Social media is all about having conversations with customers, clients, peers, influencers and professionals. It’s about interacting, engaging, and being present. So why is there so much talk about auto-tweeting?
There really is nothing good about using a bot to auto-tweet for you.. except in one situation.
There are many different types of auto-tweeters out there, ranging from the benign to the nefarious.
It might sound obvious, but if you’re heavily into auto-tweeting, you reduce engagement with your followers and your Twitter account will quickly dry up.
Here are the ways you should never use auto-tweeting:
- To promote a product or service
- To ask for followers
- To sell something
- To thank someone for a retweet, @mention or follow
- To announce a new blog post
The last item on the list is debatable. Some will auto-tweet a new blog post when it goes live, and they’ll run into no problems doing so. However, in my opinion, it’s better to manually tweet a blog post, as an auto-tweet usually pulls the headline of the article, which might not be Twitter-appropriate. If your headlines are too long, not engaging or just not optimized for Twitter, you’re missing out on some valuable click-throughs. It’s better to write these tweets out individually so you can craft them using hashtags, optimize them for retweets, and engage your followers.
Of course, there are some exceptions as well. Big-name media outlets like the @NYTimes auto-tweets many of their new articles immediately after they’re published. They successfully auto-tweet throughout the day because their mandate on Twitter is not to engage their followers, but rather to inform them – thus, they use Twitter to broadcast new articles, not elicit conversation. You’ll notice, if you take a look at their profile, that their entire feed is auto-tweeted. There isn’t a single @reply, @mention or hashtag to be found.
Here is the one type of auto-tweeting that actually seems to work:
I say that a tweet schedule is the only type of auto-tweeting that works because it is designed to be incorporated into real-time tweeting as a way to maintain an active account, reach more timezones and a larger audience, all the while continuing to offer value to your followers.
Scheduled tweets should never make up your entire day’s worth of tweets, nor should they even be the majority. But a few tweets that you’ve pre-written in advance of their actually being tweeted can really increase your visibility.
The key to a good, automated tweet schedule is putting the time and effort into crafting useful tweets to include in the schedule. This will only work if the tweets are written by you – if you just copy+paste some random quotes, your audience will see through your tweet schedule right away. Instead, you should keep them on-topic and continue to provide useful (albeit evergreen) information for your followers.
You want to be present on Twitter to address customer concerns, network with others in your industry and organically grow your follower account. You don’t want to set up a bot to auto-tweet DMs thanking someone for a follow, because it will sound false and pandering. Instead, focus on always offering something of value to your followers, even in the tweets you set up in your automated tweet schedule, and you’ll find yourself with a much happier follower base.