The power of social networks is huge for the success of a website. If you are looking for a way to increase the social sharing and followers of your WordPress site, content lockers are a good option that is worth consideration.
There are generally two kinds of content lockers that you can use on your site – paywall content lockers, and social lockers. With the former, readers are required to pay a small fee to gain access to the locked content, and for the latter, they just need to share your post on a specified social media platform.
In practical uses, social lockers are more popular and acceptable than paywall content lockers. People do not always want to pay for a thing on an unfamiliar website, but instead, they are more willing to share something in their Twitter or G+ account, which makes them feel safer.
So for this tutorial, we mainly explain how to add social lockers in WordPress to improve the social engagement and increase website traffic. To get things easier, we will use a plugin named OnePress Social Locker.
Add Content Lockers in WordPress with OnePress Social Locker
OnePress Social Locker is the most popular content locking plugin that has been well maintained and updated. There were several competitors in the past, but most of them have been left un-updated for more than one year.
The good things of OnePress Social Locker are:
- It comes with three social buttons including Twitter Tweet, Facebook Like and Google +1.
- It offers multiple stylish and animated styles and effects.
- It is SEO-friendly. The locked content is visible to search engines, so you are not losing the ranking benefits.
- It remembers who has shared the content, so your readers will not bother re-sharing to re-read the locked content.
Below are the details steps for using the plugin. But before starting any of the steps, you have to get the plugin installed and activated.
Step 1: Configure the plugin
When the plugin is activated, you will see a Social Locker menu is added to the sidebar of the WordPress dashboard. Now you need to click on Social Locker > Global Settings to set the plugin up.
On the settings page, there are a large number of options, among which the most important ones to deal with are those presented under the “Social Options” tab.
Here, you have to fill in the required app IDs and API keys so that the social buttons will work properly even if they are not set up individually for each content locker. Also, you can select a language for the buttons. And at last, remember to save the changes.
For the other options in the global settings, you can leave them to the default value if you do not have special requirements. What’s worth notices here is that you can enable Google Analytics integration. As long as your site contains Google Analytics tracking code, the plugin generates an event whenever the locked content is unlocked, so that you can easily get stats in a centralized interface.
Step 2: Create and configure a locker
To do this, you need to go to Social Locker > New Locker, and then click on the “Create Item” button in the “Social Locker” block.
Then on the new page, you have to enter a title for the new locker, and set up the basic options and social options. For the basic options, you can:
- Write an attractive locker header which contains a call to action.
- Make a locker message. Post title and URL are supported with the use of shortcodes. Also, remember to add the attachment to the message if the locked content is a downloadable file.
- Choose a theme.
And for the social options, you can configure the Facebook like button, Twitter tweet button and Google +1 button one by one.
Step 3: Add the locker in a post
When the locker is published, it becomes available for use. You can add it in your post by inserting its shortcode which can be found in the locker list and the “Manual Locking” meta box on the locker creation page.
Just put the content which will be locked inside the shortcode, and everything is done.
Previewing the post, you will see a content locker like what shown in below.
OnePress Social Locker also has a premium version which supports five other social buttons, including YouTube Subscribe, Twitter Follow, Facebook Share, and LinkedIn share. Besides, it comes with more themes and the ability to hide lockers for the registered users. The price is $24.
Content lockers are good if they are used reasonably for things like a special promo code and a download link of a free video, audio file or PDF file. Putting them in the long and valuable articles is also a universal practice.
However, you should never abuse content lockers, or you could annoy your visitors and lose traffic. To maximize the value of content lockers, you should always remember only to use them with the sincerity to help your readers and NEVER try:
- Locking all the content on a post or page.
- Locking valueless or boring content. This will harm your readers’ feeling and your reputation. Besides, the readers may also choose to remove the like or tweet after the content is unlocked.