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:
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
2. Penn State, www.psu.edu
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:
- Log into your Twitter account
- Click the “cog” button at the top, and select “Settings”
- From this menu, select “Widgets”
- Select “Create New” and follow the prompts
- 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:
- Log into your Twitter account and go to your “Home” screen
- A menu will appear on the left, and there will be a listing for “Lists” like this
- Select “Create List”
- Give your list a name, write a brief description, and choose if you want people to be able to follow this list too:
- 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.
- 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.