Tweet Tickers: What? Why? How?

What is a Tweet Ticker?

You may not know what a Tweet Ticker is by name, but you’ve surely come across a few while browsing the web. A Tweet Ticker is a widget that allows you to show–in a scrolling manner–multiple Twitter feeds in one place. A Tweet Ticker can be embedded onto a web page, and is continually re-populated with the latest tweets from the accounts connected to it. It is also (drumroll please)…another one of my personal inventions according to www.UrbanDictionary.com.

Why use a Tweet Ticker on your page?

Tweet Tickers are a great way to market your Twitter account(s) on your website. It’s a step up from the common practice of  including simple links/logos out to your social media sites at the bottom of your main page, like this:

Images of icons/links on the bottom of CSULB's page at  www.csulb.edu

These simple icons/links are on the bottom of CSULB’s page at http://www.csulb.edu

These simple icons/links are on the bottom of Southwest's page at  www.southwest.com

These simple icons/links are on the bottom of Southwest’s page at http://www.southwest.com

If your business or educational institution allows multiple departments to have Twitter accounts to post department-specific information, a Tweet Ticker is a great way to showcase your “Official Twitter Accounts” all in one spot. To do so, you simply create a list and develop a Tweet Ticker widget from that list (more on this process can be found below).

Tweet Tickers do more than market the mere existence your Twitter account(s). They also give users a sampling of the kinds of information they will receive if they follow you on Twitter, and they don’t have to leave your home page to get that sampling since it’s embedded into your Tweet Ticker.

Where I work, we established a Tweet Ticker to give individual departments a means to push their information and announcements to our home page without having to go through I.T. It allows them to post to our home page through the widget without hassle and without the need for additional personnel involvement. Best of all, it’s instantaneous.

2 great Tweet Tickers

Before we get too far into the technical aspects of building a Tweet Ticker, here are two of my favorites from the educational realm. With so much information from so many departments to showcase, colleges tend to be fond of news-, facebook-, flickr-, tweet-, and anything-tickers:

1. Harvard University, www.Harvard.edu

Tweet and Facebook ticker from www.Harvard.edu

This custom Tweet Ticker is in an easy-to-read left to right scrolling format, and also includes a tab function which allows the user to view a Facebook Ticker too. The Tweet Ticker is attached to a “list” so that it feeds information from @Harvard, @HarvardAlumni, @GreenHarvard, and other “official” accounts from the college.

2. Penn State, www.psu.edu

Penn State's custom Tweet Ticker is in a 3-column format, with feeds from the college's Facebook and various Twitter accounts showing.

This custom Tweet Ticker is in a 3-column format, with feeds from the college’s Facebook and various Twitter accounts showing.

 

Building a Tweet Ticker to feed a single Twitter account

It’s simple to create a Tweet Ticker, especially if you’re just feeding it with one Twitter account. Here are the steps:

  1. Log into your Twitter account
  2. Click the “cog” button at the top, and select “Settings”
  3. From this menu, select “Widgets”

    Under the cog wheel, in "Settings", you will find a link to create Twitter "Widgets"

    Under the cog wheel, in “Settings”, you will find a link to create Twitter “Widgets”

  4.  Select “Create New” and follow the prompts
  5. Copy and paste the generated HTML code into your website

 

Building a Tweet Ticker to feed multiple Twitter accounts

To create a Tweet Ticker that feeds Tweets from multiple Twitter accounts, you must first create a list. Then you will build a widget for that list (opposed to building a widget for one Twitter account).  Follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Twitter account and go to your “Home” screen
  2. A menu will appear on the left, and there will be a listing for “Lists” like this

    On your "Home" screen you will find a link to create Twitter "Lists"

    On your “Home” screen you will find a link to create Twitter “Lists”

  3. Select “Create List”
  4. Give your list a name, write a brief description, and choose if you want people to be able to follow this list too:The "Create a list" box from Twitter
  5. Find people to add to your list by typing their Twitter handle here. If you are a company with multiple Twitter accounts from different departments, this is where you can collect all of those accounts. Finding people to add to your Twitter list
  6. After you’ve created your list, you can follow the steps above to create your Tweet Ticker reflecting the tweets from all members of that list.

Are tweet tickers coming or going?

It was hard for me to find examples of great tweet tickers. They aren’t widely used and I can’t decide if that’s because they are just becoming known, or because they are on their way out. What do you think? Leave me a comment below and tell me what you think about Tweet Tickers.

Advertisements

One thought on “Tweet Tickers: What? Why? How?

  1. I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s