Good news bloggers: Your Twitter share counts are back. I’m taking a break from my normal mindful living/spending posts to focus on social media today because this is big news for my blogging friends. Some of you may have noticed your Twitter share counts disappeared from your social sharing apps in October 2015. Twitter, in their infinite wisdom — NOT — decided Twitter share counts should go the way of the dinosaur and become extinct for a variety of not-so-great reasons. One reason was because the counts weren’t 100% accurate (which no one assumed) and they instead encouraged you to use Gnip, a paid service if you wanted accurate information. Oh, did I mention who owns Gnip? You got it – Twitter.
Twitter is correct that social shares should not be the sole measurement of a post’s success, nor the sole identifier of where your traffic is coming from. However, social shares do matter to readers who are much more likely to share posts that have good social validation. Because it matters to them, it definitely matters to me.
Thus, I imagine many bloggers, like myself, where Twitter made up a large portion of their social shares were not only immensely frustrated, but then started focusing on other social media channels to get more social shares.
I’m not a financial expert or analyst, but my guess is when your stock is sinking to all-time lows, you probably don’t want an active portion of your base to suddenly focus more attention on other social media outlets and be immensely vocal about it.
Get Your Twitter Share Counts Back in 2 Steps
The good news is that we can get our twitter share counts back, thanks to www.newsharecounts.com. Even better, it’s a really simple process.
Step #1: Link Your Website and Twitter Account
Go to www.newsharecounts.com and fill in the information requested.
Once you do, it will explain the piece of code you need to add to your website.
Step #2: Adding the Code to Your Website
Some of you may have lost a bit enthusiasm once you saw that you needed to add some code. I get it; playing around with your website’s code can be intimidating. And it shouldn’t be done lightly. Fortunately, for most people, your social sharing plug-in is likely supported by newsharecounts. Once you register your website, you will see a list of social sharing plug-ins, click on the plug-in you use and follow the instructions.
Note: Every plug-in does it a bit differently. Some of you may only need to “flip” a switch in your plug-in to turn your Twitter share counts back on. Some you will need to add some code.
For those who use a Genesis Theme, I will show you where to add the code. It’s easy and not scary; I promise.
Go To: Dashboard > Genesis > Theme Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the Theme Settings page until your reach the Header and Footer Scripts section. Copy and paste the code provided by newsharecounts into the Header section and save. That’s it. Easy peasy. It may take up to an hour for your Twitter share counts to appear.
For those of you who use a different theme and don’t know where to place code, reach out to newsharecounts or your theme developer, they should be able to assist you. My guess is if you’re using a popular, paid theme, it will closely mimic my instructions. But to be safe, contact them for specific instructions if you are unsure.
The Great and Not-So Great News
The great news is, of course, that we have our Twitter share counts back and at no cost. The bad news is Twitter share counts are only held in the internet ether for 7 days, so beyond that, you may still show zero Twitter shares on your older posts.
They go into greater detail on the website, but to try and mitigate this as best they could, they took a snapshot in November 2015 to record as many shares as possible. Therefore, you may see some Twitter share counts from before November 2015, although not everyone will. It will most likely be larger sites, although they have said even some big sites didn’t get recorded.
I’m Still Looking at Other Social Media Outlets
I don’t want to seem ungrateful, because I truly appreciate www.newsharecounts.com hard work, but I’m not the big Twitter fan that I once was. While I don’t fully agree with their rationale to remove share counts in the first place, I do understand they need to make money (i.e. keep investors happy). It was also a reminder for me, as someone who is trying to grow her reader base, that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Are you glad Twitter share counts are back? Or did you not even notice they were gone? What’s your favorite social media channel?