The functionality of today’s WordPress Plugins is amazing, it really is. Take for example many of the Twitter based plugins. Some make it possible to have each of your posts to Twitter also post to your blog. As a blog post.
One Twitter post of up to 140 characters does not make a “content rich, topic relevant” blog post.
I’m not about to go on and on about Search Engine Optimization here (although I totally could!). Suffice it to say that a recent case study by SEOmoz has confirmed my original suspicions in regards to the effect of social media on how we’re ranked by the search engines. Aside from any possible penalty for creating “duplicate content”, there’s the human factor that as a blogger, you must take into consideration.
If people want to follow you on Twitter, they will. No need to waste space in their RSS Readers, or email inboxes with your “blog posts” consisting of nothing more than one ‘Tweet’ at a time. How would you feel if you took the time to visit someone’s blog because a headline caught your eye, only to find out that the headline was in fact also the content (as is usually the case when you allow an app to feed your Tweets into your blog in this manner)?
I know how I’d feel. I’d become instantly annoyed, and I’d write off that blog as being nothing more than regurgitated material from another site. Basically, that’s what a Tweet as a blog post is.
Seriously, if your only content in a blog post is a Tweet, your Search Engine Optimized meta description will probably wind up being longer than your content! How can this in any way, shape or form be considered ‘quality, relevant content’? But then again, I guess if I were being realistic here, anyone that’s sending their Tweets to their blog as posts is probably not going through the steps to optimize their sites for the search engines anyway.
Use Your Tweets to Enhance Your Posts, Not Dominate Them
If there’s something so valuable in one of your Tweets, that you want to share it with your blog’s readers, then by all means, use a plugin like Twitter Blackbird Pie to quote the Tweet in your post.
Here’s what a quoted Tweet looks like using the Twitter Blackbird Pie plugin:
Then… EMBELLISH. Take advantage of the ability to use more than Twitter’s limited 140 characters to express your opinion. Help your readers get to know you through sharing your expertise, and showing your personality. This is blogging, after all.
Use your activity on Twitter to feed you ideas for blogging. Coming up with ideas for posts is one of the most common stumbling blocks for bloggers, when it doesn’t need to be! There are endless topics being discussed daily on the Social Web. Use Twitter as a tool to improve your blogging, not replace it entirely.
It’s All About the Relationship
You have one chance to make that first impression on a site visitor. Do you really want that first impression to be limited to 140 character chunks? Display your Twitter stream in your sidebar, it’s efficient, and let’s people know that you do in fact participate in the Social Web.
If those visitors see that you’re discussing the topics in your Tweets in further detail on your blog, well that goes a long way towards creating credibility for you. “Oh look, Joe Blogger actually is interested in the things he Tweets!” leaves a better impression than “Oh look, Joe Blogger can’t be bothered to go into more detail on any of the stuff he Tweets. I wonder if his Tweets are even relevant at all!”.
Just because you can have your Tweets sent to your blog as posts, doesn’t mean you should. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this Twitter-versy. Am I being too harsh? Do you really see nothing wrong with force feeding content to your blog in this way? Is there some use for sending your Tweets to your blog as posts that I’m totally missing here? Comment below, let me know because I’m dying to find out. Seriously.