The advantages to integrating Twitter into your website will always outweigh the disadvantages.
Small business owner? Freelancer? Corporate giant? Average Twitter user who owns a personal website or blog? Again, it really doesn’t matter who you are, Twitter website integration is a must for the following reasons:
Note: When I use the word “integration”, I mean displaying your latest tweets on your website – not just using a “Follow Me” link. Most (if not all) of the following reasons are much more effective when you opt to display the latest tweet(s) on your website (integration is easy, see below for information on various ways to integrate Twitter into your website).
1. Increase Your Number of Target Followers
The single greatest advantage to integrating Twitter into your website is that, by actively promoting your Twitter account through the means of displaying your latest tweets on your website, you provide an opportunity for your website visitors to:
become immediately aware that you’re using Twitter
make it extremely simple to follow you if your tweets entice or interest them
Since one of the most common goals on Twitter is to increase your number of quality Twitter followers, displaying your latest tweets on your website is a must for any Twitter user. A quality Twitter follower is a person who follows you because they are genuinely interested in the material that you tweet and plan on reading, responding to, and retweeting your updates; they aren’t just following you for a ridiculous reason like hoping that you follow them in return so that they can increase their follower number, only to filter out your tweets through the use of a Twitter application such as TweetDeck (my favorite Twitter app).
For various strategies, techniques, and suggestions on how to keep your quality Twitter followers, read “10 Ways to Keep Your Precious Followers on Twitter“.
2. Communicate That You’re Current
By “current”, I mean cutting-edge, up with trends, and technologically modern. Whether or not your website needs to communicate that you’re technologically modern depends on…well, your website, company, or industry. However (and this applies to nearly everyone), by appearing current and modern, people will almost always assume that the content and information on your website is current and modern, too. I think it goes without saying that this is a very good thing.
Times change. People, technology, communication, and business strategies progress and evolve. It’s much more enticing and at times, beneficial, to strike up a conversation or to do business with someone who continues to expand their knowledge of modern society and the world around them. Of course, historians are one of the exceptions to this point. They make their living learning about the past.
Bottom line: By communicating that you’re current, people are more likely to be interested in what you have to say, what you do, and what you think. Using Twitter communicates that you live or run a current and modern lifestyle or business, respectively.
3. Increase Your Legitimacy
Another no-brainer reason to integrate Twitter into your website is because it helps increase your personal or professional legitimacy.
When you visit a website for the first time, it is sometimes difficult to determine how legitimate a person really is. Sure, there are a few key indicators that one can look for (an active blog with intelligent, positive comments; a phone number, address, or e-mail address; biographical information; etc), however, in my opinion, there is no such thing as “too much” when it comes to establishing one’s own legitimacy.
When someone visits your Twitter page (for example, http://twitter.com/mattjurmann), there are a number of useful signs which can dramatically help you determine whether or not someone is legit:
Following-to-Followers ratio: Typically, someone who is following 1,000 people but only has 100 followers is probably not the most legitimate person on the web. On the other hand, someone following 100 people with 1,000 followers is probably much more legitimate. Why? Most people are attracted to quality Twitter users, and therefore, if they determine that a person provides useful information (“useful information” is of course subjective and depends entirely on what each individual Twitter user deems useful), they are going to follow that user. Also, some Twitter users are followed because of their reputation alone. The followers count always outnumbers the following count for reputable, famous, or quality Twitter users.
Personal picture: Displaying a picture of yourself, whether as your Twitter avatar (official, square profile picture box to the left on your name on your Twitter page) or somewhere within your Twitter background, will immediately increase your credibility and legitimacy. If you’re showing the world what you look like, then odds are you aren’t a shady person.
Tweet content: Are you posting useful information? Quality personal thoughts, interesting or useful links, and relevant and important news bytes are all positive things to look for when browsing through a user’s tweet history. Constant self-promotion, nasty personal attacks, and childish remarks are all things to be wary of.
4. Increase Your Transparency
By sharing your name, picture, thoughts, and emotions through Twitter, you are instantly increasing your level of transparency. Whether you run a personal website or a business website, increased transparency (the extent as to the level of transparency a person or company should and can offer is subjective) does more good than bad. Typically, the more transparent you are, the less it seems that you’re trying to hide.
Trust is such an immensely important aspect of successful relationships (both personal and professional), and therefore, transparency is one of the easiest ways to increase your trustability to a stranger.
5. Easily Network with Website Followers, Fans, Prospects, or Clients
The social media revolution continues to stress and reinforce the importance of building relationships with other web users. Networking can aid in the development of fantastic relationships, increase the potential for more beneficial and effective partnerships and collaborative efforts, and can really help you gain some personal or professional traction on (and off) the web. Personally, Twitter has done all of these things for me and my company. For this reason alone, integrating Twitter into our website has been truly invaluable.
By including a link to your Twitter profile on your website (either before or after your latest tweets), you simplify the process for your website followers, fans, prospects, or clients to connect with you. The possibilities are truly endless.
6. Increase the “Twitter Effect”
The “Twitter Effect” is a phrase used to describe the viral possibilities that go along with posting useful, interesting information on Twitter. Here is a fantastic article explaining this social media phenomenon more in depth: the Twitter Effect.
By sharing your latest tweets and a link to your Twitter page on your website, you are increasing the number of views and the level of exposure that a particular tweet receives. The more people there are that view your tweets and Twitter page, the higher the odds are that someone finds a specific tweet useful and ReTweet’s (RT) it. The more RTs you receive, the more Twitter users see your tweets, Twitter page, and most importantly (in this scenario), your website, the more traffic and exposure you get. With more traffic comes more Twitter followers, more blog comments, more prospects and clients…more, more, more! The “Twitter Effect” is one glorious gift that offers a multitude of benefits and rewards for any Twitter user.
Each time I post to our blog, I RT the post title and link (Tiny URL’d, of course) on both my personal Twitter account as well as the CHROMATIC Twitter account. Those tweets are then displayed on various pages found throughout our website and blog, instantly increasing the exposure of the latest article and, as a result, increasing the odds that we experience the “Twitter Effect“.
Tweet useful information and you’re bound to experience the “Twitter Effect” sooner or later.
7. Maintain an Active Image
Visiting a website that looks as if it hasn’t been updated in weeks, months, or even years, gives people less of an incentive to take you or it seriously. After all, nobody likes an abandoned website or a website with stale content.
The problem is, sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day (or year) to update your website’s content or blog. But don’t fret – Twitter is here to save the day! Since the process of tweeting is very simple and not time consuming, you can maintain a fresher, more active image on your website by displaying not only your latest tweets, but also, when the tweets were published. Again, this is a great and convenient way to counterbalance a website that cannot be updated as often as you’d like.
Remember to include each tweet’s designated timestamp or else your visitors will have no clue when that tweet was published and it may just blend in with the rest of your website’s outdated content.
Please see below for more information on integrating your latest tweets and their designated timestamps into your website.
8. Once Integrated, it Requires No Maintenance or Upkeep
Simply stated, once you take the steps to integrate your Twitter “feed” (latest tweets) and link to your Twitter page into your website, you never have to mess with it again. So, if you pay someone to integrate it for you, you don’t need to worry about having to pay that person again in the future to maintain it. There is no maintenance or upkeep. Once it is installed/configured, the work is done.
9. Draw More Attention to Something Important
Another huge reason why you need to integrate Twitter into your website is because you can easily and effectively use it to draw more attention to something of importance or value.
Whether you’re promoting something related to your profession or business, sharing some interesting or positive development in your life, or challenging your website/Twitter users to take an action, Twitter is a fantastic platform that can draw additional attention to something of importance or value through the means of displaying important tweets on your website.
A Few Potentially Important Exceptions
9 times out of 10, integrating Twitter into your website will make sense and benefit you. However, there are a few cases in which integrating Twitter into your website may inadvertently hurt you.
1. Professional/Business Twitter Users
If your tweets will appear on your business or professional website, then you may want to ask yourself a few questions before proceeding with the integration:
Am I okay with censoring or withholding tweets that could possibly result in the loss of business?
Am I okay with censoring or withholding tweets that could compromise my professional image and reputation?
Is my audience going to be open-minded and interested in personal topics that I tweet about, or will I need to focus on tweeting about business and industry-related topics?
Are other people in my industry tweeting about personal topics that appear on their website?
2. Personal Twitter Users
If your tweets will appear on your personal website, then you may want to ask yourself the following question before proceeding with the integration:
Are there personal tweets that I may not necessarily want everyone in the world to be able to see (especially if you have a Private Twitter account)?