Social Media Integration comprises two separate control groups, Social Media Profiles and Social Media Sharing. You may enable both, either or neither.
Social Media Profiles links your page to social media networks of which you are a member. This places buttons on the page which are simple hyperlinks to each of your profile pages. You may style the appearance of these buttons, and select their position on the page. Then fill in the hyperlinks to each of the profile pages you wish to include.
Buttons are included for Pinterest, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, VSCO Grid and RSS, plus a generic button you may use to link to another profile, an about page or whatever.
Social Media Sharing places buttons on the page which allow your visitors to share your content on their social networks. Whether or not you are a member of that network is irrelevant.
Enabling sharing allows your content to be shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Tumblr or via Email.
Social media sharing requires that Open Graph Protocol be enabled:
Open Graph Protocol is metadata that Facebook, Twitter and (maybe) other networks uses to determine the title, description, thumbnail, URL, etc. for your page. When enabled, your pages will be exported as PHP documents. PHP documents may only be viewed online or in a virtual server environment, and so you will not be able use Lightroom's “Preview In Browser” feature, nor will you be able to preview your page from your local desktop.
Should you choose, you may enabled Open Graph Protocol without enabling the sharing options. This will make your page identifiable to Facebook, Twitter, etc. when users copy-and-paste your page URL to their social media walls, even without your putting share buttons on the page.
To preview how your page will appear on Facebook, copy-and-paste your page's URL into Facebook's Debugger. Facebook caches information about a page for some time after the first time its shared; if you need to reset Facebook's cache (for example, if you've made changes to the page which are not being reflected when the page is shared on FB), then using the debugger will also update the cache.
You should also use Twitter's Card Validator for at least one page on your site. Again, copy-and-paste your page URL into the “Validate & Apply” section of the page. You will see a preview of the page's Twitter card (how it will appear in Twitter feeds when shared). More importantly, you will need to Request Approval for your domain:
Why must this be done?
As a website owner you must opt-in to have cards displayed for your domain, and Twitter must approve the integration.
Because Twitter says so, that's why. You should only have to do this once for each domain, not for each page or gallery.
CE4 plugins support bit.ly for posting shortened URLs to Twitter, which helps tremendously with the 140 character limit when tweeting. To enable this, you will need to setup an account with bit.ly to get an API key.
Once logged into your bit.ly account, click on your username at the top of the page, then choose “Settings” from the drop-down menu. Click the “Advanced” tab, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link “Show legacy API key”. Copy-and-paste your username and the key into Lightroom.
This runs through a PHP function based on cURL, which is commonly supported by hosts these days. If the bit.ly support should fail on your server, ask your host about cURL support. If unsupported, don't use this feature.
Every denizen of the Internet consumes their preferred content in their own preferred way. Some people like to get their feeds via Facebook, while others will prefer to follow your doings on Twitter, or by traditional RSS. While I am not personally very interested in social media, there is no denying its importance in building and maintaining the interest of your audience. And so, the more involved you are on social media, the more social media outlets you inhabit, the more avenues you provide for visitors to follow your work and your doings, then the more likely you are to gather a following.
Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are the big no-brainers. You should be on them, and – if blogging – your blog should feed content to those services. Utilizing additional social media outlets can only benefit you further. If you're active on Instagram, then it's a great way to shove a steady stream of images into view. I actually prefer VSCO Grid, similar to Instagram, but I think with a much smaller, more discerning and more focused audience.
For all of this, using Social Media Profile badges to link you website to your social media profiles is tremendously beneficial.
Social Media Sharing buttons, however, are somewhat de-emphasized in CE4. Sharing can now be accomplished on a per-image basis, rather than having to share the entire page. Pages such as About and Contact pages don't really need sharing capabilities. So you while there may still be cases where general share buttons for the page may be advantageous, you should perhaps weigh the necessity of such before implementing them on the page. For bloggers, WordPress has a lot of plugins for this purpose, so our sharing buttons probably aren't needed when using CE4 Theme for WordPress.
The Turning Gate
Creating webbly, wobbly, Lightroomy things since 2007.