PLEASE SHARE

Over the past year I have been using a little social locker trick to help drive social shares across the entire blog every single day on complete auto pilot.

This has resulted in a total of 43,094 social shares to date – all without having to lift a finger.

Today I’m going to reveal my dirty little secret and how you can do exactly the same for your own site.

What You Will Learn

  • My dirty little social locker secret
  • How I got thousands of social shares
  • How you can do the same

Social Sharing Gone Wild

Before I reveal my dirty little secret I want to show you the real world results of my strategy.

The graph below shows the number of shares this blog has received over the past month as a direct result of my secret social locker strategy.

social locker plugin usage stats

In the last month alone there have been a total of 3,185 social shares!

I would have missed out on all of those shares if it wasn’t for my sneaky social media sharing strategy.

This strategy makes it easy to squeeze as much value as possible out of your traffic without having to do any extra work – my favourite type of strategy :)

The Problem With Social Sharing

However I want to quickly address some of the problems with social sharing and why it isn’t as effective as it used to be.

When social share buttons first appeared on the scene visitors shared content like there was no tomorrow. However over time visitors have become less and less motivated to share your content.

As more sites have adopted social share buttons visitors have started to place them in their psychological blind spot. Much like banner ad blindness visitors are now getting use to seeing social share buttons and ignore them subconsciously.

Even when a visitor really likes your content – they are not sharing it like they used to.

So how do we address that problem?

Revealing My Dirty Little Social Locker Secret

When I launched my tiered link building tutorials over 2 years ago I wanted them to be shared everywhere.

To encourage people to share I decided to put together an exclusive pack of resources that could only be unlocked if someone shared the tutorial on social media.

This would not only bring new visitors which in turn would bring more social shares but would also give the pages social signals from an SEO perspective.

To give you an idea of how it worked, this is what it looked like when I first integrated the strategy on the blog-

the old social locker for wordpress

It wasn’t pretty and was a very clunky solution – but it worked and as you can see it certainly helped to drive social sharing.

I was happy with how the initial testing went so it made sense to develop the strategy further.

Taking It To The Next Level

I wanted to take what I had learnt, develop the strategy a little more and then roll it out across the entire blog.

The problem was the integration sucked and was causing huge problems with caching. It took a lot of time to setup for each post and was pretty basic.

So I started looking for other solutions and came across the OnePress Social Locker plugin.

This plugin was much more developed, compatible with caching, looked pretty, was easy to setup and provided a range of useful stats. It’s easily the best social locker plugin for WordPress.

So let’s take a closer look at the social locker plugin, how it works and how I use it to drive thousands of shares across social media.

A Closer Look At The Social Locker Plugin

All the Onepress Social Locker does is lock your most valuable content behind a set of social share buttons.

When someone shares your page, they unlock the additional content.

Try it for yourself below, just share the page and you will be able to download a PDF copy of this post-

It is pretty simple really but that basic theory can be applied to your site in a number of ways with the social content locker plugin.

Usage Examples

There are lots of different ways you can use this plugin to your advantage.

Here are a few ideas to help get your creative juices flowing-

Exclusive Resources

One of my favourite uses of this plugin is to create a set of exclusive resources that are relevant to the current tutorial.

For example at the end of my TheBestSpinner tutorial people can share the page to unlock the extra resources.

extra resources

This is one of my favourite uses for the social locker plugin and it really helps to drive those social shares.

PDF/Video Downloads

If it’s not possible to create a set of exclusive resources then you can just make a PDF copy of the post available to download like I have with this post.

This is really east to do and it takes less than a minute to create a PDF version of your post using the Print Friendly browser extension.

download pdf

This is a strategy I’m starting to see a lot of bloggers user now – just remember where you saw it first 😛

You could also upload the PDF to SlideShare to get even more value nudge nudge wink wink.

If the post is video based then you can just make the video available to download-

download video

I just use Format Factory to create a lower resolution mobile version.

Promo Codes & Discounts

You could also put an exclusive discount behind a social locker to not only increase sales conversion but to also attract new visitors as well.

get discount

You could place the locker on your homepage, product page or if you run an e-commerce website on the thank you page after checkout.

Content Teasing

One of the other great ways to use the social locker is to hide some of the content in your blog post.

For example you might write an awesome post where you reveal all of your juciy secrets in the last few paragraphs. You could put those behind a social locker.

content lock

Terry Kyle did exactly that with this post.

How To Create A Social Locker For WordPress

Creating a social locker for WordPress is really easy once you installed the OnePress Social Locker plugin.

Just go to Social lockers > Add social locker and configure it how you want.

I will show you how the social locker is setup on this page.

Basic Options

The first to take care of are the basic options which are really simple!

All you have to do is enter the header text and message you want to display in the social locker itself.

basic options

You can also choose which theme you want to use and how it locks the content. I always use the classic mode like I have in this post, but you can also lock the entire page.

There are 4 themes to choose from by default but I will show you how to customise them later.

Social Options

Next you have to choose which social networks you want to be active to unlock your content.

There are a range of options here including the usual Google +1, Facebook Like, Twitter Tweet and LinkedIn Share.

content locker plugin options

But you can also get people to follow you on Twitter and share directly on Facebook/Google+.

You can also change the order they are displayed in by dragging each network up or down. Personally I always have Google+ first, then Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Visibility/Advanced Options

Last but not least you need to setup the visibility and advanced options.

As you can see there are a range of visibility options to choose from but I usually leave these at default.

other options

There are also a range of advanced options to choose from, again I leave these at default except for the Ajax option which means people can’t see the locked content in the HTML source code.

Live Preview

You can see a live preview of your social locker as you tweak the various options.

live preview

This is really helpful and makes editing/tweaking the social locker a breeze.

Batch Locking

When you want to insert the social locker into a post you have a couple of options.

You can either do it manually by copying/pasting the relevant shortcode into the post where you want the social locker to appear. This is what I do.

The other option is to use the batch lock feature.

batch locking

The batch lock feature makes it easy for you to lock all of the content across your blog in a couple of clicks.

For example you can have the social locker to hide content on every single post after the 4th paragraph.

Manual Locking

I tend to create a unique social locker for every single post I publish so I like to use the manual locking feature.

Each social locker you create has its own shortcode that you can place anywhere you want it to appear.

manual lock

So with this post for example I’m offering up a PDF download in exchange for a social share.

This is what the code looks like in the post editor-

shortcode

This makes the social locker appear and when the user shares the page, it reveals the Thank You For Sharing section between the shortcode tags which includes a link to the PDF.

Customising The Design

Using the StyleRoller addon it is possible to create and customise social locker themes easily.

You can create as many different themes as you want to use on as many social lockers as you want.

styleroller

The interface is really easy to use and gives you full control over the styling and appearance of the social locker itself.

Here is a quick example of what you can do-

styleroller after

The style roller makes it really easy to integrate the social locker into your existing sites design or to make it really stand out.

Stats & Google Analytics Integration

One of the things I like most about the OnePress Social Locker is the direct integration of usage statistics.

You can view the statisics in a couple of different ways.

Built In Statistics

By default the plugin will track usage statistics directly within the WordPress admin dashboard.

It will show you how many social shares each of your social lockers are getting on which networks for the date range you select.

usage statistics

In the image above you can see the performance of the social lockers for August so far along with which lockers have received the most shares.

Google Analytics

You can also enable Google Analytics tracking in the options panel.

google analytics

This works with the old version of Google Analytics along with the new universal analytics.

ALERT: Increase Social Media Traffic & Engagement Instantly With My Case Studys!

It will detect which you are using automatically and insert event tracking tags across all of your social lockers.

analytics integration

This information is really handy to have in Analytics and you can setup goals based on those events to track conversions easily.

Wrapping It Up

So there we have it. My dirty little secret to unlock thousands of social media shares is all yours!

You can download a free version of the social locker for WordPress right here.

Spend time creating relevant resources for your content and drop it behind a social locker – you’ll be amazed at the huge difference that small change will make.

If you are feeling extra lazy don’t forget you can just create a PDF copy of your post and put that behind a social locker.

What other creative ways can you think of to use this strategy? Let me know in the comments!

89 Responses

  1. 8.26.2014

    And there it goes again, inbox-ing emails at 2am in the morning.
    Well, Matt, you got me at the stats&analytics, my heart just skipped a beat there. ^^

    On some serious thought, I admit this plugin is less aggressive than the classic versions of “Share this on FB to gain access to content”, which was driving me crazy at one point, they were using it in Romania (news sites, mainly, but it a very unpleasant way) – you should definitely mention how to get social media shares the right way in your presentation.

    I think the huge plus this plugin has is the PDF file creation: it follows the MarketingProf’s strategy of pdfs with tutorials/articles/white papers downloadable links (only they did it through emails and still do). But now integrated in a plugin, where the user has the control to download it at their own choice, there’s not much forcing involved – well, this is the best next step in plugin dev.

    Don’t know if I make any sense at this hour, but you get the point, right? :)

    Rox

    • August 26th, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Haha sorry about that, I suppose my timezone shift has changed when my posts go out for most people lol

      • August 26th, 2014 at 11:02 pm

        Hmm, owl be thinking about accepting the apology.
        Joking. No, it’s weird ’cause sometimes I get your email in the afternoon, other times around noon, sometimes after midnight (those that you can’t read below 18 :)) ) and well, occasionally I get them in the morning.

        Luckily enough, 90% of the times I’m awake so I don’t miss out on anything. It’ll probably change once I make the timezone shift myself. ^^

  2. 8.26.2014

    Bravo :). What a coincidence! I was learning about this plugin this afternoon and you just sent the complete tutorial! I will use it! Thanks! You are expanding your knowledge to the spanish world :)! What is thE difference with thE pro versión of the plugin? The addon I guess, Or any feature else?

    Un saludo!

    • August 27th, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Haha perfect timing :) Do you mean Spain or the Spanish speaking world?

      • August 27th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

        Well, as I am spanish and read mostly spanish blogs, I mean Spain. But i know Andrea from another blog and know she is from south America, so i think it is both option! Although i’m moving to somewhere nearer from your home, hastings. Lets see how English people are ^_^.

        Cheers

    • August 28th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Hi Jorge,

      “What is thE difference with thE pro versión of the plugin?”

      This is the pro version. By using the links in this post, you can download a free 7-days trial. But it’s the full featured pro version. Just download and install, works immediately. 😉

      Paul,
      One of the developers of this plugin

  3. 8.27.2014

    I just loooove your tutorials!! I am in the spanish market and I am redisigning my brand and I am moving in the way of SUPER USEFUL tutorials like you. I am talk about personal development and internet marketing…

    but that was not the point of my comment…do you have a google analytics tutorial? It would me awesome to have one!

  4. 8.27.2014

    This is a great plugin yet it is not responsive. More than 40% of traffic across all my sites is on thin width mobiles screens. If this plugin was responsive it would make more sense to me. Matt, do you know if the developers are going to look at making this responsive?

    • August 27th, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      I will drop him an email right now and find out :) I thought it was responsive to be honest, it’s certainly mobile compatible and you can make it not appear for mobile devices as well.

    • Paul
      August 27th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Chris,

      Maybe do you confuse this plugin with another? 😉

      This one is fully responsive. Could you please show the page where you have noticed the incorrect behavior.

      Paul,
      One of the developers of this plugin

      • August 27th, 2014 at 9:19 pm

        Hi Paul,

        Here is an example from the sociallocker.org website on my HTC desire.

        http://imgur.com/WFdsBZD

        I hope that helps as I really want to buy this plugin.

        • August 28th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

          Hi Chris,

          Thank you for taking the time to make the screenshot.

          It’s our bad. Our website is not completely responsive because we set the minimum width for the home page.

          But the Social Locker is still responsive.

          Please check our demo on CodeCanyon:
          http://goo.gl/eUPNLY
          (click the Live Preview under the inline banner)

          Here’s the screenshot from there:
          http://snag.gy/XTfnW.jpg

          Paul

          • Chris
            August 29th, 2014 at 4:39 am

            Oh Great! Thanks for showing me that.

            I will be getting this plugin for sure now!

            Cheers!

  5. 8.27.2014

    I always have to clear a few hours from my schedule every time you release a new tutorial so I can start implementing the things I read.

    Pretty soon I’m just gonna have a “Matt hour” hardwired into the daily schedule!

  6. Paul Ray
    8.27.2014

    Great post Matt. I had just started implementing in my projects as well. Its a great tool.

    • August 27th, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      It really is – you can use it in nearly any niche!

  7. 8.27.2014

    I have been using social locker for long (after reading it on your website) and just now bought the style roller as well.

    My experience is that social locker is a sure shot way to get shares while giving out good content.

  8. Charles Floate
    8.26.2014

    I’ve used this plugin since I first launched my blog well over a year ago now! It’s fantastic, and even though I’ve hardly used it on my main blog, it’s still managed to attract hundreds of social shares to my posts!

    Couldn’t recommend this plugin enough, it’s perfect for anyone using WP.

  9. 8.27.2014

    Your every article is a gold mine. Thanks for sharing this valuable strategy. :)

  10. 8.27.2014

    again awesome post .even i am experimenting with this plugin in these days and i got idea after reading this post..thanks matt

    you roxxxxx!!!

  11. Aaron
    8.27.2014

    Nice post as usual Matt.

    Does this plugin not fall foul of the new Facebook ban on “like-gating” though? I suppose you could still use the other social channels if it does.

    • August 27th, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      That’s debatable – typically like gating blocks out entire pages where as I use it to serve up extra/bonus content rather than locking the front door entirely so to speak.

      But even if it is a problem, like you say – just disable Facebook :)

    • August 28th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Aaron,

      Actually closing the “like-gating” feature on Facebook is not a big problem. When these new rules will be applied (since 5 Nov), we will prepare a replacement for the Like button.It will be the Facebook Connect button which will be more powerful and will help to build lists.

      Of course, you will be still able to use the Like button in the Social Locker with minor changes. The plugin will automatically setup the locker for you when you select the Like button to use.

      Also some new buttons will be available soon:
      Youtube Subscribe, Pinterest, “Subscribe via email to unlock”

      Don’t worry about changes in the Facebook Platform Policy, we will care about that.

      Paul,
      One of the developers of this plugin

  12. Josh MTC
    8.27.2014

    Love the PDF creator element ill have to see if I can integrate this plugin with my blog. Thanks for sharing :)

    • August 27th, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      No worrys, the PDF one is just a quick/easy way to do things :)

  13. 8.27.2014

    Dude, you have some great tips and resources. Glad to get this today it was very timely reminder of this plugin. Need to get it setup for my next project.

    • August 27th, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      Hey Oscar :)

      No worrys glad to be of service – you know how to reach me ^^

  14. 8.27.2014

    Great info. This is like making the visitors obliged to share. Do you think of that some visitors might leave your blog if they have to do this on a regular basis? Like if they book marked a page or comeback again then they have to share again to get they info?

    • August 27th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      They are not obligated to share, the share is to unlock extras/bonus content. Once the share has happened though the content remains unlocked if they return.

      The social locker also has a setting where if someone unlocks 1 locker, they unlock all of them on a site.

  15. Nikhil Waghdhare
    8.27.2014

    Hey Matthew,

    These are some great strategies to increase social share. I like this plugin. And I’m already using it on my two websites to get more social share. It’s amazing… :)

  16. 8.27.2014

    Now that’s called a great Idea. Awesome post Mat, now the user can’t go without sharing our Content !!

    Is the plugin available for other platforms also ?

  17. Amine Richer
    8.27.2014

    Hi Matt,
    Thank you, I am using the same plugin in my blog. Needless to say that one must make really great content locked in order to get shares.
    At the same time, I felt your site get a little aggressive with the optin forms everywhere, not a really good user experience 😉

    • August 27th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      Yes that is something I’m experimenting with right now sorry

  18. 8.28.2014

    I don’t see very much value in downloading a pdf version of the blog post. On the other hand, if you offer content that wasn’t covered in the blog post already — that’s as different story. Some kind of step-by-step checklist with extra tips that wasn’t covered in the article. You get the idea 😉

    • August 28th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Yeah that’s what Brian Dean does and no doubt it would have much better results!

      • September 2nd, 2014 at 2:04 am

        I’ve used this plugin since I first launched my blog well over a year ago now! It’s great

  19. shiny.kicks
    8.29.2014

    Another great blog post. I love your tips, Matt.

    So glad that I found this website a couple of months ago.

  20. 8.30.2014

    It’s helped me receive thousands of additional shares to my posts but a lot of the time my audience problems with it not unlocking.

    Seems to clash with my theme at times.

    Additional content performs much better than just a PDF in my tests.

    It’s great and boost social shares but presently I’m more concerned with email sign ups.

    So I’ve changed to asking people to sign up to get the additional content and it’s skyrocket sign ups.

    • September 9th, 2014 at 12:05 am

      Have you spoke to the developer? He is pretty responsive with things and I agree the extra content performs a lot better!

      The locker will have an email feature soon as well

  21. 8.30.2014

    Hi Matthew,

    You always do something different. And search of this amazing plugin is one of those things. When I first visited your blog a couple of months before, a couple of things immediately got my attention. No need to say, your content sharing strategy comes in top of the list. I have not yet used this plugin but would love to if m lucky enough to get it via this giveaway. Anyways I love your blog.

    • September 9th, 2014 at 12:03 am

      Hi,

      Thanks very much – good lukc with the competition =D

  22. 8.31.2014

    Hey Matt, I am intrigued by the idea of a social locker to boost socila media sharing, but I do wonder if it would bug some people and they would just not bother to do it? Do you have any figures to share regarding how many people actually do it?

    • September 9th, 2014 at 12:01 am

      Yes all the figures are in the post, you can see from the stats screenshot how many people actually do it.

      If people don’t want to do it that’s fine, they don’t have to have the extra resources etc

  23. vinish
    9.1.2014

    Wow! great. Thanks a lot ,you always explain in such a way that its easy to understand. Another awesome post!

  24. 9.3.2014

    how much is this tool once the trial period has ended?

  25. 9.15.2014

    Thanks Matthew! Looking forward to getting this implemented.

  26. 9.15.2014

    This sucks… $47 is even for only 3 domains. Is there any kind of license for unlimited domains?

  27. 9.15.2014

    Hey Matthew,

    3 for 3 great posts…
    I’m really starting to enjoy reading your post…

    Great topics and powerful learning…

    Thanks

  28. Myra Love
    9.15.2014

    Matthew, is there any issue using Facebook? I thought I read they did not want us using social locks to get likes?

    Thanks!

  29. Muhammad ALif
    9.16.2014

    I have bought many plugins, that wasted because I don’t know how to use it. This kind of tutorial is exactly what I need. Thank a lot for sharing. At least Now I know how to use social locker..

  30. 9.18.2014

    Hey bud-quick question but whats the main benefit of this and the free version they have also?

  31. 10.5.2014

    A super useful post as always from you Matthew.
    Keep up the good work!

  32. 10.6.2014

    Hi Matt- I have been blogging for a few years and I have always struggled with social shares. I am really glad I found your tutorial for this plugin. Is this the same plugin that you use that will direct people to a certain page after they leave a comment on your site?

  33. 7.14.2015

    Hi Matthew,
    I am really enjoying your articles. Please can you tell me which is that f£$%£%$£ awesome minimalistic social share toolbar plugin which appears on the top of the page on every article??? Pleaseeeee man!!!! Give me that information and I will share with you my new book “How to learn Russian” for FREE!!!! http://livediversified.com/learn-russian-free-ebook/ If you don’t have any plans to learn Russian, send me your address and I will drop you 3 Mars bars! I know you work long hours on your laptop! Thanks bro!

    • July 14th, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Hahah its coded into my theme but I think a plugin called floating social share bar or something does the same thing

      • July 15th, 2015 at 2:39 am

        Thanks so much Matthew. I found something similar. What shall I do with the Mars bars? Where shall I send them to? :) You travelling now?

        • July 15th, 2015 at 10:26 am

          Lol no problem don’t worry, I’m in Costa Rica right now – they wouldn’t survive 30 seconds in this heat

          • Angelos Georgakis
            July 15th, 2015 at 10:40 am

            Hahhaahha!!!! Ok, have fun! Que disfrutes! :)

  34. Jesse Parkor
    9.8.2015

    Really enjoyed the article. By the way, what plugin do you use for your social buttons at the end of the posts? Looks simple but pretty nice. Thanks.

  35. SteamProfile
    7.10.2016

    The best plugin ever

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