In recent times, we have had a number of clients asking for Twitter feeds to be added onto their homepage/website.
Whilst on a technical level this is simple to implement, it does however raise the question of how appropriate it is to add Twitter onto your homepage, forcing us to question the logic of why this should be done.
We need to remember that just because an organisation uses Twitter does not always mean it is a good idea to place this on your homepage....this can in fact be a bit of an 'own goal'.
The main points to consider are -
- Often a Twitter feed is simply a way of sharing what is already being publishing on the website. Is this is the case, then what is the value of placing a duplicate list of stories (probably with truncated 144 character intro's) onto your website, which link directly back to your website?
- If the objective is to get people to your website, and your Twitter feed consists of a lot interesting commentary linking other websites/sources (rather than a set of links referencing your own content), then does it makes sense to entice visitors away from your website?
The reason clients cite for adding the Twitter feed is to show activity, relevance and opinion on their websites, however you need to take a pragmatic view on what is being published on the Twitter feed and ultimately consider whether placing it on your websites homepage actually delivers the intended benefits, without either creating more visual clutter or distracting engaged visitors by leading them away to other more interesting locations/destinations.
Obviously there are a number of pros and cons to adding a Twitter feed to your site and maybe I am worrying too much about the downsides, however simply doing something because it is easy or because it is a common trend might not be the best way of incorporating social media into a communication strategy.