Twitter pissed off marketers from all over the world. Killing the share counts in the sharing buttons was unexpected and not welcome at all.
However… “There are no problems, only solutions.” John Lennon said it.
BuzzSumo developed a Chrome extension that shows Twitter share counts for any website. In your browser. Not on your site.
Useful extension, but far from what marketers need: social proof available to everyone, not only to the users of that extension.
This morning I discovered a better solution…
1. Three Easy Steps to Getting Twitter Share Counts Again
Step 1 – Get the plugins that work with this service
You need one of the following share buttons on your blog:
- Standard Twitter buttons
I recommend SumoMe. It’s free and it has many features, including list building options.
Step 2 – Sign up for THE service
Sign up for the magic service :-) It’s called New Share Counts.
It’s free. You only need to provide the address of your website and then you can sign up using your Twitter account. You will be asked to give read-only access to your Twitter account.
Once you signed up, “New Share Counts” (NSC) starts tracking the share counts for your site. Now you need a piece of code that gets the data collected by NSC and updates the piece of info displayed by your social sharing plugin …
Step 3 – Add a piece of code to your blog
After you have signed up, you’ll be redirected to a page where you get a piece of code that you need to insert in all pages that are supposed to display the share count.
This blog has share buttons only on the Posts pages and that’s why I modified only the file single.php
2. You Signed Up, You Added the Code. How Does It Work?
2.1. – The next Twitter shares
After the three steps mentioned above, go and check one of your blog posts. Maybe you’ll see that Twitter share count is still zero. It happened to me too. Don’t get scared :-)
Go on Twitter and share one of your blog posts. If you’re already a SumoMe user, then you already know that there’s a counting delay. So wait for about an hour. Then check again the blog post you shared on Twitter. The counter should show at least one share.
Good to know: The Twitter share count and the total share count (Twitter shares plus other social media shares) will initially display the original number of shares provided by your original plugin (SumoMe). After several seconds the NSC script updates both the Twitter share count and the total share count.
2.2. – Seven days old Twitter shares
Twitter’s actual search API has a limitation. It lets NSC collect only shares that are no more than 7 days old. That’s why the shares that happened more than 7 days before you added your blog to NSC tracking will not be counted.
The counter for the blog post shared as per 2.1 above will show your share plus any other share that happened during the seven days passed before you signed up for NSC.
2.3. – Even older Twitter shares
What about your very old shares? Older than 7 days…
Before Twitter shut its service down, NSC has collected share counts for lots of websites. They say… 1 billion webpages. This means that for many blogs the share counts may not have to start from zero…
In order to prove it, Artur Brugeman, the nice guy behind NewShareCounts, manually imported the data for this blog and voila!
My blog post 20 Best Twitter Marketing Tips from Around the World had 1.2k Twitter shares before Twitter killed the share counts, this morning displayed zero shares, after 2.1-2.2 above it showed 22 shares on Twitter, and now it shows 1.2k Twitter shares again. Check it for yourself!
What about YOUR old shares? Artur told me that they’re preparing the infrastructure for the full import and he hopes to complete it within one week.
Well, that’s it! What are you waiting for? Go and get your Twitter shares back! :)
To Your Twitter Marketing Success,
P.S. I was very excited and wanted to share this piece of news as soon as possible. So the first draft of the article became the final one. I hope it doesn’t include too many mistakes and it makes sense. If it doesn’t, feel free to ask your questions by using the comment area below.
P.P.S. Follow me on Twitter for more interesting internet marketing tips & news.