Integrating Twitter with Facebook and Blog

In case some of you may be wondering why I’m writing these posts, I’ve been asked to give a little presentation today on the use of social media and online networking for church planters in SW Florida.  I don’t consider myself an expert, but if there are some ideas that I could pass along that would be helpful to a fellow minister, I’m glad to serve in that way. 🙂

What I want to bring out in this post is the process or flow between your blog, twitter, and Facebook and more specifically their integration.  My setup may be different from others, so consider this as one of perhaps several ways to integrate these mediums.

Step One: Writing

Home base is your blog.  It’s where your most substantive articles are going to be posted, your best ideas (hey, like this blogpost!) are shared, and ultimately develop a solid readership in the process.  Your blog posts should be well written grammatically, easy to read aesthetically (such as paragraph breaks, no crazy font colors, etc.), and capable of being read within five minutes (general rule is 500-1000 words; more than 1200 words need to be broken down into two parts).  You can have great things to say, but if it is not presented well, potential readers will be turned off.  Write well, format well, and present well.

Step Two: Networking

Here’s where Facebook, Twitter, and RSS come in.  If you have a Facebook account, you need to have it synced up with your blog via RSS that a Facebook note is automatically created once you publish your blogpost.  When it comes up on your Facebook stream, it will look something like this:

twitter-blog-feed

You ought also to place your RSS button in a prominent place encouraging people to subscribe to your RSS feed.  The third step is to promote your blogpost on Twitter.  Do this by creating either (1) posting the title of the blogpost or (2) use a teaser or quote that might appeal to people.  Use a shortened URL (I use bit.ly and is.gd most often).  Here’s an example:

blog-update-on-twitter

Step Three: Twitter Integration

Once you have posted your blogpost on Facebook and Twitter, then the next step is to sync Twitter back to both your blog and Facebook page.  When the Twitter application is added and activated to your Facebook page, every Twitter update automatically is synced to our Facebook update (with the exclusion of public replies) and should look something like this:

twitter-on-facebook

The second part of Twitter integration is inserting your Twitter feed on the sidebar of your blog (or if you have a customized template, you can put just one tweet on the header or a variation of the two).  For WordPress users, this is done by simply adding the Twitter widget and inserting your user information.  Here’s what it looks like on my sidebar:

twitter-on-blogSo, the three steps of networking and Twitter integration should look something like this (according to my setup):

twitter-integration

The last part of Twitter integration I would recommend is setting up your desktop and mobile device with Twitter applications. The best desktop Twitter application is clearly Tweetdeck, although there are others (Seismic, Hootsuite, and Tweetie) that are hoping to give it a run.  Here’s a picture of Tweetdeck on my desktop:

For mobile devices, it really depends on your phone.  For iPhone users, the best application I’ve used is Tweetie, but it is not free ($2.99).  Other apps include Twitterific, Twitterfon, and Twitterlator.  If you use a Blackberry, check out Twitterberry.  If you have neither an iPhone or Blackberry, you can still tweet using text messaging.  For photo platforms on Twitter, the two leading options are Twitpic and YFrog (95% of people I know use Twitpic right now).

I hope these last few blogposts have been helpful for those who Twitter. If you have any thoughts or feedback, feel free to comment below.

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25 Comments on “Integrating Twitter with Facebook and Blog”

  1. Rob Says:

    Great post and ideas Tim!

    I also suggest signing up for a Social Median account. It has an automatic feed into your Facebook account.

    Additionally, you can place your blog’s feed into Social Median to automatically submit and clip all your blog posts. SM is great because Google thinks highly of it. (As it does the Digg network also.) I’ve placed content in SM and as others clip it, the post gets pushed up to the first page of Google.

    Rob

  2. Carla Rolfe Says:

    Thanks for this, I found it very helpful and just tweeted it. Much appreciated.

  3. Tim J. Says:

    Tim,
    Another great way to integrate WP with Twitter is the “WP to Twitter” widget in WordPress. You can set it up to automatically generate a tweet whenever you write a new post and it even links back to the new post.
    Just thought I’d pass it on.
    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-to-twitter/

  4. James Taylor Says:

    Helpful ideas – thanks for this. Is it really a good idea to have twitter and facebook status in sync though? I think they do quite different things and my facebook friends wouldn’t appreciate the frequency of updates if they saw all of my tweets there.

  5. James Taylor Says:

    Further to the above – just spotted someone else making the same point here: http://www.keng.ws/2009/04/483/facebook-not-twitter-cross-status-posting
    Like they suggest, I’ve been using the selective twitter status app on facebook so can still use twitter to update my facebook status, but selectively, thus avoiding ‘spamming’ my facebook friends.

  6. Tony Kummer Says:

    Tim,
    Great post and very helpful. The other social services come into play too, the old fashioned email newsletter and stumble.

  7. guy Says:

    how do you get the auto feed to facebook? that’s the only part of the system that seems to be a struggle for me… other than that i love the connectedness!

  8. Frank Turk Says:

    Your diagram looks oddly missional to me …

    🙂

  9. gavin brown Says:

    Timmy,

    I use “twitterfeed” to feed blog posts into Twitter automatically. It’s pretty easy – you just enter your blog RSS, and from there twitterfeed tweets your blog posts.

    • Jason Fowler Says:

      I agree with Gavin here. Twitterfeed is one of the easiest ways to achieve integration. If Twitterfeed is feeding your blog post to Twitter, and the Twitter app in Facebook is reposting your Twitter status to Facebook, then a post to your blog means all three are automatically updated. Now, the note isn’t in Facebook, but that has its upsides, especially if you’re a stat junkie suffering from blog-narcissism.

  10. Rob Says:

    Gavin: I was thinking of doing that, but at what point are you self-promoting too much as opposed to providing good usable information? I’m talking more from the business end of course so there could be an answer for me that is different than a personal account. I just don’t want to be hitting people on the head too much. 🙂


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  12. gavin brown Says:

    Rob,

    Whenever I post something on my blog, it’s usually promoting someone else. I’m not sure how that would be perceived from a business perspective.

  13. Rob Says:

    Gavin: You are right and it’s mistake to confuse.

    My blog is a business blog so the business concern was pointing back to me. I don’t promote my business through it but it is nonetheless written by me.

    In the interest of interaction on this topic, the reason I bring this up is 1) I am new to Twitter and don’t quite have a handle on its culture yet and 2) I see half the people on Twitter talking about their own blogs and the other half talking about blogs written by others. So I just didn’t know which is best…or, even if there is a best way. Thanks for your response.


  14. Great post, Tim.

    Even better, you can now use a Facebook application called “Selective Twitter Status.” It allows you to decide which Tweets update your Facebook status and which do not. You simply add a hash tag – “#fb” – to the tweet if you want it to post on Facebook.


    • Hank,

      That’s a great point. The new Tweetdeck has that installed in its new version, but I have yet to get around to using it. Thanks for bringing it up.


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  17. I am so grateful for you to make this connectedness something so clear and so simple.

  18. randleman Says:

    Ok. I’m needing some help. How do I get FaceBook to automatically generate a note when I post a new entry to my blog? I use WordPress.com. I’ve searched through FB and WP forums, and haven’t found alot of help…


    • Here’s what you can do. Type in “WordPress” in the search box on your Facebook page. Click on “applications” on the tab menu bar, and click on the first one you see. Click on add application and follow instructions to grab your RSS feed to create Facebook notes.

      I noticed that the app does not have high ratings, but I have not experienced problems with it (then again, I haven’t paid too much attention either!). I hope that helps.

  19. David Cooke Says:

    Great post. Need some help on linking my blog to facebook on RSS feed as you suggest. Something of a luddite on these matters i am afraid.


  20. […] follow me on twitter, social network, tweeting, twitter integration by Roger Servin Last week Tim Brister came out with a blog post on integrating your blog,  Facebook, and Twitter so that when you post […]

  21. van Says:

    Why would you do this:
    The second part of Twitter integration is inserting your Twitter feed on the sidebar of your blog

    The is posting the same data on the same site and same page even ? Am I missing something? Why post the same post from blog to twitter back to blog again? Thanks


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