I love this post because it offers an easy solution to help almost everyone, with one of the most common questions I get about social media: (Twitter) integration, into your website. I found out about this myself only a few weeks ago, when my boss at cafe moba sent me the link – he know it would be “right up my alley”! And I was thrilled to be able to share it with Tim McDonald for his weekly #cmgrHangout (usually, he’s the one helping me with live broadcasting tips!)
This is based on my experience with my own WordPress site Social Sparkle & Shine, but I expect it will be a similarly simple process if you are on Blogger or any other common blog platform.
It’s valuable to bring a Twitter conversation into your website, either on the sidebar or as part of a specific topic blog post, because even though the conversation on Twitter will keep going (and your content gets buried), your specific-conversation Twitter widget will maintain only your specific Tweets forever (essentially). Also, if you’re hosting or participating the live conversation, you can encourage other people on the conversation to tweet relevant links, and in the future, whenever your SEO brings readers to your site, and they click through those links (in the Tweets), the person who tweeted the link will get the referral traffic link/notification from your website!
So basically, it’s a good way to build a community, like “being a good neighbor” to embed relevant Twitter streams and let people know the tweets they send won’t just get buried right away on the feed, they’ll have more value and last longer on your website.
Here’s how to do it:
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Click on http://twitter.com/settings/widgets or search Google for the 1st result in “Twitter widgets”. If you’re not logged into Twitter yet, you will have to, so that you end up on your own customized Twitter widget page, where all the widgets you create are stored (so you can use them later).
Creating Your Widget
Click on “create new” widget. From here, you have the choice to embed any Twitter account’s @name (at the time of viewing) timeline, favourites (star’d), predefined Twitter list, or keyword/hashtag search. This example is for the hashtag #publishing.
You can choose the height of the widget and the theme. Also, be sure to change the link colour to match the link colour of your website < you’ve spent months blogging and training readers to know by instinct what to click on, and you want them clicking on the links in these tweets!
Also a tip: where it says domains and gives you a box to put in the URL of the site where you’re embedding the widget, be sure to fill this in! I find that if I don’t or it there’s an error in the URL, the widget doesn’t quite work properly, it just gives you a link “Tweets about #publishing” which is a bit disappointing because people can’t engage with and write-back to the Twitter conversation without leaving your website. Not only that, it can be temperamental since the seems to work well on my Social Sparkle & Shine blog post, but not so well here! ☺
Embedding Your Widget
When you go to insert your widget into your blog post, make sure you copy and paste the code into the “HTML” tab, in the position in the post where you want it. If you put it in the “Visual” tab, you’ll just get the link again, instead of the visual, interactive widget.
I’m not sure if you can create a single widget for more than one keyword/hashtag. Do you know?
Do you like this? I love it!!! Happy tweeting! It makes hosting and coordinating well-moderated and well-attended social media events, like my #SparkleSOS so much easier!