First, if you’re not sure what kind of a wordpress site you have, check this post to find out:
Then follow these instructions:
You have 2 options for adding sharing buttons for the many different social media services. You can either add each one individually, or add a lot of them and group them behind a singe “Share” button on your web page. Which you choose depends on how many you plan to add: for up to three, it’s reasonable to have a dedicated button for each service (and makes it easier and more obvious for your readers), but for more than that, the page gets very cluttered and you might want to group them together. You can also mix and match: have a dedicated button for your top social media sites, and add all the rest to a Share button.
You’ll see a live preview of the results of your actions below the “Enabled Services” section. Once you’re happy with your choices, scroll down and take a look at the rest of the settings.
Posts and Pages are the basic choices here. If you choose Front Page etc, these pages contain multiple posts and each post will have its own set of sharing buttons, creating a great deal of clutter. Try out different choices and see what you prefer.
This applies only to visitors to your site who are wordpress.com members themselves. It doesn’t hurt to leave it on, unless you prefer to reduce the clutter factor.
Now click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.
When you go back to look at your site, you should see the sharing buttons appear where you specified them.
Things are a little more complicated if you have a self hosted site. The basic process is to install a “plugin” that will handle the social media buttons for you, activate it, then choose the buttons you want.
For many years I’ve used the AddtoAny/Lockerz buttons plugin, and found it simple and reliable. There are many other special purpose social media plugins available on the WordPress plugins page.
However, many newer self-hosted wordpress installations automatically include the Jetpack plugin from WordPress.com, which gives you many functions that wordpress.com sites have, including social media buttons. If you use Jetpack, the method for setting up the buttons will be very similar to that above for free wordpress.com sites.
It’s not possible for me to give the exact steps for every different social media plugin. Here’s the general process,
You’ll now see your list of installed plugins. You can use this method to install any plugin where you know the name, or you can use more general search terms in the search box and read the resulting descriptions to choose an appropriate plugin.
The choices are very similar to those for the wordpress.com sites detailed above, so there’s not much point me going into a lot of detail here. Just experiment with different settings until you get the look you want on your pages.