Tweet today, gone tomorrow – that’s how it sometimes seems with Twitter updates.
I don’t know about you, but I have trouble even finding my own old updates, let alone anyone else’s.
That can be a problem if you are using Twitter as the hub of your social media efforts or drive Twitter traffic back to your blog.
Luckily, there’s a way to make your tweets have a longer shelf life, by using tools such as Paper.li and Twylah.
Paper.li essentially turns your tweets into an online newspaper.
It’s a content curation web application and you’ve got a lot of options for the content you create.
Each paper can contain content from five different streams, which you can order by priority.
Enter a title for your paper, then pick content from a Twitter user, a Twitter list, a hashtag, Twitter or Facebook keywords, or an RSS feed.
Choose a language for your paper and select the topics (there are 15) that you’d like to see covered.
My original Paper.li paper has updates from me and my followers in about 7 categories.
Distributing Your Tweets
Once your paper is set up, you can distribute it.
Choose a daily, twice daily or weekly edition and decide whether to automatically tweet updates to your stream.
You can also edit the appearance of your paper to give it some branding.
The paper has an attractive magazine layout, with headings for your chosen topics across the top. It includes sections for photos and videos, an ad and your recent tweets.
There are also subscription options near the navigation menu for readers.
You can also add an editor’s note for readers via a box on the home screen of each paper.
Archiving Tweets for Long Shelf Life
One of the best things about Paper.li is that is stores archives of your paper, so your tweets and any of your curated streams will be around for a while.
The only downside is that unless you choose to auto post your paper updates to Twitter, it only updates when you login and do it manually. I’d love to see this changed so that the paper is always up to date.
Although I love the service, I have mixed feelings about bombarding my followers with daily Paper.li updates (though perhaps a weekly update wouldn’t be so bad).
Another beautiful Twitter content curation tool is Twylah.
Devised by Eric Kim, Twylah gives you a magazine like interface for your own tweets.
Just sign in with Twitter and the site pulls in and organizes your tweets by topic.
Your top 10 topics are arranged in order, with a picture under each heading, making it very attractive.
In most cases, you’ll be amazed by how accurately it selects your key topics.
Effectively, Twylah gives you a Twitter fan page or a brand page for your tweets.
Click on a topic heading (or the “more” button at the end of each topic) to see all your recent tweets on that topic.
Click on a tweet to see more detail plus a list of your related tweets.
At Twylah, curation is all about you, which is great for letting people know what you are all about on Twitter.
The home page includes your bio, avatar and follow buttons, but when you dig deeper into Twylah, there’s even more value for content publishers.
Your Twylah Topics
Within the settings, there’s a ‘manage topics‘ section, where Twylah lists all the topics it thinks you tweet about most.
The great thing is that you have the option to pin three topics you most want to be known for to the top of your Twylah page and hide topics that don’t match your target.
If you happen to tweet a lot about photos because you’ve just been on vacation, that doesn’t mean you want your followers to see “photo” as one of your main keywords.
Twylah gives you a lot of control over the end product.
Cool Twylah Features
Twylah has a couple more cool features.
First, the ability to send what’s called a Power Tweet, including target keywords, a link and so on, which takes people to a landing page for that tweet.
That landing page also contains related tweets on the same topic, enabling you to connect with people who are talking about the same thing.
Second, Twylah gives you the ability to send longer tweets, so the 140 character limit isn’t a problem.
Twylah is also introducing analytics so you can measure the impact of your tweets and see how much traffic they are generating.
It also allows you to have a custom domain (still being rolled out) and to brand your Twylah page.
My Twylah page is a subdomain of my writing site, with colors that match my site.
Paper.li and Twylah Compared
So, how do the two stack up when it comes to keeping Twitter traffic on your page?
I don’t use Paper.li as much, but I’ve had good feedback on my Twylah page from some of my followers and the analytics show that people are visiting.
What is more, the ace in the hole with Twylah is the search engine optimization (SEO) benefits. I get additional Google entries for my Twylah tweet and tag pages and that makes it useful in a different way from Paper.li.
Whether you go for Paper.li or Twylah you can get more out of either tool by directing your Twitter followers to your page. All you have to do is include it in your bio.
Have you used either tool? What did you think?