One of the many things a blogger needs to do to reach a wider audience is to grow his social media following, whether it’s in Facebook, Twitter or Google +. The more people who follow you on these platforms, the more exposure you get for your blog.
Growing your social media followers is not as easy as it seems. If you don’t have the budget, getting followers on Facebook, Twitter and any other platform will prove to be an ongoing process
Some strategies work well, such as social sharing buttons on your blog. However, people may share your content to their social media profiles, but won’t necessarily follow or add you to their network.
So what can motivate a person to follow you with a genuine interest in what you have to say? Give them something in return. They say nothing comes for free these days, but payment doesn’t need to be monetary.
How does “Pay-with-a-like/tweet” work?
A clever way of getting more Facebook, Twitter or Google + followers is to lock your best content and have your readers follow you first so they can unlock and read it.
Note that this content should be unique and helpful to your readers — something that they might even pay real money for.
This method of sharing content is called “Pay with a like” or “Pay with a tweet” and so on, depending on the social network of your choice.
So how do you go about locking content and having readers pay with a social follow?
Once you install the plugin, you’ll be able to set up “lockers” for a specified content on your blog. Here’s how:
On the left menu pane on your WordPress dashboard, select “New Locker” under the Social Locker menu header.
This will bring you to the next page where you can choose to create a Social Locker or Sign-in Locker. The difference between the two is briefly explained on the page itself. In a nutshell, creating a Social Locker requires users to like, share or follow your social profiles, while Sign-in requires a user to sign in using their social media accounts, and then you can add other actions for them to do once logged in (follow, tweet, subscribe). If you want users to subscribe to your email list, you’ll need to install the Opt-in Panda plugin first.
In the example below, I chose Social Locker and gave it a name. Here you can customize the style and content of your locker. The free plugin allows you to use two locker themes, but a premium account unlocks all five. There is a 7-day trial period, where you can try all premium features. A permanent premium upgrade costs $24.
Any changes made appears on a preview below the settings area.
To configure which actions the user can choose, go to “Social Options” and click on each social network and toggle the On/Off button for each as needed. For example, if you click on the Facebook like button, you will need to enter the URL of your Facebook page which you want the reader to like.
Do this for the rest of the social networks you prefer. At this time, free OnePress Social Locker can integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Google +, YouTube and LinkedIn. The free plugin lets you use up to two social networks, while the premium version unlocks all networks and functions.
Once you’re done with the settings, click on the “Publish” button.
To apply the locker to your content, find “Manual Locking” under the Publish or Update button and look for the shortcode. Apply the shortcode to the content you want to lock. For example, I got the shortcode: [sociallocker id=”444"] [/[/sociallocker]I applied it to my content as shown below, adding the first part of the code at the beginning of the article, and adding the second half at the end of the article:
There is also a Batch Locking option which allows you to automatically lock specific portions of your blog post — which is not really ideal and I would not recommend you use this feature.
More options for your locker are found on the right panel of the page, starting with Visibility options and Advanced options. A few added features are showing a Close button for the locker, or disabling the locker for registered members of your website. You can also set a locker to appear in posts that are older than a specified number of days as shown below.
Though a free version is good enough to get a hang of it. For experienced & pro user, I would recommend buying the pro version which is for only $24, and comes with life-time free updates. Here are additional features of pro version:
- 5 Extra Stunning Themes
- 8 Social Buttons
- Facebook Share
- Twitter Follow
- LinkedIn Share
- Google Share
- YouTube Subscribe
- Hide Lockers For Registered Users
- Countdown Timer & Close Cross
- ReLock & Delayed Lock
- Loading the locked content via Ajax
- Export Leads In CSV
- Dedicated support and more!
Note: Even though you put your content behind social-pay wall, it will have no effect on the SEO. As search engine bots will still be able to see the content, which makes this plugin SEO friendly.
Once you get the hang of using this plugin, it really is a breeze to apply. The real challenge is creating content that is so good that your readers won’t regret following, sharing or subscribing to read your content, and will want to read more of your ideas. You should use this technique to your selected epic content, or content like “how to” “solution to a problem”, as they are more likely to get more social shares.
If you want a legitimate, fair and mutually beneficial way of growing your social media metrics, the OnePress Social Locker is a great idea. It’s a great way to reward your readers for following or sharing your work in their social network accounts, at the same time establishing yourself as an authority who can offer excellent content that helps your audience solve a problem.
If you are already putting your content behind social paywall, I would love to hear your learning & experiences. Do share about this awesom WordPress plugin with your friends on social networking sites.