November 1, 2014

6 Ways To Integrate Twitter Into Your Site

twitter toolsThough Twitter is powerful all on its own, integrating it into your site makes it even more robust. Finding ways to bring Twitter into your site can help you build community, get readers to retweet and promote your content, and can even help you gain followers by increasing your visibility and letting people know you’re out there.

With Twitter’s popularity, a number of great tools have sprouted up over the past year to help site owners use the microblogging platform more efficiently and engage readers. Below are some of my personal favorites.

The Twitter Widget

The easiest way to integrate Twitter onto your site is to use the default Twitter widget created by Twitter itself. Twitter gives you the option of two different widgets that you can drop into the sidebar of your site (or any other page, for that matter): The Profile Widget and the Search Widget.

  • Profile Widget: Displays your most recent Twitter updates on your site.
  • Search Widget: Displays a real-time Twitter Search for your name/company. (Note: There’s no Adult filter souse with caution.)

To get the widget on your site, simply choose which one you’d like, customize it (size, colors, etc) and then copy and paste the code generated onto your site. Very easy.

Follow Me button

Follow me buttons help advertise to readers/customers that you’re on Twitter and makes it easy for them to follow you with one click. You’ll find lots of sites that now offer Follow Me buttons, however, I’m partial to Twitter Buttons since they were one of the first out of the gate. With Twitter Buttons, you input your Twitter username and the site will generate of number of different follow me buttons for you to choose from using different colors, sizes, typefaces and designs. You simply pick which button you like and copy/paste the HTML needed to generate it.

Twitip ID

Twitip ID is a neat plugin that adds an extra field to your comment form so that readers can share their Twitter username along with their name and photo. By allowing your commenters to share their Twitter handle it helps you to grow your community by helping users find and interact with one another off your site. It’s simple, but powerful!

TweetMeme’s Retweet button

TweetMeme offers a spiffy retweet button that small business owners and bloggers can place on their site to encourage people to easily share their posts on Twitter. Once embedded, the button shows a live count of how many times your page or post has been retweeted and makes it easy for others to retweet the post by shortening the URL and populating a tweet with the post title. It’s a great way to spread your blog content on Twitter. You can get the button on your site by copy and pasting one line of Javascript or by installing the TweetMeme WordPress widget. If you don’t like TweetMeme, Tweet This is another good plugin.

TweetBacks for WordPress

One of the downsides of Twitter for bloggers is that it can split the conversation happening about you. The people talking about you on Twitter are separated from those having conversations in the comment section of your blog. The TweetBacks WordPress plugin helps to bring both conversations together by importing the tweets associated with the post URL and displaying them as comments on your blog. Through the plugin, you have the choice of displaying them in between the other comments on your blog or displaying them separately. As a personal preference, I like displaying them separately.

Intense Debate is another option for combining tweets and blog comments.

TweetSuite

This is a WordPress plugin that gives you not only the hammer, but the entire toolbox to go with it. TweetSuite includes a new “Tweet this” button, a ReTweet button for each Tweetback, the ability to auto update Twitter with your latest blog posts, as well as a whole bunch of cool widgets to choose from to display your most tweeted, recently tweeted, last tweeted and the tweets you Favorited. Fear not, though, you don’t have to use them all. Just pick and choose which ones you’re interested in. TweetSuite gives you full power to integrate Twitter into your site via whole host of options.

Those are some of my favorite ways to integrate Twitter into my site. Give me yours!

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Lisa Barone


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

26 Reactions

  1. Lisa,
    Thank you for posting these great Twitter Tips on adding badges etc. to sites and blogs.

    I use the Twitter badge, and love it. I even matched the color to my blogs theme.

    The Franchise King
    Joel Libava

  2. Nice ideas Lisa. I like the plug-in Twitter Avatar which sounds just about the same as Twitip ID. I also like TwitterPost which automatically sends a tweet to Twitter whenever you publish a new post.

    For anyone who needs Twitter follow me icons, check out my list: 300+ free follow me icons and buttons. http://www.smbceo.com/2009/05/04/300-free-twitter-buttons-and-icons/

  3. Great list!
    Now, if you are a WordPress.com user, you might not have such a wide choice -due to the use of Javascript-. TweetMeme’s Retweet button IS doing the work fine as you can check on my blog.

  4. Lisa –
    I’m finding more people wanting to learn how to use twitter in their job searches and this a great start to help them integrate it… thanks!

  5. Thanks for this post, I will try Integrating these things into my site.

  6. I use TweetSuite on my own blog and have been please with it, but lately it’s been going haywire. Anyone know of another WordPress plugin that would do about the same thing? Or someone from TweetSuite that could help me out?

    @robert_brady on Twitter

  7. Twittlink Twitter client it’s also a nice tool.

  8. I put Twitter in my blog but I don’t sure if it is useful for my readers because are 2 different views

  9. Lisa,

    Great tips on how to integrate Twitter into your site. I had a Twitter button on my blog before, but I have now added a FriendFeed widget on my site instead. Here you could see the five latest messages, e.g. tweets, blog posts, bookmarks, etc.

    Anita: How have you integrated the tweets by readers into your comment field on this site?

  10. Wow! never heard of Tweetsuite but looks impressive. I would add Twitter Tools to your list, also has a WP plugin and is similar to the Twitter widget and integrates nicely into your sidebar.

  11. I use Hootsuite to integrate my debrasimpson twitter account into my northsandiegobusiness.com site. You can embed a column into your blog sidebar. Very cool

  12. Joomla users might be interested in our free Multi-Twitter module (http://bit.ly/1nbcTS). It’s particularly useful on corporate or group sites where you want to display relevant Tweets from more than one source. You can see it in action at http://toronto.joomla.ca.

  13. Lisa,

    Great information. I had not heard of Twitip ID. Sounds like another way to entice people to leave comments. I wonder if it works with DISQUS?

    Small buesinss owners that are not using social media may want to reconsider now that Microsoft just announced that they will start indexing Twitter and Facebook for Bing. It was pretty powerful on it’s own, but now that it is going to have the possibility of generating a lot of backlinks to your site I can’t see staying on the sidelines.

    Brad

  14. As a new twitter user, this article was very helpful. It was thorough and detailed yet simple to understand. Thanks!

  15. I guess that helps us use Twitter even more effectively http://tinyurl.com/cbllhl

  16. I use Twitter Widget Pro and Tweet This plugins to make my blog Twitter friendly. I’ve had some issues with using more robust systems with my WordPress theme. I need to get my programmer to tinker with it so I can integrate more fully into social media such as using Disqus.

  17. One quick note about Tweet Meme for WordPress blogs/sites, be sure to check the settings after you activate the plugin. If you just leave it as is, it won’t put your username into the tweet, people won’t know who on Twitter wrote the blog post.

    great list of tools though.

  18. Another great method is to use a RSS syndicate and auto blogging software, and auto update the blog which is on your site, from the Tweets you post or re-tweet. It’s a great method to current content on your site. Current content = Google Love

  19. Thanks for posting methods for integrating Twitter Buttons on web pages.

  20. Hi,

    I recently integrated twitter on the blog of a friend of mine using your method.

    Thanks a lot,
    Jordi

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