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How To: Customize Your Twitter Sharing Button

It's the little things that matter, and one of the things I did early on was customizing my Tweet button. Simply put, this means that every time someone uses the Twitter sharing button on my blog, it automatically adds my Twitter handle @sandinmytoesTK at the end of the tweet.


Customizing your twitter share this way is important for many reasons:

1. It helps you keep a tab on how much your content is being shared on Twitter. I always prefer sharing posts I like on Twitter first, because I have maximum followers there, and it's easy to do. I suspect Twitter is the first choice for most people reading blogs too. It's hard to track shares on Facebook unless someone tags you, or if you are using a paid service to track your links.

2. It helps you reach out to the people who like your content. Whenever someone shares my post on Twitter and mentions me, I thank them, and always follow. Sometimes, we exchange tweets, and I get new perspectives on the post.

3. You may end up with a new subscriber. Having a conversation with, or thanking a tweeter makes it more likely that they will remember you and follow your blog.

4. Retweet those shares for more exposure. I always retweet when my posts are shared by others. It makes my Twitter stream look a lot better than just me promoting my own stuff!

I make it a point to add the Twitter handle every time I share someone else's content on Twitter. Sometimes, I have to look hard for their Twitter user name. But sometimes, I just don't have the time to do that. What I'm trying to get at is - Don't depend on the sharer to add your Twitter handle. Make it easy for them!

With just a few tweaks you can customize your Twitter sharing button too. I have compiled a list of the most common types of sharing tools that bloggers use, and how this customization works with them.

ShareThis


If you are on Blogger, or have manually added the ShareThis widget to your template code, follow this:
  1. Look for the following line of code in your template: <span class="st_sharethis"></span>
  2. Change it to this: <span class="st_sharethis" st_via="YOUR TWITTER USERNAME"></span>

Source: ShareThis Support

If you are using the Wordpress plugin for ShareThis:

  1. Go to http://YOUR SITE URL/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=sharethis.php
  2. Scroll down to " [+] Click to modify other widget options." 
  3. Make the addition (marked in blue) to the code: 

<script>
var options={ "publisher": "YOUR PUBLISHER KEY", "position": "left", "ad": { "visible": true, "openDelay": 5, "closeDelay": 0, }, "chicklets": { "items": ["facebook", "linkedin", "pinterest", "email", "sharethis", "twitter"]}, chicklets_params: { twitter:{ "st_via":"TwitterHandleName" } } };
var st_hover_widget = new sharethis.widgets.hoverbuttons(options);
</script>


Source: ShareThis Support

If you are using the Jetpack sharing buttons on Wordpress, check out this post on Fabulous Blogging (scroll down to question 6).

AddThis


Whether you are using their share buttons or Smart Layers, there is one script you need to add to your blog:

<script type="text/javascript">
var addthis_share = addthis_share || {}
addthis_share = {
passthrough : {
twitter: {
via: "TWITTER USERNAME"
}
}
}
</script>

This is not a modification, but a new script you should add to your template. On Blogger, you can do this by adding it by Add A Gadget method (and choosing an HTML/Javascript gadget), or putting it manually in your template before </body>. In Wordpress, you can add the Javascript to your header.php file under <body> tag or through a Javascript plugin you may already be using.

Source: AddThis Support 

Shareaholic


Shareaholic officially only supports Wordpress, so here's how to do it:

  1. Go to your Publisher Tools page here: https://shareaholic.com/publisher_tools
  2. Click Settings >> Sharing >> Message Format
  3. In the Message format field enter: ${title} ${link} via @TWITTER USERNAME

Source: Shareaholic Helpdesk

Blogger


In the off chance that you are still using the tiny official sharing buttons on Blogger, here's a tutorial on J9 Designs on how to add your Twitter handle. But my only word of advice to you is, get ShareThis or AddThis and make your life easier!

I have covered the common services, but if you are using another plugin or widget, it usually supports Twitter customization, so get in touch with your provider.


This post has been linked to:

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13 comments

Katie Markey McLaughlin said...

I use Jetpack and was never sure how to do this! Going to check out the Fabulous Blogging post right now! Thanks :)

Tarana said...

Good to know this helped!

Twinsplustwo said...

I *really* like this - and will be customising mine later ;) Thanks for linking up! #PoCoLo

Merlinda Little said...

I am in LJ so I wonder if this will help. My twitter button is the worst in the world if you will check it out. Thats the best that I can do with my platform (LJ). #PoCoLo

Tarana said...

Merlinda, I looked for you, and I don't see any option to customize on LJ. You should enable the Share option though.

Twinsplustwo said...

I have "Share This" as a multi gadget - any idea how this would work?

Tarana said...

You should be able to customize the same way for the 'multi-post' widget. The code isn't much different.

Misplaced_Brit said...

Pinned right away, but I'm going to have to get right on over to my blog tonight and do some UPDATES :-)

Tarana said...

Great! And thank you pinning it.

Pamela (Rookie Parenting) said...

Awesome article. Thanks for tweeting it. I use one of the WordPress plugins and find it hard to customize. Will give it a try.

Tarana said...

I hope you figure it out, I'm not very good with WP!

Chris Carter said...

I totally agree Tarana! I think I already have this... and I really like being notified if my content is shared and I always try to thank the share-er with an authentic tweet back!

Morgan Prince said...

OMG I have been searching for ages for a way to do this! I found this over on The Reading Residence's blog post about tips for blog appearance. I'm so glad I did. Thank you so much for this post. :)

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