With almost 60 million WordPress users, many that also have their own Facebook pages, a lot of people want to know how to link Facebook to WordPress. The first question is what exactly does this mean – linking Facebook to WordPress? Well, there are actually a few steps we must take to fully integrate Facebook into our WordPress Blogs.
Fortunately this can be easily achieved using a couple of free WordPress Plugins and Widgets. This tutorial will explain exactly what linking Facebook to WordPress entails and overview the Plugins and widgets required to achieve this. I will also walk through exactly how to configure the Plugins and widgets to give your WordPress Blog and Facebook page a huge social boost!
The 4 Different Ways we can Link Facebook to WordPress
There are several ways we can link Facebook to WordPress. To become fully integrated, our Blogs should contain the following functionality:
1. Have the option to easily post summaries of our Blogs to Facebook
2. Have a 2 way commenting system between FB and WP
3. Have a place advertising your FB page on your WordPress Blog for people to Like
4. Have the option for visitors to “Like” your individual Blog posts
Posting Blogs to Facebook and 2-way Commenting
Let me elaborate on this. Part 1 simply means when you write up a new post, you want a simple “click of a button” process to publish a summary of your post to Facebook, along with a link back from Facebook so people can read your entire post.
Part 2 means that when someone comments on Facebook, that comment gets published on your Blog site and vice-versa. This makes your Blog and Facebook page appear to be more popular because every time someone comments, that comment is going to both places.
The one key word here would be “simple”. We don’t want to manually copy and paste our Blogs and create a backlink, or copy and paste comments here, there and everywhere. Fortunately there is one awesome plugin that takes care of this.
Using Wordbooker to Link Facebook to WordPress
Wordbooker is an absolutely awesome plugin with unlimited flexibility. It has so much flexibility in fact, that the options sometimes get a little confusing. There are essentially 2 main options:
– Automatic or manual posting of Blogs to Facebook
– 2-way commenting, 1-way commenting or no-way commenting
I would recommend manual posting, as you don’t want to accidentally publish posts to Facebook or publish an unfinished post, and 2-way commenting, as this increases the conceived popularity to both FB and WP which is never a bad thing! Let’s dig in.
Installing and Authorizing Wordbooker with Facebook
First go ahead and install the plugin. From you WordPress dashboard, go to plugins, install new plugin and search for the Wordbooker plugin (activate after you have installed it)
The next thing we need to do is authorize Wordbooker to communicate with your Facebook page. Wordbooker can be found under settings. Click Wordbooker from the settings menu to bring up the main configuration screen.
After you click “Authorize Wordbooker” you will be taken to your Facebook login page. Login to Facebook and you will be greeted with a screen that allows you to authorize Wordbooker to post to your Facebook page. Click on “Go to App” and then click “Allow” from the next page.
There’s just one more step. After you click allow, you will be taken back to your WordPress Blog. To complete the link from Wordbooker to Facebook, click the “Reload Page” button and you should be taken to the general Wordbooker settings page.
Configuring Wordbooker to Post Blogs to Facebook and Sync Comments
The best thing about Wordbooker is how easy it is to use! The settings that it comes with are good enough to get your first Blog posted to Facebook without changing anything.
As mentioned, I prefer to post manually to Facebook. I often edit my posts after I publish them, and sometimes I publish posts in progress and don’t want them to be posted to Facebook before they are done. Posting to Facebook is achieved directly through the page where you compile your posts in WordPress. Scroll down to the bottom of your post to see the Wordbooker options. There are several check-boxes to check here:
– First check “Publish this Post to Facebook”
– Check the box pertaining to which wall you want to publish to
– Check all 3 of the last boxes to enable 2-way commenting (optional)
The only thing left to do is to update your page and Wordbooker posts it to Facebook:
Tip: You can insert a featured image and Wordbooker will pull that image into Facebook too! I try to keep the images to a max size of 125×125 pixels.
Linking Facebook to WordPress via a Sidebar Widget
Next, we are going to link Facebook to WordPress via a pretty cool sidebar widget. It gives your Blog visitors the option to Like you on Facebook and join your network of friends. Think about what we have accomplished above. Every time we make a new post to our Blog, and publish it on Facebook – each of your friends will get an update on their page – so the more friends or fans you have on Facebook, the greater an audience you can share your Blog with.
We need to give your Blog visitors an easy and obvious way to join your Facebook network to allow optimal growth of your fan-base. This Widget accomplishes exactly that!
The Widget is called “Facebook Social Plugin”, search for it through your WordPress dashboard and install the same way as we did the Wordbooker plugin. Activate and take a look at your available Widgets (through Appearance, Widgets).
You’ll see a couple of additional options, the one you want to drag into your sidebar is called “Facebook Like Box”. After you drag it into your sidebar, you will need to configure it to pull from your Facebook page – the settings are minimal and fairly obvious – just don’t forget to enter your Facebook URL and click save. Take a look at your website after this and you should have an easy avenue for people to Like you on Facebook in the sidebar area!
Link Facebook to WordPress – Get Visitors to Like your Posts
The final way we can link Facebook to WordPress is by getting your visitors to actually link to your posts through their Facebook accounts. Again, we should focus on making this obvious and easy. Wordbooker does have a function for this, but there is another little plugin that also gives visitors the option to Tweet, post to Google +1, Pinterest, Delicious and a host of other social platforms.
The Plugin is called “Shareaholic”. Search for it through your WordPress dash and install as we did the previous 2 Plugins and activate it.
Access the Shareaholic plugin and click where it says “Please visit the Plugin Options… ” then hit “Enable Shareaholic”. You’ll then be taken to the Shareaholic dashboard where you can configure this Plugin. I click on Enable Sexy Bookmarks, which allows me to choose which social media platforms I allow my visitors to share my posts on.
And there are a ton of options to choose from. Select the media platforms you want to allow your visitors to post to, scroll to the bottom of the options page and hit save. There are oodles of options as you scroll down, but the defaults are pretty good. Now, at the bottom of each post you make, there will be a bookmark bar, where your visitors can share your posts to their Facebook page and any of the social media networks show above!
Linking Facebook to WordPress Summary
Well that’s all there is to it! These are the 4 key steps in fully integrating Facebook into WordPress and to increase the popularity of your Blog! I do want to point out one more option, but this is usually very theme dependent.
A lot of Blog theme designers today recognize the importance of integrating social media into their Blog design, and as such, most themes come with configurable options to enter your Facebook as well as other social platforms. The respective icons will then show up on your Blog could be in the header, footer, sidebar, or all 3 places – the placement and appearance is theme dependent.