Tweet That!

A growing trend among bloggers is to provide readers with pre-fabricated tweets – such as a short quote from a blog post – that can be tweeted instantly simply by clicking on a link that says “Tweet that” or “Click to tweet” after the quote. I call these “Quick Tweets”. Here is an example.

Quick Tweets can help spread your blog’s message. (Tweet that!)

Go ahead and click on “Tweet that!” and see what happens.

There are two ways to create Quick Tweets:

  1. A Third-Party Web-Based Service
  2. Do It Yourself

The first few steps are the same, whether you use a third-party web-based service (like ClickToTweet.com) or take the do-it-yourself approach. For the sake of this article, I will show you how I created the Quick Tweet shown above.

STEP ONE: Create the body text (the message) of your Quick Tweet. For this example, the body text is “Quick Tweets can help spread your blog’s message.” Type your body text into a new document in your favorite text editor or word processor.

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I like to use a free program called Notepad++ because it counts how many characters are in your document, which is important to know when you’re working with Twitter’s 140-character limit. Notepad++ lets you open multiple documents at the same time in different tabs. I also like it because it’s free, which is my favorite price.

STEP TWO: Copy the URL of the blog post and shorten it using a URL shortening service such as bitly. The shortened URL for this blog post is http://orear.ws/12zJ55e.

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I have a custom short domain on my bitly account, hence the orear.ws domain for the shortened URL.

STEP THREE: Copy the shortened URL and paste it into Notepad++, right after the body text. At this point, our Quick Tweet looks like this: “Quick Tweets can help spread your blog’s message. http://orear.ws/12zJ55e”.

STEP FOUR: Add your Twitter handle (including the preceding @ sign) after the shortened URL. My Twitter handle is “paulorear”, so my completed Quick Tweet now reads: “Quick Tweets can help spread your blog’s message. http://orear.ws/12zJ55e @paulorear”.

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The reason for adding your Twitter handle is so that you will see any tweets that your blog readers send using the Quick Tweet. If this tweet gets retweeted by any of their Twitter followers, you will see that as well.

STEP FIVE: Check the total length of the Quick Tweet. Remember that Twitter imposes a 140-character limit on all tweets. The length of the example Quick Tweet is 84 characters, so we are well within the limit.

This is where the path forks, depending on whether you decide to use a third-party web-based service or do it yourself. I will explain both procedures below.

THIRD-PARTY WEB SERVICE

If you choose to use ClickToTweet.com to create your Quick Tweets, follow STEP ONE through STEP FIVE above, then continue with STEP SIX below.

STEP SIX: Open your browser to http://clicktotweet.com. Copy your entire Quick Tweet (body text, shortened URL, Twitter handle), from STEP FOUR above, into the text box. Click the “Generate link!” button.

STEP SEVEN: Copy and paste the generated link (from the “Here’s your URL” box) to a temporary location (such as a new Notepad++ tab) so that you can come back to it momentarily.

STEP EIGHT: Type the body text of your Quick Tweet into your blog post, followed by “Tweet that!” or “Click to tweet” or whatever call-to-action wording you want to use. See my example above.

STEP NINE: Make the “Tweet that!” text into a link that will take the reader to the generated URL produced by ClickToTweet in STEP SIX (and copied to a temporary location in STEP SEVEN so that you can re-grab it for this step).

That’s it! You’re done!

DO IT YOURSELF

If you choose to follow the DIY path to create your Quick Tweets, follow STEP ONE through STEP FIVE above, then continue with STEP SIX below.

STEP SIX: Copy and paste the entire Quick Tweet (body text, shortened URL, Twitter handle), from STEP FOUR above, into a new Notepad++ tab/document.

STEP SEVEN: Replace all the spaces in your Quick Tweet with the character string “%20” (percent sign, two, zero). Don’t include the quotation marks.

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You can use Notepad++’s Search > Replace function to do this. Simply type a space into the “Find what” field in the Replace dialog box, and %20 into the “Replace with” field. Then click the “Replace All” button and VOILA! All your spaces are now properly coded as %20.

STEP EIGHT: Place your cursor at the very beginning of the Quick Tweet coded text and type the following (without the quotation marks): “http://twitter.com/home?status=”.

Note: The result is now a link that contains the entire content of your Quick Tweet, with properly-coded spaces:
http://twitter.com/home?status=Quick%20Tweets%20can%20help%20spread%20your%20blog’s%20message.%20http://orear.ws/12zJ55e%20@paulorear“.

UPDATE: Since first posting this article, I’ve learned that hashtags must be hard-coded just like spaces. If you include a hashtag in your tweet, be sure to replace the hashtag symbol (#) with “%23” (don’t include the quotation marks.

STEP NINE: Create a bitly-shortened URL for this new link. In our example, the shortened URL for the coded Quick Tweet link from STEP EIGHT is http://orear.ws/1akKhzM.

STEP TEN: In the bitly pop-up box, change the title for the shortened link to the body text of the Quick Tweet. In our example, you would change the bitly link title (which probably says “Post a Tweet on Twitter” to “Quick Tweets can help spread your blog’s message.” Do this by clicking on the blue pencil to the right of the existing link title and typing in the new title.

STEP ELEVEN: Copy the shortened URL and paste it to a temporary location (such as a new Notepad++ tab) so that you can come back to it momentarily.

STEP TWELVE: Type the body text of your Quick Tweet into your blog post, followed by “Tweet that!” or “Click to tweet” or whatever call-to-action wording you want to use. See my example above.

STEP THIRTEEN: Make the “Tweet that!” text into a link that will take the reader to the shortened URL produced by bitly in STEP NINE (and copied to a temporary location in STEP ELEVEN so that you can re-grab it for this step).

That’s it! You’re done!

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Even though it’s a bit more tedious, I recommend using the Do It Yourself approach. At the time of this writing, clicktotweet.com is still classified as a “beta” service. Who knows how long it will be around? I hate the idea of spending a couple of years creating Quick Tweets in perhaps hundreds of blog posts, only to have clicktotweet.com shut down, resulting in hundreds of dead links on my blog.

Paul O'Rear Signature

 

Source:

  1. Brankica. Create Your Own Click-to-tweet. http://onlineincomestar.com/create-your-own-click-to-tweet/ (accessed July 13, 2013).

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2 thoughts on “Tweet That!

  1. That is a good tip particularly to those new to the
    blogosphere. Short but very accurate info… Many thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

    • Thank you! I hope this information proves useful for other bloggers. Sorry it took me so long to approve your comment so that it would post. I have been out of town for the past several days for my son’s wedding.