In this post Dan Zarrella tells us about a new tool he’s created for bloggers – TweetBacks – a tool that allows you to add instances where your blog has been mentioned on Twitter to your blogs comments section.
A few days ago, I created the first implementation of TweetBacks (see the WP plugin here), which is a porting of the idea of trackbacks to Twitter. By first reverse engineering a bunch of the most popular URL shortening services, it then searches Twitter for Tweets that link to your post. These Tweets are then displayed under your original post (either above or below your comments section).
Beyond simply adding a new layer to the conversation and allowing your readers greater flexibility in how they choose to respond to your content, it also adds an important factor in “going viral”: social proof. By showing your readers how many other people have also liked your post enough to share it, you tap into a powerful human tendency towards imitation.
I’ve written about the power of social proof in viral and social marketing before, but this is one of the most direct and effective ways to accomplish this. Tweets are a lower-commitment, easier way to share content than either traditional commenting or blogging, and therefore lowers the bar for your readers to join in the conversation.