In the social media age, we need to make it easy for visitors to our websites to like and share our content. This usually means adding calls to action to allow visitors to tweet or follow us without leaving the website. The problem is, this can affect a website’s performance. Poor loading times mean poor conversions. We’re going to look at one solution to this problem in today’s Social Warfare Pro review.
It’s not just about UX either. If you have a sluggish site, your SEO will suffer. Google factor in load times when they’re ranking search engine results. This means that with the wrong social integration platform, you could be sacrificing new business.
This applies across pretty much industry you can think of too. It doesn’t matter if you run a blog with 10 subscribers, or an eCommerce Goliath. In 2018 you need to leverage your social following as often and as holistically as possible. That established, let’s get to the review.
What is Social Warfare Pro?
Social Warfare Pro is a super light-weight WordPress plug-in. It allows you to add social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon. It also allows you to display social proof, with the ability to show share counts and embed popular posts. All of this without ruining your website’s performance.
What struck me first while researching this Social Warfare Pro review is the scope of its use. Quite often, similar plug-ins are single use. What’s great about Social Warfare Pro is that it can perform pretty much all of the social media tasks you could ever want. This is obviously far better than having one plug-in for tweet counts and a separate one for Facebook integration.
In short, the aim of Social Warfare Pro is to make it really simple and easy for users to share your content on social media. Interestingly, the founders of the parent company, Warfare Plugins, mainly come from marketing backgrounds. I think this makes a really noticeable different in terms of the appearance and UX of Social Warfare Pro. This means that, in addition to the obvious benefits of social integration, it also really improves the look and feel of the site.
So the main thing here is the social buttons. I found the customisation options to be very intuitive, while still retaining a lot of flexibility. Different options can be selected in a simple drop-down interface. This include simple design elements like size, shape and colour. There are over 5,000 potential combinations of these however, which should be more than enough customisation for anyone.
I already referred to one of the best features at the beginning of this Social Warfare Pro review. This is the ability to add ‘Click-to-Tweet’ buttons. I think this is a really crucial element of any decent social integration tool. It’s one that is absent from many similar platforms though. Having your visitors tweet your content without having to leave your website is a very powerful tool for any marketer.
Social Warfare Pro also has some great integrations with other platforms. For example, it offers support for Bit.ly. This is really important when it comes to Facebook and Twitter, where word count needs to be factored in. The less space you waste on long links the better. You can also use your own Bit.ly credentials, which allows you to keep track of click-through rates.
Similarly, Social Warfare Pro is heavy on Google Analytics integration. This is obviously invaluable when it comes to tracking the success of your social integration strategy, as you need to be able to see how much in-bound traffic is coming from your social buzz. There’s also support for Event Tracking, which tells you how often your buttons are being pressed. This in turn can be used to optimise their appearance and positioning to ensure you’re getting the most out of the platform.
There’s one more very clever feature I’d like to squeeze into this Social Warfare Pro review. That’s ‘Minimum Social Proof’. This allows you to only show share counts once they’ve reached a certain threshold. This could help you avoid some embarrassing situations, especially if you’re a smaller business.
Earlier I listed the social networks which are supported by Social Warfare Pro. Maybe you noticed something was missing. There’s currently no support for Instagram integration. This seems like a glaring omission. However, the guys behind Social Warfare Pro have spoken about this issue before.
The trouble is that Instagram doesn’t offer a sharing function. This means it can’t be integrated into the platform. If that ever changes, I imagine we’ll see some Instagram friendly features added fairly quickly. This is a fair defence, but it’s still disappointing. Design geeks especially could find it frustrating to have all of their other socials displayed together, but need to embed their Instagram feed in a separate widget.
Some of the trade offs between the free and paid versions also disappointed me. It’s only natural that you can’t have all of the functionality of the premium product without paying. That said, I’m not sure the threshold is in exactly the right place features wise. In particular, it seems strange to me that giving users the option to share by email isn’t included in the free version.
Social Warfare Pro Review: Final Verdict
So what do I think? To me, Social Warfare Pro is a very attractive and practical platform. It also stands head and shoulders above most other similar platforms in terms of features. To reiterate, I think the Click-to-Tweet button is a real game changer for social integration platforms. If your website is based on WordPress, Social Warfare Pro really seems like a no brainer.
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