A complete strategy for effective scheduled tweets

scheduled-tweets-automation-spam

 

By Brooke Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist

Scheduled tweets are my jam.

They also keep me servicing several clients 15+ hours a day, 7 days a week. Without scheduled tweets, I’d be shackled to my phone or computer and spend countless hours tweeting.

Not productive. Not scalable. Just. Not. Fun.

And while automation can certainly make those tedious tasks much easier, how far can we take automation (and scheduled tweets) before it becomes spam?

How I Use Automation To Manage Scheduled Tweets

Let’s start with the how, because I know sharing processes can really help those who may just be starting out.

Last December, I wrote a post on the exact process I use for distributing content, so if you’ve got the time I encourage you to take a peek.

There are three main tools I use to schedule my tweets (personally and professionally):

1) Klout

This tool may surprise some of you, but what I like about Klout is that:

  • It curates content for me based on my needs/keywords
  • I can search for content labeled “hidden gem” in Klout, which means I’m not sharing the same over-shared marketing articles from Inc. and Mashable (nothing against those sites!)
  • I can jump on trending content with “hot off the press” content

I can also share directly (immediately) or schedule my tweet(s) to go out at later times.

2) IFTTT

I use “If This Then That” to schedule my top trusted blogger content. Which is to say that sites like this one are always producers of amazing content and I trust them enough to automatically share their new posts to my Twitter stream.

IFTTT has a recipe that allows me to plug in an RSS feed and then share any new posts upon publish.

Voila! I don’t even have to think about sharing the content of my fave peeps.

I can also send out my own blog posts to my business and personal streams.

3) Sprout Social 

Sprout Social is my social dashboard homie; I’ve been using it professionally for more than four years.

What I LOVE (and boy do I mean L-O-V-E) about the ability to schedule tweets in Sprout is the “Sprout Queue.”

The queue allows you to pop tweets in and “queue next” or “queue last” — which is cool, but it’s not the best part.

The BEST part is ViralPost®, which by definition does this:

Developed in 2012, ViralPost®–available in Premium plans—determines the best time to publish content to a brand’s social channels. Unlike other social media scheduling tools, ViralPost® doesn’t consider when your followers are publishing. Instead, it recommends times when your audience is actively engaging and simultaneously identifies when others are least active.

Pretty sweet, huh?

This means for myself (but mainly our clients) I can ensure we have a steady stream of scheduled tweets going out, AND that they’re going out when they’re most likely to be engaged with.

So now that you understand the how, let’s look at the WHY just scheduling these tweets and using automation could be seen as spam.

When Scheduled Tweets Become SPAM

Yes, I just showed you how I used automation and scheduled tweets for myself and my business.Because automation makes it SO easy to “be present” (make sure you make air quotes around being present) we often forget to, well, be present.

The difference is that I make an effort to respond within a certain amount of time.

Personally, that means as soon as I can and professionally we try to respond within 3 hours (or ASAP if something comes in while we’re sleeping).

We pride ourselves on being present.

But because automation makes it SO easy to “be present” (make sure you make air quotes around being present) some of us often forget to, well, be present.

I see plenty of accounts with a firehose of content going out and little to no interaction or engagement.

Once someone “likes” it, comments on it, mentions it, retweets it, etc., you’re supposed to respond. Right?

There are many schools of thoughts here:

  • Some people say they don’t thank people for sharing their content (I do – call me crazy but I AM thankful when people think my content is worth sharing!)
  • One well-known SMM expert told me she thanks people during a certain window, and once that window is gone she doesn’t thank any other people
  • Some tweeps don’t respond to straight retweets  but do respond to retweets that have a comment or add thoughts (I fall into this camp)
  • And some peeps just don’t respond at all

So for the non-responders, doesn’t that mean they’re using Twitter as a broadcast platform?

And if they’re scheduling tweets but not following up, isn’t that spam?

Maybe I’m overthinking this, but as automation and robots take over “doing” the human element of things, where do we draw the line with what’s real, what’s worth connecting with, and what’s just plain spam?

Scheduled tweets are still a representative of your brand. Shouldn’t you be doing more than simply broadcasting?

What do you think: are scheduled tweets with no follow up just spam? Let me know in comments section below!

Brooke Ballard for {grow}Brooke B. Sellas is an in-the-trenches digital marketer & owner at B Squared Media, blossoming blogger, and  a purveyor of psychographics. Her mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on Twitter.

 

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  • Hey Brooke,

    I’m with you on this one. I too use some automation tools to schedule tweets throughout the day/night, but I always make a point of engaging personally when people are sharing my content. I believe it’s good manners to say ‘Thank You’ to those people.

    But your point about people effectively becoming ‘spammers’ because they don’t interact is a very interesting slant. I hadn’t thought about it like that previously, but it makes good sense.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    – David

  • Hey Brooke,

    I’m with you on this one. I too use some automation tools to schedule tweets throughout the day/night, but I always make a point of engaging personally when people are sharing my content. I believe it’s good manners to say ‘Thank You’ to those people.

    But your point about people effectively becoming ‘spammers’ because they don’t interact is a very interesting slant. I hadn’t thought about it like that previously, but it makes good sense.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    – David

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  • Brooke Ballard

    EXACTLY, David! And I’m huge a lover of good manners (they seem so hard to find today, don’t they??). I know calling the ‘post and run’ peeps spammers takes it a bit far, but honestly, that’s how I feel about them. You won’t catch me eager to follow those accounts!

    Thanks for commenting AND sharing! 🙂

  • Brooke Ballard

    EXACTLY, David! And I’m huge a lover of good manners (they seem so hard to find today, don’t they??). I know calling the ‘post and run’ peeps spammers takes it a bit far, but honestly, that’s how I feel about them. You won’t catch me eager to follow those accounts!

    Thanks for commenting AND sharing! 🙂

  • Hey there Brooke — love your approach! I also want to through Agorapulse as a great way to requeue posts. With a simple click, I can set a piece of evergreen content to be sent to the queue say, 20 times — not all at once of course! It’s SUCH a time saver.

  • Hey there Brooke — love your approach! I also want to through Agorapulse as a great way to requeue posts. With a simple click, I can set a piece of evergreen content to be sent to the queue say, 20 times — not all at once of course! It’s SUCH a time saver.

  • Brooke Ballard

    Thanks, Lisa! Agorapulse is another excellent platform — it’s like pushing the easy button for marketers!

  • Brooke Ballard

    Thanks, Lisa! Agorapulse is another excellent platform — it’s like pushing the easy button for marketers!

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  • Philippe Trebaul Bis

    A very good article. I’ll just add Socialfave V.2 we are going to market on July and that makes much more. Mark and Ian know. They have loggedin the Beta version, on the dev. server. Great article. I will add you on FB Twitter and LinkedIn, endorsing your skills then also. Have a great weekend. Philippe

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