Tag Archives: twitter

4 Useful Twitter Automation Tools and How to Use Them

4 Apr

Here are some Twitter automation tools, services and tips:

Twitterfeed

Twitterfeed is a service that allows you to set up RSS feeds from your favorite blogs, and whenever those blogs have a new post, it will be tweeted to your account. It can be used to update your Twitter and Facebook accounts.

How to Set Up Twitterfeed

To use Twitterfeed, you simply need to register for a free account and then set up your favorite blogs using the following steps.

1. Enter an easily recognizable Feed Name and the blog URL or RSS feed URL.

Twitterfeed Setup Step 1Twitterfeed Setup Step 1: Enter the feed name and blog or RSS URL.

2. Use the advanced settings to customize your tweets. I usually change the Post Content to Title Only and include via @username of the blog owner in the Post Suffix.

Twitterfeed Setup Step 2Twitterfeed Setup Step 2: Configure Advanced Settings.

3. Choose the Twitter or Facebook accounts that you would like to have updated with the blog’s latest posts.

Twitterfeed Setup Step 3Twitterfeed Setup Step 3: Set to update statuses on specific Twitter or Facebook accounts.

You’ll need to use the “OAuth” authentication for new Twitter accounts and “Connect” with Facebook for new Facebook accounts.

Pros of Using Twitterfeed

So what benefits can you get from using Twitterfeed? If you choose the right blogs that your audience enjoys, you’ll be able to give them the latest news from their favorite sites and they will appreciate it!

Twitter Thank You TweetIf you choose blogs that your followers like, you will receive plenty of thanks.

Generally, you’ll know if your audience likes them because you see retweets of those status updates or, if you’re really good at choosing the right blogs, you’ll get thank-you messages for posting them, like the one above.

Cons of Using Twitterfeed

So what’s the downside of using Twitterfeed? As far as I know, there isn’t a way to say when to tweet new posts. Sure, you can tell it to only check every certain number of hours, but even then it doesn’t let you say only between the hours of 9am and 5pm, for instance.

Another little quirk is that if you send an update that you want to stay at the top of your Twitter profile for a while, you might be out of luck if one of your blogs in Twitterfeed has recently updated right after your priority tweet.

The last one has to do specifically with affiliate marketers. If you’re promoting an event, such as the Social Media Success Summit, the last thing you want is to tweet a post promoting the same event (with someone else’s affiliate link). But it’s likely to happen if other blogs in your Twitterfeed are promoting the same products or events.

Twitterfeed Best Practices

So what best practices should you follow if you want to get the most out of Twitterfeed? Here are some good tips.

  • Try not to include blogs that update multiple times a day. Nothing will annoy your followers more than seeing 12 updates from the same site in one day. If you feel you must include one of those sites, be sure to use the Advanced Settings and only check the blog once every 4 hours and only tweet one update at a time.
  • Only choose blogs that you can depend on to have quality posts. I find that including blogs like Social Media Examiner which only feature posts on specific topics are the safest, while personal blogs that have the occasional rant post are a little more iffy. The last thing you want is to automatically tweet posts that may offend your readers.
  • Be sure to monitor your tweets regularly to make sure your favorite blogs haven’t veered off topic. Your favorite photo blog may have decided to go culinary which may not resonate with your followers.

Social Oomph

Ah, the dreaded automated direct message. I wish I could greet all of my new followers with a personal direct message or a friendly mention, but it becomes tough to do once you’re getting a high volume of follows in one day.

Plus, it’s sometimes hard to tell which accounts are manned by real people and which are bots, and why would you want to waste precious time greeting a bot?

So yes, I like to use Social Oomph to create an automated direct message for new followers.

How to Set Up Social Oomph Direct Messages

Once you have created a free account (apparently no longer free for new members) at Social Oomph, you can set it up using the following steps.

1. Use the navigation menu and go to Social Accounts > Add New Account > Add Twitter. Be sure to log into your desired Twitter account beforehand and Authorize Access.

Social Oomph Direct Message Setup Step 1Social Oomph Setup Step 1: Authorize your desired Twitter account.

2. Use the navigation menu to go to Social Accounts > Edit Welcome DM and select your Twitter account. Here, you will find the form to enter your automated direct message and a checkbox to automatically send a welcome message.

Social Oomph Direct Message Setup Step 2Social Oomph Setup Step 2: Customize your direct message for new followers.

Underneath this setup is also an option to follow your new followers back or place them in a queue to manually approve or reject following them.

Social Oomph Direct Message Setup Step 3Social Oomph Setup Step 3: Automatically follow new followers back.

I always follow people back for one main reason. As you can see from my automated DM, I give them the opportunity to contact me privately, and if I’m not following them, they cannot do that. In general, I feel that if someone is connected with me, they should be able to contact me privately like they can on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Pros of Using Automated Direct Messages

If done correctly, you can make your new followers feel very welcome and open a good line of communication with them right off the bat. With my direct message, I also have the added bonus of discovering new questions from bloggers and social media users which have led to some good topic ideas for my blog.

Cons of Using Automated Direct Messages

If done incorrectly, you can put off users who are anti-automated direct messaging. I have tried out a few variations of direct messages, and unfortunately have had some that did not generate good feedback. My latest has been all positive though.

Automated Direct Messages Best Practices

The following will ensure that you keep your new followers once they receive your welcome message and not generate a lot of negative feedback.

  • Don’t try to sell new followers anything in your welcome DM. Period.
  • Don’t try to get your new followers to sign up for your mailing list—this includes trying to tempt them with a free gift. I rarely (unless I know the user) ever click on a rogue bit.ly link for a free anything in an automated DM.
  • The most successful direct messages I’ve tried do not come with any links at all. These are seen as more trustworthy and can open the door to further communication.
  • The second most successful direct messages I’ve used are ones that simply link to blog posts that my new followers would be interested in. If you know that you have an audience following you for blogging advice, then your latest blog post with 100 great tips for new bloggers might be well received.
  • Be sure to check your direct messages regularly and respond to them when necessary. This is a huge trust-builder and will lead to more engagement in the future.

Tweet Old Post

Tweet Old Post is a great plugin for WordPress users. It allows you to connect a Twitter account with your blog and regularly tweet posts from your archives to your followers.

How to Set Up Tweet Old Post

Setting up Tweet Old Post is simple.  Follow these steps once you have logged into your self-hosted WordPress blog and related Twitter account.

1. Go to your Dashboard > Plugins > Add New and search for Tweet Old Post.

Tweet Old Posts Step 1Tweet Old Post Step 1: Search for the Tweet Old Post plugin in your WordPress dashboard.

2. Click on the Install Now link below the Tweet Old Post plugin by Ajay Matharu.

Tweet Old Posts Step 2Tweet Old Post Step 2: Install Tweet Old Post plugin from the search results.

After you’ve installed it, you’ll need to activate it on the next screen by clicking on the Activate Plugin link.

3. Scroll down to the bottom of your dashboard and go to Tweet Old Post > Tweet Old Post to get to the main settings for this plugin.

Tweet Old Posts Step 3Tweet Old Post Step 3: Configure settings for Tweet Old Post plugin.

Here you’ll want to:

  • Sign in with Twitter to the Twitter account from which you want to tweet your post archives.
  • In the Tweet Prefix field, you can set something like From the Archives or similar text.
  • Check the URL shortener box to use shortening services like bit.ly which will require an API key that you can get when you register for a free account at bit.ly.
  • Create default #hashtags to go with your tweets, such as #blogging or #socialmedia.
  • Set the minimum and random intervals to send tweets, considering whether you want to tweet posts from your archives one or more times per day.
  • Set the minimum age of posts to be tweeted.
  • Exclude particular categories from being tweeted.
  • Save your changes.

4. If you have specific posts from included categories that you want to exclude from being tweeted, use the Tweet Old Post > Exclude Post settings to pick certain posts to exclude from being tweeted.

Tweet Old Posts Step 4Tweet Old Post Step 4: Exclude specific posts from being tweeted by Tweet Old Post.

Pros of Using the Tweet Old Post Plugin

Chances are, you gain new followers to your Twitter account and blog on a daily basis. Using Tweet Old Post is a great way to point new followers to some of your awesome content from the past. It’s like having a Related Posts section that plugs into your Twitter account.

Cons of Using the Tweet Old Post Plugin

Some followers may not be as open to older content, especially if that content is outdated or they’re simply the type who only likes new and fresh blog posts.

Tweet Old Post Best Practices

To make sure your followers are only getting your best content, consider the following tips.

  • Create a category to house only your best content, then go back through your older posts and add them to that category. This way, you never have to worry about anything that you don’t want to be tweeted from your archives, and you don’t have to mess with excluding posts on an individual basis.
  • Be sure to exclude posts that are time sensitive from your archive’s tweets, such as a special discount that has since expired for a product or event information that has already passed.
  • Don’t overdo tweets to your older posts—you don’t want your stream to look like it’s all about you and nothing else.

HootSuite Scheduling

HootSuite offers an option to schedule updates to specific social media accounts, which can come in really handy if you have items that you would like sent at specific times when you may be away from your computer.

How to Set Up Scheduled Updates From HootSuite

The following will help you set up scheduled updates to be sent from your Twitter accounts linked to your main HootSuite account.

1. Enter your desired status update in the box as you would like it to appear and select the accounts to which you would like it posted.

HootSuite Scheduling Step 2HootSuite Scheduling Step 1: Enter your status message as you would like it to appear.

2. Click on the calendar button to bring up a scheduling calendar to select your desired date and time to send the status update.

HootSuite Scheduling Step 2HootSuite Scheduling Step 2: Schedule your status message by date and time.

You will also notice the Schedule in Bulk option.

HootSuite Scheduling Step 3HootSuite Scheduling in Bulk: Schedule multiple messages all at once.

From here, you need to download a .CSV spreadsheet file so you can enter dates, times and tweets to schedule if you want to do more than one at a time for a specific account or set of accounts.

HootSuite Scheduling Step 4HootSuite Scheduling in Bulk: Use a .CSV to format your status messages for bulk scheduling.

3. Need to make a modification or cancel a scheduled update? Create a column for your Pending Tweets in HootSuite to see what you have scheduled. Use the Edit link to make changes or the X to delete the update.

HootSuite Pending TweetsHootSuite Pending Tweets: Edit or delete scheduled messages in this column.

Pros of Using HootSuite Scheduling

Time-sensitive tweets can be scheduled in advanced so you don’t forget to send important messages in a timely fashion. This is great for affiliates who are promoting the last few hours of a discount or special, speakers who want to send a countdown to their upcoming webinar or anyone who wants to keep his or her account updated at a regular rate.

Another great use for scheduling is when you’re reading through article after article that you want to send to your followers. Don’t just send ten articles in a span of five minutes—use the scheduler to space them out over the next few hours instead.

Cons of Using HootSuite Scheduling

If you’re using HootSuite to schedule your messages when you aren’t going to be around the computer, you may miss out on answering people who send quick questions about your latest tweet (if it needs any clarification).

HootSuite Scheduling Best Practices

There’s a big one here that really applies to any automated social media service: Be sure that your account has more than just scheduled tweets. You want to be engaging with your audience, not just broadcasting to them.

One Final Reminder

The above tools are meant to supplement and enrich your social media experience. They’re not, by any means, meant to replace the most important part of social media networking, which is engaging with your followers and fans on a regular basis. Not every status update should include a link!


10 Tips to Improve Your SEO Using Twitter

29 Mar

Below are some tips that you may consider while tweeting which will help in your SEO campaign.

1. Brand Name

Your brand name or username should reflect your site name or offered services as this is what will be mentioned and displayed as your network, re-tweeted your posts. The more re-tweets your post’s get, the higher its significance.

2. Profile / Bio

As a point of reference, put your website link on your profile page. The bio content is the information part of your Twitter. Maximize it and make it relevant to your website, and the link that you display on your twitter profile, point it to a relevant page that will help with your conversions, rather than just pointing it back to your websites home page.

3. Links

Since Google is now displaying  tweets in SERPs, despite nofollow, putting your links on your posts will aid your link building activities or has the potential of giving a wider web presence. Also, accompany your links with effective keywords. You can post your links several times or in interval in order to maximize possible keywords and contents, and exposure.

4. Hash Tags

Hash Tags is a Twitter feature that works like a Meta data for your tweets. These are posts with “#” symbol like “#web” and “#development”. Hash Tags help organize tweets and determine the trending information in Twitter.

5. Mentions

If you to mention users in Twitter you need to put a “@” symbol before their usernames. It is like a retweet effect and the more your account is retweeted, the higher your relevance. It is like voting policy. Hence, whenever you tweet, or Re-Tweet other users ensure to use the @symbol before their username.

6. Be a Help to Others

Re-tweeting, other relevant posts especially those that are of the same niche with yours will help you build your brand and promote your services. Posting everything coming from your site may somehow looks like a spam. Also, as you retweet, you have been a help to others too, by giving your followers a good choice of links to view.

7. Tweet Interval

Do not post bulk of tweets at once as this will annoy your followers, clogging up their stream, but instead spread your tweets out over the day with a decent interval, I would suggest of about an hour or two interval is good.

8. Blog Site

Promoting a blog site like your corporate one is a good option too. Blog sites can provide more information to your visitors and is the best place to interact with them, help them, know their thoughts, allow them to share your articles and contribute contents via comments, and also giving them the option to Re-Tweet your articles.

9. Twitter Button

Twitter button is now a requirement to many websites. It is a great aid to share pages easier.

10. Build your online brand

An effective Twitter account does not just help in your SEO, but will build your online brand, and increase visibility of your company and brand, by building new connections.

Last but not the least, determine a purpose for your Twitter presence. Do you want to focus on customer support or share information about your products and services or would you like to engage with your potential customers or would just like to converse with people from your own industry, etc. Only when you have a purpose you will get a direction and only then it is possible to monitor and measure the success, else it becomes a vehicle without a driver and no destination.

Optimizing your twitter account is optimizing your search engine visibility too. By managing it well, you will have a higher chance to create a bigger network, connect more to people and gain the exposure you need.

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