As a social media marketer, I like to experiment with different ways to use social media. I think it’s very important as a practitioner to try out different platforms and tools to find new ways to find and share information.
In my personal quest for knowledge, I’ve spent the last few months using Twitter extensively. From finding the latest social media news to job hunting, I have immersed myself in the Twittersphere. I’ve also been getting into the tools that streamline and improve Twitter use, like Tweetdeck, Tweetbot, Hootsuite, and Buffer. The last of which is the focus of today’s post.
I’ve just started out on Twitter. As I mentioned before, I didn’t take it very seriously when I first created my account a few years ago. My Twitter following is tiny compared to the heavy hitters. I just passed the 300 mark this week. My influencer level is still low (but hopefully growing). However, as I began to spend more time on the network, I do see that my growth rate is steady, as is my engagement. I view each follower, favorite, reply, and retweet as a little victory. And boy does that feel good!
The tool that helped me the most throughout my hands-on Twitter learning experience was Buffer. I’ve mentioned Buffer in a few other posts, and I feel that Buffer played a pivotal role in growing my network. Buffer is a free (pro options available) online service that allows you to queue up social media posts to various networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) that will be posted throughout the day on a schedule of your choosing. This allows me to find the information that I want to share and store them up to be posted without spamming them all at once.
I used RSS feeds to help me find the latest social media news, especially regarding Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, which allowed me to keep my Buffer queue full. By regularly posting content throughout the day, I was able to double my Twitter following in just a couple months. Now, going from 150 to 300 followers isn’t that big of a deal, but for a low level Twitter mage, I don’t think that’s too shabby.
I was having reservations about my method, however. I set up my RSS feeds using IFTTT to post directly to my Buffer queue as the news was posted. I was not actually previewing the content I was posting; it was a completely automated process. My Twitter account was just another aggregator for social media news. I didn’t craft my headlines, add my own hashtags, or offer my own commentary for the vast majority of the tweets that went out. Although, I would log in throughout the day and take a look at my queue (especially when it was full) and remove posts I didn’t like, change some headlines around, and add those hashtags, but that didn’t cover most of what was going out on Twitter. It felt kind of dirty, and a little lazy…
So, instead of having my posts automatically filter through without any intervention from me, I’m going to change my posting habits. I still use Google Alerts to help me find the sources of information I care about, but I’m having them actually delivered to me through email once a day so I can take a look at them. I need to actually review the content I am posting about. The benefits of this are not only do I get more practice at crafting tweets, but I’m also reading the information myself (and hopefully benefitting from it), and adding commentary. This is how tweeting should be.
I’m curious to see how this change in tweeting will affect my overall Twitter performance. This is good practice for me as I search for a job in social media, but efficient searching and posting are equally important. Do you automate your Twitter posting using other applications? If so, what methods do you have for reviewing content, posting, and adding commentary.