The title to this post is a tweet by Mark Waddell sent on to me by Keith Kelly who thought I might be able to answer it, so I thought I’d let you know my response and see what you thought as well.
There are some times when automating tweets makes sense…
1. You want to provide a feed to your audience (their opt out of course)
Some twitter accounts are just feeds, and some of those are very useful, like @uktrains for example. It collects information elsewhere and shares it out to other accounts so that people can self select to follow if they want the information. This is an automated tweeting system, but it’s a clever and very useful way of using twitter. Could you provide a service like that with your business or interest?
2. You are tweeting an event and set up links in advance to save time
This again is automating tweets, but it allowed me to provide a better service to the audience. Automated tweeting does not preclude being there. It can enhance it.
I’ve live-tweeted a number of events including one in London recently. I was there at the time but had to use my iphone alone, so tweeting things took time, especially links. There were some resources I definitely wanted to share which I could programme in to arrive at the right time, using hootsuite’s scheduled tweets service.
3. You have a lot of information to impart and spread them out so as not to frighten the horses!
I run the Architects Twitter League which finds architects – practices, individuals and students – using twitter, so they can find each other and other people can find them.
Every so often I update the league with some new members, and I want to share their @handles with my twitter followers on @architectleague, but if I tweeted them all out at once then that might be a little discouraging – all my followers would see are reams and reams of new users to check out at once, blotting out the rest of their stream and causing a nuisance. So I don’t do that, I schedule them.
Each tweet includes a welcome, several architects handles and a link to the league. New members therefore get a link to several other architects in the league (a bonus in itself) and a link to the league and an explanation in the process. Its worked very well and I now am pushing 1000 architects.
There are some obvious ways you shouldn’t automate your tweets, for example as a substitute for engaging with people on twitter, which in essence is a conversational medium. But don’t dismiss scheduled tweets altogether because it seems rude. There are ways you can use tweet scheduling which make perfect sense and provide a good service to your audience.
How do you use tweet scheduling?
Keith Kelly says
Sound advice Su. After your tweet yesterday I have looked at hootsuite. I haven’t used it yet but certainly not as worried about it now. @Greenenergychap and I are looking at seminars and training together and this will help a huge amount. Thanks.
Hootsuite isn’t perfect, it doesn’t integrate alternative URL shorteners for example, you have to paste them in… but it has scheduled tweets which is a huge bonus to some tweeters.
Ben Smith says
Thanks for the @uktrain mention… we do also do crowd-sourced alerts, but these are additional to the main bulk which are from an official source.
.-= Ben Smith´s last blog ..Ben Smith edited FrontPage =-.
Thanks for the clarification Ben, and the link.
Click through to ‘Ben Smith’s last blog…’ to see the wiki about @uktrains.