What is a Twitter Plugin?
When people talk about Twitter plugins, they are usually referring to tools that integrate a blog and a specific Twitter account. Twitter plugins can vary when it comes to features. Some of the basic functions that a Twitter plugin can provide include cross-posting blog entries and tweets, identifying readers who also use Twitter and aggregating analytics.
A Twitter plugin can make tweeting a blog post easy for readers who want to share the blog post with followers. With plugins such as these, web addresses can be shortened automatically, and reposts can be one click away. A Twitter plugin also can make it so that any Twitter posts referring to a blog can be shown directly on that blog, as well as on Twitter.
Some plugins help blog owners by having new blog entries posted on the Twitter website as soon as a blog is updated. Links can accompany the Twitter updates so that followers easily can find their way back to the original blog post. Alternatively, a blog owner can install a plugin that automatically creates a new blog post whenever his or her corresponding Twitter account is updated.
Plugins can be installed to show readers which blog posts have been tweeted about recently and which posts have been tweeted about the most. In addition, some plugins can offer to cross-post a reader's comment on both the blog and a Twitter account. They even can let other blog readers know which users have tweeted about a blog's entries. Plugins can publicly list blog readers and commentators by showing their profile pictures in comment sections or sidebars.
In addition, a Twitter plugin can help blog readers tweet directly from a blog. Readers simply have to enter their post into the field designed to update Twitter statuses. A command to update will result in their own Twitter statuses to reflect the entry. Similarly, certain Twitter plugins can be installed that link Twitter accounts to blog comments. Links to personal Twitter accounts can be found alongside a commentator's name and his or her personal comment.
A Twitter plugin also can offer analytics functions. Certain plugins can tell a blog owner which Twitter followers have visited his or her blog, how they found the website and what their behaviors are regarding the post. Plugins such as these can help a blog owner better advertise his or her blog across Twitter and other social media networks. They also can help build relationships between Twitter users and blog owners.
I have a Twitter account, but have learned to be pretty selective about adding followers. It seems like it has become a place for many people to just share their links or try to sell you something. By keeping my account limited to just those people that I know well, I have been able to eliminate much of that.
When you follow someone on Twitter, most people will quickly follow you back, so it does not take long to build up a following. You just want to make sure they are quality followers and not people who are just trying to push their product or services. It is nice that you can monitor that by using a twitter tools plugin to see who has followed you.
@honeybees - You can also set up your Twitter account so that all of your tweets will automatically show up on your blog. Usually this shows up on a sidebar. There are also many Twitter apps you can use if you want to write your Tweets to be posted at a later date. The one I have found that works best for me is Hoot Suite. You can have several Twitter accounts, and can schedule when you want your Tweets to be posted.
This makes it easy to keep track of several accounts at once if you have one for personal and for business. When you see tweets that are posted via Hoot Suite, this means the user has an account and was able to pre-schedule their tweets.
If you have both a Twitter account and a blog, there are many Twitter plug ins that can be big time savers for you. Whenever I make a blog post, it is automatically posted to my Twitter account also. This can really stream line your time and energy.
Twitter has many tools to help you effectively manage your Twitter account. Most every interface I have used on Twitter has been user friendly and easy to incorporate into my account.
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