Switching your blog to https has a significant impact on the social proof related to all published posts.
While the share count buttons for Twitter and LinkedIn will preserve the figures they previously displayed, the buttons for Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Stumbleupon will reset to zero.
That’s because the latter social media networks don’t consider https pages as being the same thing as their relevant http versions.
As a consequence, these four networks track two sets of share counts for the same blog: one set for http pages and the other for https pages.
How the Regular Social Sharing Plugins Work
Using a non-tech language, this is how a regular social sharing plugin works for each blog post:
1) The plugin checks what the exact address of the blog post is
2) The plugin asks the social network how many shares are counted for the blog post located at that exact address
3) The plugin displays on your blog post the response received from that social network.
The problem is that – as in real life – if you ask a wrong question or an incomplete question, you won’t get the most useful answer.
The plugins should ask two questions: how many shares are counted for the http address of a page and how many for the https version of the same page. Then the plugin should do the math and display the aggregate number of shares.
Most plugins don’t ask two questions though. And if you ask the customer support what’s wrong, you get the usual, “It’s not our fault, we’re just displaying the counts received automatically from that social media network API.”
Is There a Solution For Preserving Social Proof Though?
Install Social Warfare. It’s one of the few social media plugins that has a social proof recovery feature.
Actually I found out only one more plugin that has a paid add-on for this feature. But I didn’t test it.
Because Social Warfare has more useful functions (such as preventing the addition of frames to your blog posts shared on Twitter by third parties).
After you install Social Warfare, go to the tab “Advanced” from the settings panel and there you’ll find the module “Share Recovery.”
Choose the following settings:
– Activate Share Recovery: ON
– Previous Connection Protocol: http
Please note that:
– the updated share counts won’t be displayed right after you activated Share Recovery feature. It will take up to 12 hours or so; however, if you want to get immediately the new share counts for a certain blog post, edit it and then refresh your browser.
– in order to keep the plugin counting the http shares, after the actual recovery don’t switch Share Recovery off.
When Is It Better to Install Social Warfare Plugin?
Before switching your blog to https or after?
I tested it on three blogs.
On two blogs I installed Social Warfare after I switched to https.
On both blogs I got a similar result: some blog posts did not get back their social proof related to some social networks.
On this blog I installed Social Warfare before switching to https.
I waited until Social Warfare displayed the social proof for all posts (it doesn’t happen instantly) and then I switched to https. None of my old blog posts lost the social proof.
Here’s why: Share Recovery feature combines its power with another SW feature …
One More Cool Social Warfare Feature
From time to time, API requests sent by social plugins fail and return zero share counts instead of the actual count.
In such a case, most plugins display zero shares. As if you lost all your shares overnight.
Instead of blaming the social network that provided the wrong answer, Social Warfare developers assumed that it is very unlikely to lose overnight all the shares for a certain network.
So they added this feature: if the share count received from a social network at a certain time is lower than the previously one, the plugin keeps displaying the higher one. Problem fixed.
To Your Blogging Success!