“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
~ Humphry Bogart, Casablanca
Abbot and Costello, Martin and Lewis, peanut butter and jelly… the course of history is littered with great partnerships.
Much like these historic duos, both WordPress and Twitter are wonderfully useful on their own. But, when paired together, they’re taken to the next level, creating an incredibly potent 1-2 punch for marketing your message.
WP to Twitter
WP to Twitter is the easiest plugin I’ve found to automate the process of alerting your Twitter followers of a new blog post. It integrates with Cli.gs, my favorite URL shortening service, to create short but trackable URLs so you know exactly how many people are hitting your website from Twitter.
You can also ping Twitter when you update posts, publish new pages, or even publish new links if you so choose.
Another great feature, is the ability to customize the text, as well as prepend or append text to each Tweet. For example, since this blog deals with WordPress, I append the hash tag #wordpress to each automatic tweet, ensuring an even wider audience than just my followers.
If you’ve visited a blog recently chances are you’ve seen the green “Retweet” boxes showing how many times that particular post had been referenced on Twitter.
Those boxes are created by Tweetmeme, a site acts as Digg or StumbleUpon for Twitter. But instead of digging or thumbing up your post, the Tweetmeme boxes encourage your visitors to tweet a link to your post, thus spreading your message even further.
Not only will the widget get your story retweeted more often, it also acts as a form of social proof, showing readers that others thought your content was worthwhile.
And best of all, the Tweetmeme plugin makes placing the widget in your posts a breeze.
If you’d like to incorporate your Tweets into your WordPress blog, chances are, Alex King’s Twitter Tools can help you do it.
Whether you want to Tweet from your sidebar, publish your latest Tweets, archive your Tweets on your blog, or even make a daily or weekly wrap up post from your Tweets, Twitter Tools can handle it.
Installation and use can be a little tricky if you want to start using the API functionality, but if you plan on integrating Twitter deeply into your blog’s culture, this plugin is practically required.
Other Twitter Resources
If you’d like to read more about Twitter, I’d highly recommend the following resources:
- Darren Rowse’s TwiTip
- Rae Hoffman’s Twitter Case Study
- Caroline Middlebrook’s Big Juicy Twitter Guide
- Chris Brogan’s Newbies Guide to Twitter
For more WordPress Plugins involving Twitter consider the following plugins:
- Tweetbacks – Do you find that people are discussing your posts on Twitter rather than in your comment section? Tweetbacks displays tweets about your posts as comments (similar to trackbacks).
- Twittar – displays commenters’ Twitter avatars next to their comments. Defaults to Gravatars if no Twitter avatar is found.
- Twitter for WordPress – if you’d like to display your most recent Tweets in a sidebar widget & don’t need the complexity of Twitter Tools, this is probably the plugin for you.
- Suggestions? – Have suggestions for your favorite Twitter/WordPress Plugin? Leave them in the comments below!