Are You Embedding Your Twitter Feed All Wrong?
By: Michael Benninger
In today’s social-centric world, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your business’s website supports your social media strategy, and vice versa. Twitter is one social network that provides an abundance of integration options for business owners looking to add Twitter to their website. Engaging in this endeavor can be a little tricky but, if done correctly, there are many potential benefits. The below instructions will help you learn how to link Twitter to your website, while also giving you some great reasons to do so.
The Mistake Most Businesses Make
These days, many sites feature Twitter icons or links that transport those who click on them from the website to the Twitter feed associated with the site. While this is certainly a good strategy for growing a Twitter following, it’s not the ideal method for most businesses. Rather, it’s recommended that business owners embed Twitter widgets into their sites, instead of just adding the blue bird logo or a text link to the business’s Twitter stream.
Benefits of Embedding
By embedding a Twitter feed on your blog or website, rather than just adding links or icons that steer people off your pages, you can grow your social media following without the risk of losing your visitors’ attention. Plus, having your social media stream appear on your website is a great way keep your content fresh, without requiring you (or your Web developer) to make any changes. This benefits your business’s visibility in search engines, and contributes to creating a site that appears more modern and current.
What’s a Widget, Anyway?
Not certain what a Twitter widget is? A Twitter widget is essentially an independent and interactive application that runs inside of your website and displays the tweets or Twitter streams of your choosing. Twitter widgets are very customizable, in that they offer webmasters and designers the ability to tweak the widget’s content, colors, and dimensions to those that best conform to their business goals and website strategy.
Why Widgets Work Well
The greatest advantage of embedding a widget, however, is that it affords you the opportunity to showcase your Twitter feed on your website, without requiring visitors to click away. With a Twitter widget, visitors are able to become your followers and can retweet or “favorite” your tweets, all while still on your site. By keeping them on-page longer, there’s an increased likelihood that your visitors will develop a stronger connection with your brand, and ideally convert from prospects into customers. Conversely, if your site sends visitors directly to Twitter.com, there’s a greater probability that they’ll get distracted by what their friends or favorite celebrities are up to, and may never come back to your website.
The Wondrous World of Twitter Widgets
Twitter feeds for websites are available in five different types of widgets. Here’s a quick look at each of them, so you can decide which one best suits your business’s needs.
User Timeline –Displays an unfiltered list of your business’s most recent tweets.
Favorites –Shows the most recent tweets that you’ve starred (favorited) in Twitter.
List – Displays only those messages tweeted by users you’ve assigned to a particular list.
Search –Exclusively showcases public tweets—from any Twitter user—that contain a specific keyword or hashtag designated by you. Twitter does, though, allow the widget creator to activate an automatic “Safe Mode” filter that ensures the exclusion of discriminatory or offensive tweets.
Collection –Gives users the most control by allowing the creators to hand-pick public tweets from their own account, or the accounts of others, and compile them into a single stream to be embedded on your site.
The Nitty Gritty of Adding Twitter
Once you’ve determined which type of widget is most appropriate for your business’s website, head over to Twitter’s support article for the most up-to-date instructions on creating and embedding a brand new Twitter widget into your website.
It’s easier than ever to integrate social media channels with your website, and that’s especially true when it comes to Twitter.