If you had to pick just one social media platform to integrate with your blog or website, Twitter is arguably the best choice. What’s more, WordPress makes this very easy with dozens of plugins to choose from. With so many options, how do you decide which ones are the best Twitter widgets? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Best Twitter Widgets
The easiest way to add your Twitter feed to your WordPress site is with Twitter’s native widget, which you can create directly from your Twitter account’s “Settings” page. You’re given a few basic options to help customize the appearance including size, color, and “excluding replies.” Once you’ve done that, click the “Create Widget” button and you’ll be provided with a piece of Java script to copy and paste into a text widget on your website.
In fact, other plug-ins also require this piece script. For example, the popular Jetpack by WordPress.com plugin offers a widget that makes adding your Twitter Timeline to the sidebar as easy as “drag and drop.” The benefit of using Jetpack is that it gives you additional styling options such as border color, transparent background, and removing the header and footer.
The plug-in “SumoMe” is a versatile tool that helps you build your Twitter following, as well as your email subscribers. Readers of your blog can highlight any portion of an article with their pointer, and SumoMe creates a custom quote Tweet that they can share instantly with their followers. This cool app automatically creates a shortened link and adds as much of the text that will fit into 140 characters. Then all the reader has to do is click once to share.
Click To Tweet performs a similar function, but allows you, the content creator, to pre-write the tweet inside a large, eye-catching box. When the reader clicks on the button, your tweet is automatically sent to their feed. This is a great way to increase your following. The plug-in places a tab in the menu of your editor, making for easy integration into the body of your post.
Shareaholic (formerly “SexyBookmarks”) combines Twitter and WordPress in a slightly different way. Rather than displaying a Twitter feed in a WordPress widget, Shareaholic allows visitors to your WordPress website to share any page or post of your WordPress site. They simply click the Shareaholic Twitter icon, and the plugin tweets a link to that page or post on their Twitter feed. Shareaholic also lets you add sharing icons for other services, including Facebook, G+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Another good one is Twitter Mentions As Comments. When your posts aren’t getting many comments, this clever plugin automatically finds any mentions of your post on Twitter (regardless of the URL shortener used) and adds them to your comments section. You can also choose which posts to include (e.g., 10 most recent posts, all posts, front page only), and whether or not to include retweets.
If you’d rather highlight a keyword or hashtag associated with your brand instead of your Twitter handle, then use TrendSpottr, which allows you to customize a trending widget for any topic or interest and embed on your blog or website.
JM Twitter Cards helps you create all types of Twitter cards by adding the appropriate meta on your WordPress website allowing you to get Twitter cards for your posts according to your settings.
There’s no doubt that smart integration of Twitter can help your WordPress site expand its audience. And it works the other way around, too—your website can help grow your Twitter following. The important thing is to be diversified and flexible, connecting with people in many ways, from short tweets, to deeper conversations on your site or blog.