16 Feb 2012

HOW TO: Make the Most of Your TWEET Button + Must-Have Checklist (WordPress)

Back in 2010 Twitter partnered with Tweetmeme to create an official Tweet button. It resulted in lots of criticism as the official button lacked some obvious customization options (primarily, it forces the user to use Twitter’s official shortener. Besides, it has no color customization and is somewhat slow).

However the fact that Twitter partnered with the major player in that field to launch the official product has left us with almost no choice. Besides, the Tweet button does have quite a few great features (my favorite one: the ability to recommend your personal as well as your business accounts for people to follow).

Besides, what many people are likely to be unaware of: the Tweet button can be customized with the help of some of the hacks (listed below)


1. Use Your Own URL Shortener

Twitter Friendly Links is a great and absolutely easy-to-use WordPress plugin that lets you quickly create your own domain shortener. Just have it installed and activated, go to the plugin settings and configure the following:

  • Set the base URL: this option is *gold* if you have www in your default URLs. Making the base URL www-free will make your shortened URLs even shorter!
  • Set the Redirection type. I am using 301 redirect as a link-builder at heart: someone would want to use my tweet to quote or will copy-paste the URL from the URL directly from tweet and use it in a post. So I want this link not to be wasted.

Twitter Friendly Links

Now to use these pretty branded URLs with your Twitter button you’ll need this plugin: WP Tweet Button – it has plenty of cool features and the rest of the post will be dedicated to those features, but so far the most important option for us is the WP Tweet Button plugin ability to support Twitter-Friendly link. All you need to do is to select “Twitter-Friendly Links Plugin” from the drop-down on its Settings page:

Twitter Friendly Links

Now you are done: Readers are able to tweet your articles using the official Tweet button while using your pretty self-hosted URL shortener.

Twitter Friendly Links

Another option: YOURLS which is also fun but somewhat hard to set up.


2. Promote Your Guest Authors and Contributors

WP Tweet Button has another valuable option: you can set up your “default” Twitter username from the admin page but it will be overridden by the author’s Twitter name he specifies on his profile name.

WP Tweet Button

What does it mean?

The post author’s Twitter name will be included in the Tweet itself. Besides, the author’s Twitter username will be recommended for following along with your default username:

WP Tweet Button

Another great thing about the plugin is that it lets you specify the Tweet text as well as more accounts to “recommend” right on the “Edit post” level. This means you can get as creative as you want: add the author’s Twitter account to recommend, his custom hashtag, his name in the Tweet, etc:

Custom Tweet text

Here you go!

Custom Tweet text


3. *Smartly* Auto-Tweet Your Articles

Whether to auto-tweet your blog articles or not is up to you. I find it a great option for people on the go: blogging while traveling, scheduling articles for later, etc – in these cases, the ability to auto-tweet your posts that go live while you are away or busy is a life-saver.

Now, traditionally Twitterfeed is used to auto-tweet, but WP Tweet Button is so much better!

*Smartly* Auto-Tweet

  • Auto-tweet your own articles using your self-hosted URL shortener;
  • Auto-tweet your articles each time you update them.

The smart plugin even removed the default Twitter username to avoid you referencing yourself in your own Tweets.

Auto-tweet articles


So The Check-List Now!

If you choose to try the tips above, here’s an actionable and easy-to-follow to-do list for you:

Tool Settings
Twitter Friendly Links Install and activate
Set the base URL (www-free)
Set the Redirection type (301)
WP Tweet Button Install and activate
Select “Twitter-Friendly Links Plugin as your URL shortener
Set the default Twitter username to reference and recommend
Ask all your contributors to update their profiles to add their Twitter usernames (to reference them in the Tweets)
Authorize the plugin to auto-tweet your articles when you publish and/or update them

Don’t forget to follow our official Ninja Twitter account to have articles like this (and better) to be delivered right to your Twitter home page!

Comments

  1. Bristol Wedding Photography February 26, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Great post, very useful, I am in the process of creating a web presence so any help is essential to maximize my profile, social media and especially Twitter is pretty essential in an overall strategy. thanks for posting.

  2. David Smith March 12, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Hi there Wonderful article – HOW TO: Make the Most of Your TWEET Button + Must-Have Checklist (WordPress), I usally tend not to hassle to leaving comments about articales however found this kind of articale to be very helpfull.

  3. Deron Wagner March 28, 2012 at 3:59 AM

    Hi Ann,

    Thanks for the tips. I just discovered TwitterFriendlyLinks and I like your suggestion for how to combine with WP Tweet Button..an effective combination.

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