automatically broadcast posts to Twitter and/or Facebook

  • Supports multiple accounts associated per user and per blog
  • Customize the broadcast message using tokens

This functionality works well although recently I have noticed what appears to be a glitch.

When publishing a new post, the Social plugin displays the error message ‘Page not Found’. The link functions perfectly well. So, I can only assume there is a timing problem between the two systems.

I no longer have a need for this plugin or the functionality it provided. I have moved my Twitter engagement forward with the discovery of a newer and better service. However, there is always room for the tried and trusted methods.

Pull in Tweets and Replies as Comments

When publishing to Facebook and Twitter, the discussion is likely to continue there. Through Social, we can aggregate the various mentions, retweets, @replies, comments and responses and republish them as WordPress comments.

  • Automatically polls Twitter and Facebook for mentions of your post
  • Displays mentions inline with comments
  • Filter comments by originating source (Facebook, Twitter, or your blog as comments)
  • Allow users to reply to the offsite responses

 

Comment as Facebook and/or Twitter Identity

Many individuals use Facebook or Twitter as their primary identity(ies) on the web. Allow your commenters to log in and leave a comment as that identity. Furthermore, they can publish their response directly to their Twitter or Facebook account.

  • Allow users to leave comments as Facebook or Twitter identity
  • Links point back to users’ Facebook or Twitter profiles
  • Indicators let you and visitors know people are who they say they are

 

This interaction and bi-directional conversation has not yet been tested, so I cannot comment on its efficacy.

Setting Up your Social Plugin

 

For the most part, Social Plugin works ‘out-of-the box’. With the exception of establishing the connection with your FaceBook and Twitter profiles.

Social Plugin - Settings Screen 1
Social Plugin – Settings Screen 1

Select Settings -> Social from your WordPress dashboard and you will see the above screen. Click the Sign in with Twitter and Sign in with Facebook buttons to establish the connections with the respective profiles. If you have a Facebook page you should select the Connect with Pages Support checkbox before connecting with Facebook. The default checkboxes allow you to select which items your post or page will be broadcast to. This can be overridden at the time of publishing. You should also select Broadcasting enabled for Post and/or Page as appropriate,

 

Social Plugin - Settings Screen 2
Social Plugin – Settings Screen 2

If you scroll down to page 2 of the Social Plugin settings you will see the options for the format of the post broadcast. I have always left these with their default settings which appear to suffice.

Social Plugin - Advanced Settings
Social Plugin – Advanced Settings

Expanding advanced options allows you to disable Social Comment display and broadcasting. It is also possible to save debug information to  the debug_log.txt file.

This post has been part of a curation process. There was a temptation to simply delete the post as the plugin is now discontinued. However, the content still has some historical value. It also has ranking value to the rest of this blog.

In fairness, the Social plugin was never hugely popular and was never likely to generate huge traffic flow. Refreshing a blog content keeps the blog alive in the eyes of the search engines.

Furthermore, updating the site keeps the content fresh in the mind of the blogger and the reader.

Sites of Relevance and Interest

How to Automatically Post to Facebook From WordPress

Facebook Integration

Why not take a peek at our most recently added post?

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