By John Houghton on January 27, 2014
Not everybody who is responsible for a mobile app project knows how to use Twitter inside and out, so if you are one of those people, this article is for you. Whether it’s iPhone, iPad or Android app development, for a while now it’s been possible to add Twitter functionality to an app, so if a user likes a piece of content within a mobile app, they can share it in the form of a tweet. I sometimes get requests to build a Twitter function exclusively with the ability to tweet a fixed message, or to retweet a message (without the option to edit it). This post is targeted toward people who want those capabilities in their Twitter functionality.
Here is the use case: you have an app that includes videos, and you want users to be able to share those videos via many social channels, including Twitter. The most important part of this is to let Twitter users write their own tweet. They want to be able to insert their own hashtags, include a user name, and make their own headline. If you don’t let them do this, they are going to think you and your app are behind the times, and you won’t get any veteran Twitter users sharing your content. Before you discount these hardcore users, let me remind you that just one tweet from one of these users can tip the scales on your marketing campaign.
Some folks don’t know much about how Twitter works, so here is a primer: when people monitor Twitter, they follow topics by monitoring certain hashtags (#). For example, I like to tweet using hashtags like #AppDev and #MobileDev, because these are the trends that application developers are following. If I put out a tweet without hashtags, the tweet goes into the ether and few people, except my followers will see it. However, if I tweet with both the #AppDev and #MobileDev, then all the folks who monitor those hashtags will see it. For example, here is recent tweet of mine:
The purpose of this tweet is to drive users to my article about the importance of the app icon. Some of the people who monitor this hashtag will retweet it, which will spread the word about my article. It’s free advertising, and it works via hashtag to connect with people of like-minded interests.
By giving thought to the way you implement Twitter within your app, you can make a big difference in appealing to Twitter users and getting them to share and spread your content.