While looking through Code Canyons plugin inventory I came across ‘Social Locker’ by One Press. Social Locker is a plugin specifically designed to help webmasters increase their social media presence by asking visitors to pay for your content with a tweet, plus one, or a Facebook like.
Thank you One Press media for offering a review copy to WP Squared, it is much appreciated!
What Exactly Is Social Locker?
Social locker is a plugin that can be set to lock parts of your content from public view, until such a time that a visitor has agreed to share the content. Once tweeted to their followers, or shared across their chosen social network your visitor will be given unrestricted access to the content, and any other locked content on your blog.
While the benefits of such a plugin can easily be imagined, it does not take a genius to contemplate what possible problems may occur by forcing your audience to share your content (especially before they have really seen the beef of what it is you have to offer).
Before deciding to use a content locking plugin that forces your visitors to act before viewing your content, make sure you test whether your visitors are MORE or LESS likely to share. Not all website content lends itself well to this type of plugin, and it is often best to only lock content that adds REAL value; such as downloads, video turtorials etc.
The Nuts & Bolts!
Because Onepress media has a lot of experience with creating social locking plugins you can be sure that what you are getting here is a completely finished work. Their previous plugins include Tweet 2 Unlock, Plus 2 Unlock & Like 2 Unlock. They also offer first class support.
Content Locker Theme Options
Below I have added some screenshots of how the content locker will look on your website. There are four content locking themes to choose from.
Social Locker Dashboard Options
As with all good plugins Social Locker offers you enough options to easily install, test, and use on an ongoing basis with relatively few hickups.
The Social Locker plugin allows you to create numerous locking blocks with as many header captions, and locker messages as you want to encourage people to share your content.
The great thing about this plugin in particular is the built in analytics that will help you track exactly how many of your visitors use the locker to share your content.
Below you can see the main administration dashboard that allows you to create new content lockers with text specific to the content you are hiding (if you choose to do so).
You can also decide on what content is promoted when someone chooses to do so (facebook page, home page, post page or other).
This dashboard is also where you choose the content locker theme that best suits your website.
The analytics dashboard of the plugin should give you enough information to get the most from the plugin.
It will be important to optimize what options provide you with the greatest social media presence. The analytics should also help you when deciding whether to use the plugin at all.
Below is the total social media shares (as a graph), and shares broken down by content.
Detailed Analytics Breakdown
As well as sharing options there are optional options that can be activated to allow visitors to bypass the share with the use of a close icon, or an option to bypass by means of a timer.
These analytics will allow you to pay close attention to the percentage of people bypassing your request to share, and is therefore likely to play a large role in deciding whether or not to use these options.
I have never felt the need to lock content that I have written, but I can see the benefits that Social Locker might have for the right website.
I believe that to use this plugin effectively your content will have to be very strong, and be social media worthy to attract visitors.
Overall I think the plugin is a great one, and if i were to lock content It is definitely the plugin that I would choose.