Why I Switched from TweetMeme to the Official “Tweet Button”

The subject of the TweetMeme Button vs. the official Tweet Button provided by Twitter came up today during an exchange between Derek Halpern and Brian Clark. After getting involved in the discussion, I decided to do a quick post to explain why I recommended using the official Tweet Button during that conversation.

1. TweetMeme sends me no traffic, so all I am really doing is sending them traffic and giving them branding – for free.

2. Secondly, TweetMeme will still count the retweets from the official Twitter Button, so even if they did send me traffic, it would be a moot point.

3. TweetMeme themselves recommends you use the official Twitter Button instead on the very same page where they offer up their own button:

“We recommend using the Twitter Tweet Button. You can find more details about it on the Twitter goodies page. If you want to use the TweetMeme Retweet Button, you can find out how to install it below.”

4. Most importantly, the official Tweet button allows you to specify specific twitter accounts to recommend to a user after they tweet your post.

When the user clicks the “tweet” button on your site, a pop-up appears allowing them to tweet the link from their account:


Once they’ve tweeted your link, the pop-up will then suggest up to two twitter accounts your site recommends that they might want to follow (you choose which accounts are recommended) IF THE USER IS NOT ALREADY FOLLOWING THOSE RECOMMENDED ACCOUNTS:

Now, see the part above in all caps? It’s important. It’s why a lot of people don’t even realize the button has this feature. Because you’re likely following someone whose blog you read. And I assume most people are only recommending themselves. But, to me, the ability to recommend accounts made this well worth the time to switch out the buttons.

Sucky feature? Much like the Twitter site, the “count” for the button can be very slow in updating. Click on whatever number shows in my tweet button above and it will show you a listing of the retweets, which will undoubtedly be higher than the number currently shown in the button for quite a while. It’s like it only checks to update the button count of the number of retweets every once in a while and not every time someone clicks the button. **Edited to add: It took about 40 minutes from the first tweet through the above button for the number to change from 0 to 14 (as of the time of this edit) even though retweets were occurring over that entire time.

Also, as of yet, it seems impossible to easily use anything but the “official twitter URL shortener” (which sucks) without using a plugin. Good news? There is a Tweet Button plugin available that will allow you to use the Twitter Friendly Links plugin (awesome, awesome custom short URL plugin) in conjunction with the official Tweet button (among other things.) So you get to use the official button and keep your short URL branding. It still wraps it in the Twitter shortener, but it comes out as your short (easily retweetable) URL in the tweet.

The plugin works perfectly with the Thesis theme, without needing to edit custom functions. However, if you’re the “I hate plugins” type, you can also add the button to Thesis by adding the following code into your custom functions file (it will place it to the right of the title on single post pages only as written below):

/* Tweet Button */
function tweet_button() {
if (is_single()) {
?>
<div style="float:right; padding-left: 5px;">
<a href="http://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-count="vertical" data-via="sugarrae" data-related="graywolf">Tweet</a><script type="text/javascript" src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script>
</div>
<?php
}
}

add_action('thesis_hook_before_headline', 'tweet_button');

BE SURE TO EDIT MY TWEET BUTTON CODE ABOVE FOR YOURS.

You’ll note that I recommend Michael Gray in addition to myself on the Sugarrae Tweet Button. He does the same on his website. So, you can also find ways to cross promote twitter accounts if you’re creative (have an apple recipe blog? maybe you and the guy with the lemon recipe blog can trade recommending one another).

Additionally, if you have a blog that gets retweeted on a large scale, you could probably also sell advertising to people looking to promote Twitter accounts. There is a market place to buy sponsored tweets from folks with big twitter followings. It shouldn’t be long before a market place pops up for folks looking to increase their twitter following to buy “recommends you follow” real estate from well tweeted blogs.

Also, feel free to test it out by retweeting this post. If you follow both me and Michael, unfollow HIM for a few seconds to see the recommendations after you send the tweet. (HA!) And be sure to re-follow him after. ;-)

About Rae Hoffman

Rae Hoffman aka "Sugarrae" is an affiliate marketing veteran and the CEO of PushFire, a search marketing agency specializing in SEO audits and link building strategies. She is also the author of the often controversial Sugarrae blog. You can connect with Rae via Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Sugarrae runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

If you’re someone who doesn’t understand a lot of PHP, Genesis will give a ton of functionality that you wouldn’t be able to obtain otherwise with a simple control panel instead of having to alter code. For the advanced, Genesis has incredible customization possibilities via Genesis hooks.

The theme is not only highly customizable, but it has allowed me to run Sugarrae more professionally, with a much more targeted focus on monetization than it ever has been able to achieve before.

You can find out more about Genesis below:

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