Integrating Social Media Plugins with Joomla CMS: A Guide

Written by Robin WildingMarch 1, 2011

So you have gotten past the weird Swahili-based name of Joomla and you created a site—kudos. Now comes the easy part, marketing your site. The easiest way to get traffic to your blog or site is to install social media plugins; this will allow you to leverage your existing online connections into page traffic.

Luckily Joomla was created with plugins in mind and you have a world of possibilities; for a full list of available social plugins for Joomla, click here. While you can install as many plugins as you like with Joomla, without it slowing down your page too much, it is still recommended to choose a select few. Using too many plugins will make your site look cluttered and could confuse your user.

Consider the following list of available plugins and choose which one fits best into your social media marketing strategy. There are things to keep in mind though, as you will want to choose plugins that suit your site. For example: if you have a hyper local site you may just pick the most popular platforms amongst you and your friends, but if your site is going to be international then you will need a wide variety, as Facebook may not be as popular in Japan as it is amongst your friends.

Multi-Purpose Plugins

AddThis 

The AddThis extension for Joomla will allow your users to connect with your site using a wide variety of social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Digg, and Delicious. This clean and user-friendly plugin is widely known and recognized.

Ultimate Social Bookmarking Plugin

The Ultimate plugin is similar to AddThis but has a different look. Some consider the plugin a little more cluttered than the more basic plugins as it has up to 60 social platforms that can be accessed. This is great for those looking to cover all their bases with the throngs of social networking sites available. 

Sociable

Joomla’s Sociable extension works with over 20 different social networking sites, and you can pick and choose which ones are displayed on your site. This extension is popular amongst Joomla users as it will grab your dynamic URL so it works with the SEF either turned on or turned off. Also you can choose to create your own CSS file or to use Sociable’s.

ShareThis 

Yet another social sharing plugin, ShareThis is another extremely popular and sexy social media plugin for Joomla. This extension suite has a plugin to embed the button anywhere on your Joomla site, and a module to place it exactly where you want it. The best part about this plugin is the central console…and of course the fact that people share your content with everyone they know.

Social Counter Module

This module will display counters on your site for all the top social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz and Digg. The display counting all the social media ‘Likes’ and ‘Tweets’ creates a nice buzz around your Joomla site. 

Single Focus Plugins 

Twitter Module 

While there are a wide variety of modules created just for Twitter (for the full list click here), one of the more popular ones is the Twitter Module. The Twitter Module will display your Twitter feed in a module on your site, and is very easy to setup as all you have to do is enter your Twitter RSS. This plugin looks slick as it uses the Pausing up-own Scroller plugin (so make sure you have this one installed).

Twitter Feed 

Twitter Feed is a simple yet great Twitter module that allows you to configure how many tweets display on your Joomla site based on the Twitter search API. You can also display or hide certain tweets and filter the results with advanced search capabilities. You can also apply customized CSS styling to the extension.

JFBConnect 

The Joomla Facebook Connect tool is the ultimate social media tool from the world’s most popular social network. Seeing as most North Americans have a FB account, a FB social media plugin for Joomla is critical. This plugin contains all the best FB tools, including FB Connect single sign-on, FanBox, Invite, Like, Recommendations, Comments, Feed, Friends and Live Stream. This customizable extension is easy to install and should take less than 20 minutes, the only downside is that it requires registration to download.  

Alternative

As every grandma, butterfly and barstool already knows social media plugins are a great way to promote your site. Joomla thankfully makes this easy, and you should be able to install a solid social media strategy within a couple of hours, and it should require little-to-no maintenance.

If you chose Joomla for the additional developer options that it has over WordPress, then you may find the extensions a little too cookie-cutter. If this is the case then consider using one of the article footer plugins, which will allow you to create your own social media plugin by choosing your fav social media sites, selecting your own images, and building your own links. 

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