With so many people activity using Twitter on a daily basis, it has become fairly standard to incorporate Twitter into your website and vise-versa. It seems that many Internet users have come to expect a “follow me on Twitter” link displayed prominently on websites. Interacting with your prospective customers and website visitors through Twitter can be a great way to gain additional exposure for your brand as well as drive targeted traffic back to your website. Drupal is one example of a content management system that makes it extremely easy to incorporate Twitter into your website as well as send information from your site back to Twitter. The following are some free tools, modules, and recourses to help you integrate Twitter with Drupal.
Follow Me On Twitter Icon – The first, and most basic, step is to add a follow me on twitter icon/link onto your website. I would suggest adding this icon to your site template or in a sidebar block so that it is displayed on all of your primary pages. Here are 100 free Twitter icon sets that can be placed on your site. Also be sure to add a link back to your website on your Twitter profile.
Post to Twitter Options – There are a few other options for your Drupal site that allow visitors to share your content on Twitter. Maybe you prefer not to use the Retweet button mentioned above or would simply like to give your users additional options for sharing your content on Twitter.
Send Your Blog Posts to Twitter – While there are many options that allow you to automatically post your recent blog entries to Twitter, Twitterfeed.com is probably my favorite. Simply add your RSS feed to Twitterfeed and it will automatically post your latest blog entries right to your Twitter account.
If you are looking to share your posts with more social networking sites other than just Twitter, I would recommend using a combination of both Twitterfeed and Ping.fm. To set this up, simply select the option on Twitterfeed to post your feed to Ping. You can then connect Ping with Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, and your other social networks. Once this is setup correctly, every time you update your blog with fresh content it will automatically post to all of your social networks.
Twitter Module – The Twitter module is another very powerful addition to Drupal that can perform a number of different tasks. Most commonly, it is used for adding a block to your Drupal site that displays your most recent Tweets. Here is a very good video tutorial on how to install this module and configure it to work with your site. In addition to this very basic task, the Twitter module is also setup for multi user websites. Multi user sites can give people the option to link their Twitter profiles to their Drupal user profile and display recent tweets or even post content they create directly to a Twitter account.
Chat Catcher – Chat Catcher is a Drupal module that I haven’t personally used, but sounds quite interesting. Anytime a URL from your website (even one that has been shortened by a service such as bit.ly) is mentioned on Twitter, this module will automatically detect that tweet and post it as a comment on your website. If anyone has any experience using this module, please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
Activity Stream – This module allows you to display an activity stream on your site from Twitter as well as your other social networking sites.
OAuth – The OAuth module allows for complete API authentication between your Drupal website and other external sites. This module allows users to securely integrate data from sites such as Twitter, Google, Flickr, and many more with any Drupal website.