You don't have to have your own Twitter or Facebook accounts to allow social sharing. This is simply letting other people who do have the accounts have the opportunity to quickly and easily share your content.
A couple things to note:
If you do add this widget, test out what the end result (the tweet content or the Facebook content) will say. For Twitter, make sure it shortens your url using a url shortener. If you have a Twitter account makes sure the retweet will include your Twitter name.
A good retweet will look like this in the end:
Make it easy for others to talk about you and share your awesome content! The SITS Girls wrote more on that yesterday in their post on "How To Blog By Giving Readers an Easy Button."
More Twitter Tips:For those of you just entering the Twitter space, here are a few additional tips to help you navigate this fast-moving social media platform.
Your Twitter contentTwitter is a space best used for conversation and sound-bytes. But it should not be "all about you." To be more effective and culturally accepted you should add value and share content. That means not only promoting your own posts but also those of other bloggers. Just like commenting on blogs, it is good to share the love. Here is an example from my Twitter stream on Sunday:
You will see that I tweeted and/or commented about other travel posts as conversations with others and promoting a giveaway. (There are FourSquare check-in as well, but that is a whole other can of worms!). If you looked at other tweets on that day or earlier you will see that I also tweeted some of my own blog posts - an 80-20 mix (80% not-me / 20% about me) is a good measure.
URL ShortenerWhen you only have 140 characters to communicate what you want and with the fact that you may want others to comment and retweet (RT), it is important to use url shorteners. There are many of them out there, but I mainly use bit.ly. There are two ways to use it, both free.
You can use it without having an account, you just go to http://bit.ly/ enter your url and it will spit out a shortened url for you. Or you can create an account and do the same thing. The advantage is that if you have an account you can see all the urls you have shortened and their performance. To see how well ANY bit.ly url has done just simply add a plus sign (+) to the end of it.
HashtagsThis one scares people, but in reality it is really easy. There is only one main rule, which can be said for most anything on Twitter - don't over use it! This is simply any topic with a hash (#) in front of it. Why? So that people can (1) spread information and (2) categorize themselves or their conversations, making it easy to search and find other conversations on the same topic.
For really hot topics, you can usually find them in the top ten searches trends in the right hand side of your Twitter home.
FF and TT and a whole lot of other letters!
It all started with FF, or Follow Friday. Follow Friday is a way of recommending people you follow to other people in your sphere of influence. Recommendations take away the pain and gives everyone the chance to give their friends a chance to interact with more people. Instead of just tweeting a list of people to follow, give a short description of why you think they are of interests to others, whether it be their niche, that they are nice, that they live in Paris, whatever, just put context around why you are recommending them.
These days there is Travel Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, etc. You just need the find the one that works for you!
More ResourcesHere are some great sites that can help you with Twitter etiquette, tools and trends:
- Started by ProBlogger, TwiTip is a community where people share the latest tips and tricks, they have a great Beginner's Guide as well!
- Blogging guru Chris Brogan has a great list of tips aptly called, 50 Power Twitter Tips.
Need a little help with Blogging Basics?
I am a big fan of Problogger's 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. I went through the program and made friends for life. The SITS Girls do it a couple of times a year and it is a great way to grow your blog. But maybe it is a little intimidating for when you are just starting out. To remedy that Problogger has a new ebook ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging for new blogs and new bloggers. And Michelle and I are giving one away to one of her readers!
Just leave a comment about how you feel about Twitter and blogging and this "social media" thing and you will be entered for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook. You have until Satuday, May 20 midnight PST to leave your comment. We will use Random.org to select a winner.