Integrating Twitter with Magento
Twitter (http://twitter.com) is a micro-blogging service, which allows its users to send short messages to their followers, answering the question “what are you doing now?”
After registering a Twitter account, you can begin to follow other Twitter users. When they update their status, you will see it in your timeline of what people you follow say.
When you sign up for a Twitter account, it is usually best to sign up as the name of your store—for example, “Cheesy Cheese Store” rather than “RichardCarter”, simply because your customers are more likely to search for the name of the store rather than your own name.
Tweeting: Ideas for your store’s tweets
If you look at other businesses on Twitter, you’ll see that there are a number of ways to promote your store on Twitter without losing followers by being too “spammy”.
- Some companies give voucher codes to Twitter followers—a good way to entice new customers
- Others use Twitter to host competitions for free items—a good way to reward existing customers
- You can also release products to your Twitter followers before releasing them to other customers
Displaying your Twitter updates on your Magento store
Twitter can be a powerful tool for your store on its own, but you can integrate Twitter with your Magento store to drive existing customers to your Twitter account, which can help to generate repeat customers.
There are a few ways Twitter can be used with Magento, the most versatile of which is the LazzyMonks Twitter module.
Installing the LazzyMonks Twitter module
To install the LazzyMonks module, visit its page on the Magento Commerce web site (http://www.magentocommerce.com/extension/482/lazzymonks-twitter, and retrieve the extension key, after agreeing to the terms and conditions. Log in to your Magento store’s administration panel, and open the Magento Connect Manager in the Magento Connect option under the System tab.
Once this has loaded, paste the extension key in to the text box next to the Paste extension key to install label, as shown in the following screenshot:
This will install the module for you. Return to your Magento store’s administration panel, and you will see a Twitter option in the navigation. The View Tweets option allows you to view updates made to your Twitter account. The Post Update option allows you to update Twitter from your store’s administration panel.
Firstly, you will need to configure the module’s settings, which can be found under the Twitter option of the Configuration section of your store’s administration panel, under the System tab.
The Twitter Login options are of particular interest. Here you will need to enter your Twitter account’s username and password.
Once this has been saved, you can post a status update to your Twitter account through Magento’s administration panel:
This then appears on your Twitter account:
Your tweets will also be displayed on your store, as a block beneath other content and can be styled with CSS in your Magento theme by addressing div.twitter.
Other ways to integrate Twitter with Magento
The other way to integrate your Twitter feed with Magento is by embedding Twitter’s widgets into your site. To use these, log in to your Twitter account, and go to http://twitter.com/widgets. You can then use the HTML provided within the Magento templates to insert your Twitter updates into your store.
Adding your Twitter feed through Magento’s CMS
Alternatively, you can insert your Twitter account’s updates into any page managed through Magento’s Content Management System. In Magento’s administration panel, select CMS | Manage Pages, and select the page that you want your Twitter stream to appear in. Within your page, simply paste the code that Twitter produces when you select the type of Twitter “badge”, which you want to display on your store.
Consider creating a new block for your Twitter statuses, so that it can be removed from pages where it is likely to be distracting (for example, the checkout page).