Twitter is a social networking website and a micro-blogging service that allows users to post and view text-based messages upto a 140-characters. These messages, known as tweets, are sent to the followers of the users’ accounts. Twitter was launched in May 2006 and it has grown rapidly, with over half a billion registered users, to become one of the most popular and highly influential social networks. With such an ever increasing popularity, it is high time that you harness the power of Twitter to popularize your blog and bring in more traffic.
You can make use Twitter to tweet about your blog posts, comment on general things and also engage with your audience for a better interaction. The next step would be, of course, to connect your Twitter account and your WordPress blog. Thankfully, Twitter has a good API which allows you to create widgets without the knowledge of programming or web design.
Generating the code for the widget:
First, you need to go to the Twitter widgets page and generate the code for you widget. It would look something like this. Notice that there are four tabs for the widgets. The user timeline would display the tweets by the user. Next, the Favourites tab would show the tweets favorited by the said user. The List tab can used to show the tweets of any public list made the user. Finally, the search tab helps you display any search term or hashtag from all over Twitter.
You can select the desirable options in the form shown here and check the real time preview that is generated on the right. Once you are satisfied with it, click on ‘create widget’ to create the widget. Just copy the code and keep it handy for the next step.
Note that you can access the widget any time by going to the widgets page in your account, and you can edit or delete these widgets anytime you want.
One important thing to note is that this widget contains an attribute ‘data-widget-id’ having your widget id. This means that if you delete this widget, the corresponding code that you were using would become obsolete, and the widget would not be rendered. So, be extra careful before deleting any widget.
Adding a Twitter widget within WordPress
To make this appear in your WordPress blog, log into WP Admin and go to Appearance > Widgets. Drag the text widget into the main sidebar and in the new form that opens, enter a representative Title like ‘Our Twitter Activity’ and paste the code generated from Twitter in the text area below. Click save to save the widget.
Go to your blog to check if everything is running properly.
One advantage of these twitter widgets is that users who are logged in can directly reply to tweets or even retweet and mark tweets as favourites. Another advantages is the availability of the follow button at the top of the widget. This allows already logged in users to follow your username directly.
Here’s hoping that this small demonstration helped you in setting up a Twitter widget and in turn, helped in increasing your traffic.