Every blogger should be active on at least one other social media platform besides blogging. Why? Because it’s a free way to get you, your blog and your books in front of new audiences.
Unless you tell your readers what social media platforms you’re on, then they’ll probably only find you by chance. That’s why you should do all you can to promote where your readers can also find you and your books.
WordPress has made the ‘Social Icons’ widget into a block that makes it easy to advertise your social media accounts on your blog posts and pages. And, best of all, once you’ve created it, with a single click, you can add it to every blog post and page.
The ‘Social Icons‘ block takes away the ‘probably’ and does the job perfectly.
Let’s get started. Here’s how to create your ‘Social Icons’ block.
- The ‘Social Icons’ block can be added to a new blog post (or one you’ve already published).
- Click the ‘add new block button’.
- Search for the block by adding ‘social icons’ in the search-bar.
- Click the ‘Social Icons’ block to add it to your post.
- Next, follow the instructions on the following image to start adding social media icons to the block. I’ve also listed the instructions under the image.
- Click the ‘plus’ sign just above the window that shows social icons images.
- Use the search-bar to find social icons.
- Click on the social icons you want to add to the block.
- For a full list of available social icons, click on ‘Browse all.’
In my case, I’ve added social icons for Twitter, WordPress, Amazon, Goodreads and Flipboard.
Useful Tip: Use the ‘link‘ icon for any social icons WordPress does not have icons for. I’ve done this for my Flipboard account.
Note: Until you’ve linked your social media accounts to the icons, they will be ‘ghosted’ out.
- To link your social media accounts to each icon, click on each icon and copy and paste the URL address of the relevant social media account in the bar that appears.
- Remember to always click the ‘Apply’ button after adding each account.
As you add each address, the icon will no longer be ‘ghosted’ out.
Now you’ve added and linked your social media accounts to all icons, it’s time to choose a few more features. You’ll find these on the righthand side of the screen when clicking on the ‘Social Icons’ block you’ve created. Here’s a screenshot of what you’ll see and some features I’ve highlighted.
The features include –
- The style of each icon. In my case I chose the ‘Pill’ shape for the icons.
- The option of wether a new window opens when somebody clicks on one of the icons.
- Choice of colours for the icons
I highly recommend that you switch on the ‘Open links in new tab‘ feature so that the page your reader is on when clicking on the icons does not close down. After all, you don’t want anybody leaving your blog when clicking on one of the icons, do you?
Can the size of the social icons be changed?
Yes. Click the ‘Size’ button in the ‘social Icons’ block’s toolbar to change the size of the icons.
You can also change the alignment and the items justification of the icons in the block’s toolbar.
How to turn your ‘Social Icon’ block into a reusable block.
If you want to add your ‘Social Icons’ block with just one click onto all your blog posts (and I recommend you do), you’ll need to make the block reusable. My post How To Add A Reusable Block To A WordPress Blog Using The Gutenberg Editor gives full details on how to do this, but here’s an image that quickly outlines the details.
Any edits or updates you do to a reusable block are applied everywhere you’ve used the block. Therefore, if any of your social media accounts get a new URL address, all you need to do is edit the address in the reusable block. You don’t need to visit and make the changes on every blog post where the block appears. Reusable blocks are excellent for adding details of your books to blog posts especially when doing occasional special deals on them.
- Finally, most importantly, make sure the icons in the block work and go to the correct social media accounts before using the block on your posts.
Let’s Wrap It Up
- Social media is one of the best ways to promote your blog and books for free.
- Use the ‘social icons’ block to promote your social media accounts and let readers know where to find you.
- The ‘social icons’ block is easy to set up and use. Follow the guide in this post.
- Use the ‘link’ icon to crate a button for social media platforms WordPress does not offer an icon for.
- To stop readers leaving your blog when clicking on your ‘social Icons’ block, make sure the ‘open links in new tab’ button is switched on.
- Turn your ‘social icons’ block into a reusable block that can be inserted on all posts and pages with just one click.
- Any changes you make to your ‘social icons’ reusable block will be implemented wherever the block appears. No need to make the changes on every post!
And here is my ‘Social Icons’ block.
Go ahead and click on the buttons and follow me on my other social media platforms.
Are you using the ‘Social Icons’ block?
Any questions? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.
Layout, content, and format might differ on self-hosted blogs.
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