4 Useful Twitter Automation Tools and How to Use Them

social media toolsSocial media is about engagement, so there’s often quite a large debate about adding any automated elements to a social media campaign. Because let’s face it—no one wants to follow an account that’s essentially a bot. Or do they?

While some automation tools do nothing but make your social media profile look like an announcement board, other tools can be used to sync right into your normal engagement to give it a helpful boost.

Here are some Twitter automation tools, services and tips, which when used the right way, can be a valuable addition to your social media strategy. And when I say the right way, I mean that you should be using these to supplement your regular social engagement and not only using these tools to give your account the look of activity.

#1: 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 1

Twitterfeed 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 2

Twitterfeed 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 3

Twitterfeed 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 Tweet

If 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.

#2: 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 1

Social 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 2

Social 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 3

Social 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.

#3: 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 1

Tweet 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 2

Tweet 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 3

Tweet 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 4

Tweet 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.

#4: 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 2

HootSuite 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 2

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

You will also notice the Schedule in Bulk option.

HootSuite Scheduling Step 3

HootSuite 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 4

HootSuite 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 Tweets

HootSuite 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!

Your Thoughts on Twitter Automation Tools

Do you use any of the above or other tools to enhance your Twitter presence? What results have you seen, good or bad? Leave your comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer and author of Kikolani, which covers content, search, and social media marketing. Sign up for her free training, 8 Days to Promotable Content. You can also follow her on Twitter @kikolani. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.colemanmg.com Antonio Coleman

    I have used most of these tools beside the tweet later plugin..think I might just give that one a try…

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • http://juergo.tumblr.com/ Jürgo

    “Tweet Old Posts” is a great tip. Thx a lot…

  • http://twitter.com/WitStopBlog WitStop

    Thank you for the excellent tips. It’s worth noting that the Social Oomph tools you mentioned are no longer included in their free accounts. There is a nominal fee for these worthwhile services. Onward and Upward!

  • http://www.socialmediamercenary.com Leslie A. Joy

    I really like Tweet Old Posts. Such a great idea-sending out some old, but quality content that people might have missed or forgotten about and might enjoy reading again.

    CoTweet wasn’t mentioned, but I think it’s totally underrated for scheduling. You can use bit.ly and schedule tweets on whatever minute you want, as opposed to only at “12:15″ or “3:20.”

    The one thing I don’t like about Hootsuite is that while it has awesome integration with it’s Ow.ly shortner, Owl.ly isn’t available for tweet buttons on WordPress. If I use Bit.ly to schedule, I can go to one place and have everything right there as opposed to have to check a few with Hootsuite. But that probably depends on what you’re tracking and why, along with personal preference.

    However, the one thing I LOVE about Hootsuite is the Hootsuite Bookmarklet-you can tweet, shortern a link, and even schedule without an extension or leaving the page. So nifty! And so underrated.

    As for Social Oomph and Direct Messages-I REALLY can’t think of a good reason to use an auto-DM. I HATE auto-DMs. I’d rather have nothing than an auto-DM. I know some people use them with success, but most people do it wrong and the vast majority of people hate them. Maybe not with the venom with which I hate Auto DM’s, but hatred all the same.

  • http://twitter.com/thinkvaulter Sandra Connor

    I adore Hootsuite! The scheduling, preview, and multiple account support are great time savers. Setting up customized streams is also one of my favorite features.

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com/ Nick Robinson

    Good post Kristi :) Hootsuite is my go-to for scheduling posts. Although the auto-tweeting services are time savers, there is a little too much that is out of my control to feel comfortable. I would rather take the time to manually curate than have a program do it for me.

  • http://twitter.com/MiaBorja @MiaBorja

    I’m one of those anti-automation people.

    People spend a lot of time setting up and managing these automated systems – when, in fact, had they just sat down and posted in real-time – they’d see more ROI (engagement with your target market).

    Social media is about being social – automation tools do nothing but establish you as a spammer.

  • Nicky Kriel

    Thank you for this article, there are some really useful tips. I am not convinced by neither of the Social Oomph suggestions. The automatic follow encourages bots and people who claim to sell followers. They follow people hoping that people will have an automated follow back and then drop people a few days later. I would never encourage anyone to use an automated thank you for following, either, because it creates a negative response from so many people.
    Really like the idea of Tweet old posts and your best practice for this section is brilliant. I am going to add the plugin now!

  • http://haveboard.com haveboard

    I immediately un-follow anyone that sends me an automated DM. Please don’t advocate this insincere behavior.

  • http://twitter.com/HelloMsRitter Katie Ritter

    Have you come across another tool for auto-DM’s? SocialOomph charges $3.97 per month for this feature now. I think it’s a great personal touch just to say, “thanks for following me”. Please post if you find another service for auto DMs. Thanks for the great tips!

  • Chris

    I use Tweetdeck to schedule some tweets while I’m out at work all day, to drive traffic to my blog. Only 2 or 3 automated tweets per day and well spaced out so that it doesn’t annoy people. And they will also be about different things each day. Tweetdeck works really well for me, I’m not sure if anyone else uses it though? @chrismarr101

  • http://www.socialmediamercenary.com Leslie A. Joy

    I think there is one time where scheduling is a good idea-when you’re doing your blog reading and find let’s say 6 awesome posts that you want to RT. Instead of RT-ing them all at once and bombarding my followers, or making a mental note and then forgetting, I usually just schedule them throughout the day. I still jump on for real time interaction, but I find this is easier and one case where automation isn’t spammy and actually benefits followers.

  • http://timbaker.me Tim Baker

    Auto DMs are the work of the devil. Nobody should use them – EVER!

  • http://machoarts.com/ Suraj Vibhute

    I love to use tools which can tweet my favorite feeds automatically, really nice list but I think you missed dlvr.it :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I get a lot of retweets of my older posts (and even some new comments) thanks to this one. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’re welcome Jürgo!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Really? I guess I’ve had that account so long that I’ve never been asked (or noticed). Thanks for the heads up!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hi Leslie,

    I’ve always been a HootSuite fan – I tried out Tweetdeck, but wasn’t too into having to install something on every computer I use (usually three in one day). Good to know about CoTweet in case HootSuite ever lets me down (though they haven’t so far). Even using HootSuite though, I still prefer Bit.ly links and rarely actually use the Shrink button in HootSuite.

    I debated about including the DM section in this, but the rationale I came up with was that people are going to do it anyway. Hopefully they read this and realize that they shouldn’t be using it to sell products, grow their email list, or just promote their links. So it’s kind of an acknowledgement that people will do it, but hopefully will find a better way to do it and not contribute to the DM spam.

    Thanks for your comment! :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hi Sandra. Yes, definitely some great time savers with HootSuite.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Nick! I would love to be able to just curate content all day long, but the reality for me (and likely many others out there) is that we just don’t have time to do it. At the same time, I don’t want to leave my Twitter account stagnant all day until I get home and then blast everyone during a 4 hour timespan while reading all my favorite articles of the day. Hence, when sites like Social Media Examiner update, and I know I’ll want to tweet their post anyway, I don’t think it hurts to automatically send it out. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Definitely agree with that Leslie. I do that – I’ll read a bunch of posts in succession, then schedule them to tweet out over the course of a few hours. That way people can read one, take a breather, then see the next. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hi Mia,

    I hope that, within the post, I conveyed the fact that I mean for these services to supplement real engagement. The fact that I don’t have to go out, search for a lot of content and spend time tweeting that gives me more time to go through, read my Twitter lists, and have direct conversations with others.

    Before I found TwitterFeed, I spent more of my day running through my RSS subscriptions to see if my favorite blogs had updated (and these are blogs that, if they did, I’d be tweeting their new post). Now, I have time to read a post whenever I have time instead of having to do the daily search, and have more personal engagement on Twitter.

    That’s how I use it all anyway, and so far I haven’t been called a spammer. That I know of at least. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hi Nicky,

    I do the automated follow because it allows people who follow me the chance to DM me. I actually have a pretty good balance of real DM requests / comments vs. spam, and giving people the option to DM me has saved them from having to publicly say stuff that really should stay private which I think leads to a better online relationship.

  • http://windmillnetworking.com/ Neal Schaffer

    Thanks Kristi! Learned something new with Tweet Old Post … wish they give you more time to customize the time (days of week, time windows) which the tweets are posted, but I do appreciate the other customizing fields they give you. Already installed and tweeted! Looking forward to your future posts!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I don’t necessarily advocate it. But I know it’s going to happen as other people give directions on how to set it up but without any true guidelines as to what people want or don’t want to see.

    I read on one site that they appreciated DMs that included their name because it showed that the Twitter user personally connected with them, when there are probably services out there that will just grab your name out of the name field and automate it with a “personal” look.

    So really, my goal is to get people to realize that yes the service is out there, but here’s how you should vs. should not use it if you want it to be effective. I have been told by several people who generally unfollow when they get a DM that they actually liked my version and thought it was the best way to do it.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    That’s interesting – I guess since I’ve been a part of their service since before they switched to SocialOomph (I think they used to be TweetLater), that I have never been asked to pay for it. I think there are other services, but I haven’t used any. Maybe someone else here knows and can share?

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hi Chris,

    I tried out Tweetdeck, but just wasn’t a fan of installing it from one desktop to the next. That’s where HootSuite won me over – having their service all manageable online. I did like the sleek black design of their app though.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I think there are far worse things on Twitter Tim. Like the auto tweets that send you advertisements just because you mentioned iPad, for example. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’re welcome Neal! That one is really a gem – I always see lots of action on my old posts when they get retweeted from the archives!

  • Renee

    Timely.is a http://www.flowtown.com application is much better/quicker then the above mentioned. I think anyway!

  • http://daviddoolin.com/ Dave Doolin

    I’m not automating at the moment, because I’m not highly present on Twitter. I have nothing against automation as a technology, but I don’t want to be that person who only automates and is never around! That’s not very social, right?

  • http://thefuturebuzz.com AdamSinger

    TwitterFeed is the only one of these worth implementing. The rest and you’re a spam bot.

  • http://www.baldydog.com/ Adam Donkus

    Great post, I’ll be using the Tweet Old post pluggin today. I’ll also be refering clients to this post.

  • http://www.waynejohn.com/ Wayne John

    I want to add that another con to using TwitterFeed is possibly duplicating a tweet. Imagine you are reading a post on SME and decide to tweet about it…then, TwitterFeed fires and sends the exact same message (not exactly the same in type, just context, ya know).

    I’ve had that happen to me a few times, and ultimately, it’s part of the reason I quit automating like that. If I’m going to be active on blogs, I’d rather tweet when I want to tweet instead of having some system tweet for me. Seems more personal that way.

    But I also understand the benefits of auto-tweeting too. When you have an audience like yours, Kristi, I’d expect they appreciate it when you do. I know I’ve found a few of your Twitterfeed tweets interesting and valuable.

    Like so many things, everyone has their own opinion whether this is good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate. I think at the end of the day people should just do what they feel is best and ignore everyone else, to some degree. Be yourself, and if automating helps achieve that, so be it.

    Good stuff Kristi, now I need to go play more with Hootsuite…lol

  • http://twitter.com/SocialWebPro Kathy Shaidle

    I LOVE Tweet Old Post and don’t know how I got along without it. Otherwise I use MarketMeSuite to do all those things mentioned above. And I think they’re adding a “tweet old post” feature shortly, so…

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I prefer to largely unautomate my social interactions, but Michael Hyatt gave me a great tip a while back. I schedule a maximum of one tweet pere day using Socialoomph. I don’t use 95% of what they offer.

    I prefer them even though Hootsuite is free. Socialoomph use a reservoir that keeps repeating when it gets to the end. Here’s how I use it.

    http://www.coachradio.tv/i-schedule-my-tweets-how-to

  • http://weightplateworkout.com/ Robert Pinto-Fernandes

    I find Marketmesuite a great tool for automating posts, and also has a number of other functions such as the ability to manage your Facebook Accounts and pages as well. It’s currently only $29.99 for a year which I think is reasonable for the service you get. However, as you mentioned Kristi, its difficult for someone such as yourself that uses several different computers because it is an adobe application that needs to be downloaded and installed. http://marketmesuite.com/

  • Lee Rush

    I have to say, HootSuite is my tool of choice, not just for Twitter, but for all my Social Media posting and scheduling (Blog, Facebook, etc). And, it’s free. One interface for all really makes a difference!

  • Shane

    Hey, Kristi. I love the Hootsuite Scheduler. I use it for accounts that have a “hook” and like to send out facts related to their brand. For instance, I work with a KY touring company and we like to send out odd facts about Kentucky or Bourbon – and soon about horseracing. But you are right, I don’t just schedule those tweets. Those are automated (I sit down once a week and plug them in, allowing about 2-3 tweets like that to go out per day). The rest of the tweets for that brand are genuinely me, engaging with fans.

    I must say, I think auto dms are a big turn-off. Just my opinion, but I do not set them up for any of my clients. My clients trust that I’m out there truly engaging with their brand’s fans – not just sending out auto “Thanks for following” dms. They just sort of bug me… but that may be just me.

    Great post – thanks!

  • http://www.solo-e.com/blog Terri Z

    Love the tip about Tweet Old Posts…thanks for sharing that one!

    I have to admit, though, that I pretty much ignore any DM that isn’t personally addressed to me. I guess that makes me an anti-auto-DM-er!

  • http://msileanespeaks.com/ Ileane

    Hi Kristi, I just started using Twitterfeed recently and so far I’m comfortable with it. I’ve always been a huge fan of HootSuite but recently I decided to start using Timely for scheduling Tweets. I like the way Timely helps me pick the best times to tweet based on interaction with my last 200 tweets. I can add extra accounts to Timely also and it’s free.

  • http://tweet4ok.com/ Frithjof

    Thanks for this – there can be a fine line between promotion and spam :-) good balance is key

  • http://twitter.com/ajancovich Ann-Marie Jancovich

    Hi Kristi — thanks for this great post. As a relatively new user of Twitter and HootSuite, I appreciated your pros/cons look at tools available.

  • Jamie

    I love Twitter and I couldn’t survive without tools. I use most of the ones you mentioned because as much as I would love to be able to send direct messages I really can’t keep up. I also found a good RSS feed that my followers RT and discuss. Great info Kristi Thx!

  • http://www.facebook.com/davehaft Dave Haft

    I’ve always believed in automation to serve as a foundation for your social media campaigns. That’s why we’re launching a service for brands who want to outsource these efforts. We manage everything for your campaign on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.: http://socialgrindr.com

  • http://internetmarketingremarks.com Randy Pickard

    I just use a single feature of SocialOomph, but find it to be a big time saver. I use the Twitter Tweets Keyword Alert Digest for e-mail updates on @mentions and retweets. I agree with previous comments that without taking the time to craft a personalized direct message Twitter does not seem particularly social

  • MikeJenkinson

    I used Twitterfeed for a while and found it flaky and unreliable. I moved to dlvr.it which is more fully featured and far more stable.

  • Nicky Kriel

    I manually check my followers, I tend to follow back unless there is a strong reason not to. Mostly it’s because they are bots or spammers. There are so many automated twitter accounts I wrote a blog about how to spot a bot. http://bit.ly/g0pFTc

  • http://projectsocial.net ProjectSocial

    I love the Tweet Old Posts idea… I’ve often seen the posts listed by certain people I follow on Twitter, only to discover they are over a year old. I’ve never known how they did that! I’m going to add this to all of my clients’ blogs from now on. And I already use Hootsuite scheduling a good bit too.

    I just tried to set up a client on Social Oomph, and it looks like if you want to use the automatic DM, this is not a free service. Am I wrong about this?

  • http://writespeaksell.com Jpaladino

    I also think it’s a great idea to Tweet Old Posts that have the best content. You do not have to date your blog posts, so readers won’t know they are old posts. Of course, the posts still need to be relevant and not time sensitive.

  • http://twitter.com/InsurYourFuture Joshua Smith

    Kristi, thanks for writing a great blog! I will be looking into twitter feed and social oomph.

  • http://www.socialmediamercenary.com Leslie A. Joy

    Your welcome. I don’t use TweetDeck much either-I use Hootsuite mainly, and then use Bit.ly to shorten-like you do. But, CoTweet is a nice alternative. I use it sometimes just to switch things up.

    And I completely see your point about including DM-maybe if people read more things like that they’ll be at least less annoying about it. :)

  • http://www.socialmediamercenary.com Leslie A. Joy

    Clearly, we are like Twitter-soul mates. :)

  • http://www.BalloonStoryteller.com Balloon Storyteller

    I use HootSuite to tweet out my performance schedule: The day before each public show, a tweet goes out to remind people where I’ll be the next day so they can come and see the show. Works great and lots of people come to see me because they’re reminded.

    Also, one more great thing about the show reminder tweets is that my assistant can set them up when he does the rest of the paperwork for the booking. Of course, it’s always clear that it’s just a performance reminder so people know I’m not necessarily going to get right back to them if they have a question.

  • http://twitter.com/mccochran mccochran

    I’ve used Hootsuite and tweetdeck. I’ve tried a million of these tools. I still tend to come back to tweetdeck, especially for keeping searches going on many different things. I hate autotweets and direct “thanks for the follow” messages. It’s just not necessary.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Nice post Nicky!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    What does that do? Hadn’t heard of it before…

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Right Dave! I suggest these things in addition to actually engaging. For me, it actually gives me more time to be personable vs. hunting down great content to tweet all the time.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I’ve never been called one of those before Adam. I think it’s about moderation and not going fudge overboard on using more automated tools vs. live interaction.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Adam!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hi Wayne,

    I have a small group of blogs on my Twitterfeed, so it’s easy for me to remember which ones I’ve already done. :)

    I definitely wouldn’t use these if I got complaints about them, but more times than not I get a lot of “thanks for sharing this” or “ooh, I missed that article – thanks for retweeting” plus a fair share of retweets of posts sent from Twitterfeed and Tweet Old Post.

    It really just boils down to what makes the most sense for you and for your audience though. If you can use a little automation and save time to do other great things for your fans (like write awesome blog posts or follow your Twitter stream more closely) then it’s a win-win situation.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks for sharing Justin! Will check that out.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Yeah, that’s where HootSuite usually wins over other apps Robert. I’ve heard good things about that one though!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Very true Lee. It’s free, or it’s super cheap. I have a lot of accounts (LOT of accounts) and still get in on the $5.99 a month plan. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    It’s not just you Shane, don’t worry. :) I guess I have had a lot of good experiences with good auto-DMers which is why I’m not turned off of them.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Haven’t heard of that one before today Ileane, but I’ll probably swing by and check it out!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Jamie!

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Great to learn a few new tricks!

    Liked the recommendation for the “Tweet Old Posts,” WP Plug-in. I updated to WordPress 3.1, and had some issues at the beginning, so I’ve been hesitant to use the plug-ins that haven’t been tested yet. Many have not.

    I’m a Hootsuite-er! Like the Bulk Schedule option being there, but tend not to use it. 1) Making the spreadsheet seems like a huge construction project, and I wonder how much time I would really save. 2) I want to appear engaging, and feel that I’m online enough to accomplish this with some scheduling from regular options.

    Would love to hear from others that have used the Bulk Schedule option!

    The Social Oomph automated direct message option — I use it too. There’s no way I would get around to answering all of them! But I’m with you, Kristi — My messages are varied, hint toward looking forward to future connection, and I NEVER put a link in that space!!

    I do keep a stream to see who I receive DMs from, and all I’ve been receiving lately are spammy “click my junk,” type messages. Please, All, spread this message far and wide so we can help others understand the etiquette of DM-ing!! :D

    Thanks, Kristi,

    ~Keri

  • http://thefuturebuzz.com AdamSinger

    Yeah, I unfollow a lot of people who do this stuff. But I value signal to noise. A lot of people don’t care.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kimberly.MyPets Kimberly Morris Gauthier

    Thanks for the suggestion on Tweet Old Posts; I’m going to update mine now. I love this plug in!

  • http://www.alpharettarealestateguide.com Sabine Taylor

    Kristi,
    I do agree with you that scheduling older post is a great way to get material retweeted.
    Since my schedule is jammed packed I use Hootsuite to schedule my tweets.

  • http://www.thevirtualonlineassistant.com/ Nica

    Hi! I use Twitterfeed and Hootsuite alreaady. These are my favorite posts! However, I noticed that sometimes It takes a bit longer for Twitterfeed to mae posts appear on Twitter and Facebook. So I am experimenting on using Hootsuite for RSS feeds

  • http://goo.gl/iZN2e Donald Arinze

    I personally don’t advocate the use of automation tools with regard to Twitter, but i guess it’ll be worth a try. Nice post!

  • Tim

    I use Twaitter for scheduling future tweets and that same site also implimets Ping.fm and it also can use a lot of different languages. Just every now and then, I’ll use Later Bro to schedule my tweets and future Facebook announcements.
    Cool stuff!
    Have a great day!

  • http://about.me/oros Jonathan Oliff

    Thanks for the super informative piece Kristi! I was using automated direct messaging from Social Oomph and I had a complaint that it was very impersonal… so I’ve stopped. If I set it up again I want to be able do a follow up message right away after I’ve see the followers profile and figure out what they are about. Possibly ask them a question about themselves – what do you think? And can you add code that enters the ‘Followers’ handle as part of the automated message?

  • http://twitter.com/NaturallyHorse Natural Horse Care

    I signed up for the free Oomph account – and the following only works if you pay $3.97 pm

    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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=705916528 Jacques Prothon

    Kristi thank you for this very interesting post.

    I believe that more and more social media tools need to have a broader range of functionalities especially in measrugin the ROI of social media campaigns – Social media campaign scheduling integrating analytic solutions helps measuring the impact and next steps of social media campagins instead of shooting in the dark – Fro more info:http://www.emailvision.com/ or http://objectivemarketer.com/

  • http://www.best-web-hosting-companies.com/ Admin

    From here, you had clearly explained about set up tweet feeder. so, i would like to say thanks for your post on here, Kristi:-)

  • http://www.best-web-hosting-companies.com/ Kavya Hari

    Yeah, you had clearly explained about tweet feeder set up. so, thanks a lot for your post on here.

  • http://lighthouseinsights.in/ Prasant Naidu

    Small list but very effective tools.
    1. Twitterfeed- i use for updating my blog posts on twitter but i love your idea of adding some other blogs that are good and would be helpful for our community. want to try this.
    2. I love your explanations about the pros and cons of DM. yes they are irritating but one should use common sense to use,like u did ;) This is on my list too
    3.I do schedule my posts via hootsuite but bulk schedule is something i need to give a try and tweeting old posts can be worth for loads of business too.
    all in all super-like article :) Kristi.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.shanewilliams Shane Williams

    Great article Kristi!

    Thanks for the heads up on Tweet Old Post. Gonna have fun with that one!

    Didn’t like the DM section back when I did have SocialOomph because it would send people the same DM multiple times and of course make enemies quick! I quit doing that right away. Loooong time ago though.

    Love Hootsuite. I use them right along with http://www.BundlePost.net to bulk schedule content. Bundle Post is very cool and free! I know there’s a lot of discussion on the cons of automation and I agree with most of it…..however…..I don’t see an issue with pre posting relevant content to my industry and then spending the majority of my time actually engaging with people instead of spending the whole time hunting down content. Many discussions can arise with responses to content that was sent out. I think the real issue is that if the whole process is automated, and you’re not there to respond……that’s not cool at all.

    Hootsuite goes right to my Droid and I know immediately when someone retweets or mentions me. They get a reply as soon as possible. In between some of the pre-scheduled content I can use the bookmark feature to toss out stuff in real time without logging in….awesome feature! When I can actually get on Twitter and poke around, then I can strike up conversations that I seek out. So……I don’t see an issue with some of the engagement process being automated, as long as you are able to respond. Otherwise Twitter is just an over populated ghost town, lol.

    Again….great article and loved the WP plugin!

    Shane

  • http://thekooldots.com/ TheKoolDots

    Thanks for the information!

  • http://aremorch.com/ Are Morch

    Hi Kristi.

    I use TwitterFeed, and no more then 2 articles per hour. That seems to give the best return. Really enjoy this service.

    Your HootSuite .CSV tip was something I have to look into. Looks great.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers.. Are

  • http://www.twirp.ca/ Anita Hovey

    THANK YOU! I feel exactly the same way about auto DM thank yous. Who has the time to go through and thank each individual follower and try to figure out if they are spammers/bots first? Not all are obvious. I use auto DM thank yous from SocialOomph…but they are just that…a simple thank you for following. I also have a lot of accounts and I just don’t have time to do this for all for all of them personally. I use the drip feed and scheduled tweets to supplement my personal interaction. Great tips all around..I will be implementing some of these (what I don’t already do).

  • http://www.facebook.com/robtorbay Robert Anthony

    I enjoy social media for the interaction and community engagement, however, I have to agree with many using some tools such as Social Oomph is a great way to welcome someone when you may not have the time to DM a new follower or what have you.

    The pro/cons that you have mentioned for each automated tool really offers some insight into how you can manage your social media presence and enhance how you shear what you have created or what you have stumbled across with your community.

    Great Article, Thanks!

  • Delarie

    Apparently Social Oomph are now charging $3.97 for automated messages, so your article is already obsolete. I just tried to set it up as you have said but I won’t be paying to do it.

  • http://www.sturbanclothing.com sturban clothing

    quite misleading of you to suggest a FREE account and then recommend services that require payment but make no mention so kidding us into thinking it’s part of a free service

  • http://www.netsprinter.com Lyena Solomon

    I have the same strategy, Nicky. I go through my new followers once a day and look if they are interesting for me to follow. I also follow people who are not in my “interest group” but they interact with me. Therefore, I do not auto-DM.

    However, I get some auto-DMs sometimes inviting me to DM, but the person is not following me. They immediately lose any little credit they got with me and most likely I will unfollow them.

    Kristi – great overview of the tools. Thanks for tips on how to use them. I can stop explaining stuff to clients and just send them to your article. FTW!

  • Katharine Robinson

    I also find that dlvr.it is much better alternative to twitterfeed.

    Tweetdeck can also be used to schedule tweets in a similar way to hootsuite, but I have found hootsuite more reliable.

    Have you looked at Timely? This app lets you queue tweets and then sends them out when it thinks you’ll get the most reaction.

  • http://weightplateworkout.com/ Robert Pinto-Fernandes

    I definitely recommend it to people who solely use one computer, but Hootsuite sounds great, think I’m going to give it a try :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’re welcome Ann-Marie! Glad you find it helpful! :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I’m not into full automation Dave, just automation that helps free up your time so you can do some more valuable engagement. Will check it out though!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I should probably do the email updates for retweets too Randy. I try to follow them in my column on HootSuite, but if I see something at night that I want to respond to the next day, it’s pushed way down by the following morning.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I have a flyer for them… should probably check it out. Thanks for the reminder Mike!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    That’s what I’ve heard is that Social Oomph is now charging, which I didn’t know at the time of writing this article. I think since I’ve been registered for over a year now, they aren’t charging the members that are already in – just new ones.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Exactly. I try to make sure I don’t include posts that are not going to be relevant, like posts about discounts on events that have already passed or strategies that have significantly changed.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’re welcome Joshua!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    That’s a great idea for people who have events Annie. I know I do that sometimes when there’s a webinar coming up – I’ll just schedule tweets that go out a few days, hours beforehand. Helps me remember them too!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I keep a LOT of searches in HootSuite as well… does Tweetdeck allow you an infinite number of search columns?

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks for your input Keri! I have had hit or miss luck with the bulk schedule. There’s something I do sometimes that makes HootSuite not able to read it, but I’m not sure what. I do a lot of Follow Friday tweets though, and it’s faster for me to input them into a spreadsheet than copy / paste them and set the time for each in the regular scheduler.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’re welcome Kimberly!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    HootSuite is a great time-saver indeed Sabine!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I think that you have to have a paid account to use the RSS feeds from HootSuite, which is why I usually suggest Twitterfeed. I’ve only had one feed so far that was incompatible with Twitterfeed for some unknown reason, and that one I use with HootSuite. Using Twitterfeed also means you can use other shorteners, whereas HootSuite will always go with Ow.ly.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Donald. I don’t advocate fully automated, but automated supplements!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I keep forgetting about Ping.fm, but it’s a great tool from what I’ve heard. Thanks for sharing Tim!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I would love to do that Jonathan, and when I started out, I did do very personalized messages. But now that I get somewhere between 10 to 50 new followers a day, it’s just not feasible to go check them all out one by one, and possibly spend a lot of time on an account that won’t respond anyway. I know that there must be services that can enter specialized tags to pull a user’s name at least, but I’m not sure what it is yet.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I think it’s something for new accounts. If you’ve had one for awhile like I have, it’s still free. Unfortunately it’s not for new signups though.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks for sharing the extra info Jacques!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’re welcome!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Prasant! I figured if I went only with the tools I used and explained them in more detail it would be better than a less-specific longer list where people would then have to go figure out the details on their own.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Shane! I wonder if Social Oomph was duplicating DMs for people who saved multiple variations. I have noticed that people will send me two or three welcome DMs that were worded differently – I assumed they had forgotten they were using one service and signed up for another. Definitely a problematic glitch in the system.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Are! I think I only do one per hour on mine, but most of the sites I share only do one post a day anyway, so it’s not an issue. :)

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’re welcome Anita! Yes, for those who manage multiple accounts (myself included) having a bit of automation means that one account isn’t going to get left behind while you’re focusing in on another. Definitely a great help to reduce the stress load.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Thanks Robert! I would say if you only have one account and oodles of time, full personal engagement is the way to go. But for everyone else, a little automation makes life easier. :)

  • http://twitter.com/thekimschneider Kim Schneider

    I tried following the steps the post provides for setting up auto DM in Social Oomph, but it looks like the company charges now? Can you confirm? The steps you listed and the actual interface on Social Oomph is not the same.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Just updated the article… forgot that I put that it was free. Thanks Delarie!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Since I’ve been a member for over a year, it is a free service for me, and I assume still is for people who signed up prior to their recent changes. Just goes to show how fast everything changes in the online world considering I just wrote this a few weeks ago. I corrected it though for everyone else.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I haven’t looked at Timely Katharine, but I keep seeing it get mentioned here so I’ll have to do that. It’s just hard thinking about switching services when you think about everything you’d have to move, and for me, that’s a lot of content!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Yes Kim, I think they did an update of their system since I wrote this, taking away the free accounts but leaving the same options for longer standing members. For me, the interface still looks the same though as when I grabbed the screenshots. I’m guessing that if you don’t have a paid account you are missing some of those features.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Ah, it’s always good when you can get everything done in one service. I’ll have to check them out. Thanks Kathy!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Exactly! It takes awhile to find that balance, but once you do, it will lead to better results.

  • http://www.twirp.ca/ Anita Hovey

    I did my first HS bulk upload yesterday and it took me 90 minutes to figure out why it wouldn’t work. Now that I’ve got it working, I think next time will be a snap, but it does have some limitations… you cannot post the same message twice in the same bulk upload. So, for the performer, you have to tweak each post to be a little different to use this feature. I think for many people, the trouble with the bulk upload is in the fact that HS is Canadian and uses a Canadian/UK date format and many users are US using a US date format. You’d think Excel could handle that switch, but that’s what my problem was…getting Excel to format properly.

  • http://www.twirp.ca/ Anita Hovey

    I just went to look at bundlepost…looks like a great system, but their web page says “register to be notified when we launch”…so you must have a beta? Anyhow…it won’t even complete my registration..will have to try later.

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Thanks for the tip, Kristi. I’ll keep your comments in mind.

    Not to wish pitfalls, but it is nice to know that I’m not the only one that tears my hair out on a tool sometimes. haha :)

    ~Keri

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Anita,

    I appreciate your insight. It didn’t even occur to me that Hootsuite is Canadian. So we’ll tweak each post on the bulk upload, eh?? ;)

    ~Keri
    From Michigan near the Candadian border

  • http://www.idoinspire.com Jody Urquhart

    Kristi
    Great ideas I just reeked around my twitter feed
    I could spend hours on this stuff!

  • http://twitter.com/anapoladvocate AnapolAdvocate

    Kristi, great post and I really appreciate the balance of pros and cons. I have used all of these tools except tweet old post. Adding automation has been helpful in managing our various accounts and as you noted, we balance automation with personal interaction. I can’t wait to try Tweet Old Post and especially love the idea of creating a “best of” category. Thank you so much for the great ideas! –Karen

  • Sonia

    Kristi, great post! I currently use Social Oomph and am testing out Sprout Social. Have you tried Sprout Social before? Right now I am testing out the free 30 day trial, but was wondering your opinion. Thanks!

  • Elly van Amstel

    Hi Kristi,
    Great article. I will look into the suggestions you give.
    I see http://twaitter.com mentioned, have you looked into it?
    Pro; Easy to schedule, con; They are late sometimes which is awkward when one annouces e.g. a radioshow and it is already over.

  • http://www.mobilecubix.com iPhone Application Developer

    I have also used these tool but its not working good.I am not satisfy form these tools.

  • drburt

    You have not mentioned MarketMeSuite.com – besides posting all of your old blog post under one minute this platform also allows to promote your brand vs. all other ones promote themselves.

  • Neil

    Great article Kristie! Do you know of any tools that can auto-respond to a Twitter “mention”?

    Thanks,

    Neil

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    You’re welcome Karen!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Glad you found some useful applications Jody!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    I haven’t tried Sprout Social, but have heard great things about it Sonia. You should come back or write a blog post of the benefits during your trial!

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hi Elly,

    Thanks for the suggestion, although the lateness thing could be a problem. HootSuite’s scheduled tweets can have the occasional hiccup, especially when you have one scheduled at a time Twitter is acting up. It will leave it in your outbox and ask you if you want to retry to send it again or just delete it to avoid possibly sending out something time sensitive that is too late.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hi Dr. Burt,

    I haven’t used MarketMeSuite and really wanted to stick with tools I have experience with. I have heard some stuff (good and bad) about that platform so maybe I will check it out one day. It’s hard to justify migrating everything I already have setup with HootSuite since I have no issues with them.

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    Hi Neil,

    I know there are tools out there that can monitor keywords and send Twitter mentions to reply – most people use that for advertising (tweet the word iPad to see what I mean). I’d assume you could do something automated based on your @username as the keyword as well. I’m just not very familiar with them.

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  • @lemongrassplans

    Great article Kristi! I use Hootesuite and love it! I also use ping fm. I will try out Twitterfeed because it will be a great way to stay on top of the blogs I have come to love and share them with others in an automated way! Clovia @lemongrassplans

  • Megan Horn

    I love HootSuite. I use it daily to schedule posts for personal and client accounts. It has great stats and efficient tracking. I especially love the tab feature, which Tweetdeck doesn’t have!

  • http://www.bradlowrey.net/ Brad Lowrey

    I like all the suggestions, all except for the dreaded auto DM!

    Auto DMs are an automatic “unfollow” for me. Nothing gets under my skin more than an auto DM and I have yet to talk to anyone who actually likes receiving them. My typical response is: “Pls stop sending auto DMs. They’re unwelcome, decrease followers & increase spam reports. Survey: http://bit.ly/StopAutoDMs“, and then the account is unfollowed.

  • http://divahound.com Shannon Huppin

    I love that you include the pros and cons of using each service – that is beyond helpful!

  • http://twitter.com/omiSEM omiSEM

    I use Twitter automation tool for scheduling Tweets, but I find automated DM annoying. If you want to follow us on Twitter : http://twitter.com/omisem

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  • mediacastguy

    While I am always out of step with the majority, if I can detect automation, I immediately unfollow. If I receive an auto-DM, not only do I unfollow, but I block the user. If there is a sales link in the auto-DM, I report it as spam.

    Maybe the benefits of auto-spamming new followers exceeds the detriment of annoying users like me, but be careful before you use automation. The real best practices are, don’t do it.

    While we’re on the subject, if you use one of the link shorteners or cross-posters like deck.ly or fb.me, I unfollow. There is not enough time in the day to click on a link in every tweet just to read that last 5 words. Twitter was designed for 140 characters or less. When you cheat the system, you abuse it. At least some of us like the system the way it is. If you need more than 140 characters, do blog posts and point to them.

  • http://twitter.com/keachlemon Erin Leach-Kemon

    Hi Kristi,

    Great blog post! I found your reviews really helpful, especially when I was doing research on tools that allow you to automate direct messages.

    While there are a lot of opinions across the Web about auto-DMs, there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of data around how users actually react to this auto-messaging. So we, Optify, actually ran a test using Social Oomph’s auto-DM tool and Twitter’s Promoted Products, both to track unfollows and promote our Twitter account to new followers.

    We were pretty amazed by our findings: our use of auto-DMs resulted in a 245% increase in our unfollow rate. You can check out the research here: http://www.optify.net/social-media/auto-dm-led-to-245-increase-in-unfollow-rate. Needless to say, the data spoke volumes and confirmed for us the risks associated with using auto-response messaging on Twitter.

    Thanks,
    Erin Leach-Kemon
    Social Media Specialist, Optify

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  • http://www.der-bank-blog.de/ Hansjörg Leichsenring

    I did just come to your post this morning. Very intersting!

    One comment to auto-welcome-messages on twitter:

    As my followers are partly German, partly international, I like to say welcome either in German or in English. Unfortunatly this seems not be able to become automated, so I do it manually

    Kind regards

    Hansjörg

  • http://www.der-bank-blog.de/ Hansjörg Leichsenring

    I did just come to your post this morning. Very intersting!

    One comment to auto-welcome-messages on twitter:

    As my followers are partly German, partly international, I like to say welcome either in German or in English. Unfortunatly this seems not be able to become automated, so I do it manually

    Kind regards

    Hansjörg

  • http://www.metrofax.com/ internet fax

    That would be a great feature to have included – the ability to have multilingual auto welcome messages. That’s something that I could use too.

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  • http://rjmetrics.com/ Tristan Handy

    Hey Kristi,

    I recently did a study on what works and what doesn’t from a social media automation perspective. The quick-and-dirty results:

    - There is very little variance in the click and conversion impact of real-time vs scheduled posts
    - Posts published immediately generate 74% more conversion value than scheduled posts
    - Posts scheduled on a 24 hour or greater delay generate 6x LESS conversion value than immediate posts.

    I totally value the best practice model you suggest here, but figured you might like a little bit of data to back up your recommendations ;) You can find the full results of the study at: 

    http://argylesocial.com/blog/2011/07/05/is-post-automation-effective.html

    Have a good one.


    Tristan Handy
    Director of Operations
    Argyle Social

  • Acsmd011

     Nice post, thank you for sharing. You have really imparted useful knowledge on Body Repair    

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KMHT3RAEE4CGF2YKOGFZJW73GI Paul Blakeney

    Thanks for the positive feedback. Glad you all found this useful. I did try to keep the list lean and mean because there were a ton more out there that didn’t seem as good as these services.

    http://topratedhcgdrops.com/

  • rakesh kumar

    Great, this one is really best article for various twitter automation tools. http://www.profit.biz/

  • http://www.mosaicholidays.co.uk/Country-Turkey-Holidays_6.aspx Fann Stefan

    Hi Kristi,

    Thank you very much for sharing this post. I have come across Twitterfeed and been successfully using it. I wish the Social Omph is still free now so that i can set up. I really like the idea of Tweet old post and looking forward to install it in my wordpress blog.

  • http://wpcurve.com/ Dan Norris

    Great tips and lots of detail as always!

    I just wrote about a few tools on this topic as well. Tweet Adder (for automatically following and unfollowing), Twitter Tools WP plugin for automatically tweeting new posts (as opposed to tweet old post for old posts) and Twilert for getting notifications when people mention you or your business. I also use Hootsuite and Social Oomph, both great tools.

  • http://www.yourdigitalspace.com/ Swamykant

    I am very happy twitterfeed. It is a superb tool. Nice post.

  • http://www.seo-alien.com/ SEO Alien

    Great article, love the tips! I can’t tell you how much Hootsuite has helped us! The automation tool is great to set up all your monthly tweets, but more importantly it has helped us engage and re-engage with people that have a strong social influence. Their tweets and re-tweets have really helped!

  • Gil

    I’m using twitter AutoResponder powered by http://www.vicconsult.com.
    It is free. They also offer scheduled tweets, auto follow service and other tools.

  • http://winthecustomer.com/ Flavio Martins

    A new version of this plugin has been released with enhanced features and with bug fixes.

    I’d love to get your thoughts on it and maybe even a review!

    Check it out: http://www.themana.gr/tweetily-tweet-wordpress-post-automatically/

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brooke-Bates/34003932 Brooke Bates

    Are there any other (preferably free) tools for sending automated direct messages to new followers? I never was a fan of SocialOomph, especially now that that function isn’t even included in their free account. I currently use Hootsuite to manage most other Twitter tasks; do they have a tool for this?

  • http://kristihines.com/ Kristi Hines

    None that I know of… that’s probably why SocialOomph can get away with charging now. :) I think TweetAdder lets you set up automated direct messages too, but that’s a paid tool as well. 

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  • http://twitter.com/VanessaAugustus Vanessa Augustus

    Hi Gr8 article! I have a growing Twitter base and am finding difficult to keep up with welcoming new followers. I’ve just set up an account with Social Oomph as it was recommended to me. I have another Twitter account so will test the free service recommended by Gil. I’ll share this post though as the information is very useful. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/VanessaAugustus Vanessa Augustus

    Hi Gr8 article! I have a growing Twitter base and am finding difficult to keep up with welcoming new followers. I’ve just set up an account with Social Oomph as it was recommended to me. I have another Twitter account so will test the free service recommended by Gil. I’ll share this post though as the information is very useful. Thanks.

  • Brook Paslay

    I second this! I always start off my day reading my favorite blogs and often times I find several articles I want to share with my followers. It doesn’t make sense to tweet them one right after the other so I schedule them over the course of the day using Hootsuite. A small amount of automation is perfectly fine as long as it’s done correctly and not overused!

  • http://www.techieoasis.org/ Anurag Jain

    hey Kristi, you are an awesome blogger. You have explained the tools so interestingly that it is very easy to understand by anybody.
    Thanks for sharing such great tools !

  • http://jasonhjh.com/ Jason HJH

    Not that I agree to using SocialOomph for DMs….Now many users have a firewall whenever they receive DMs and it feels like email spams.
    Anyway, Tweetily is a great (updated) plugin for randomly tweeting old posts from your blog for WordPress users. :)

  • http://keane.li/ keane

    Thanks for writing an article with depth! This is a great post.

  • $75442132

    Gosh, I still need to learn so much. Guys — what do you think about TweetAdder? I need to unfollow people cause my Twitter is a mess right now

  • Holly McIlwain

    Excellent post and truly appreciate your work on the detail here. Automated direct messages sounds horrible to me. If I’m greeted by someone I follow using an automated tool, I still haven’t been greeted by someone I follow and the reverse would be true if I used it to greet my followers. I think of social as attending a chamber of commerce meeting and walking around to exchange cards and share ideas. Wouldn’t send a bot to do that. I was not aware of the tool for sending old posts. Will look into that one, as have had several times I wanted to do that. Thanks Y’all.

  • http://www.cicounters.com/ Ted Higson

    Glad I found this post, thank you! I actually signed up for the first two as I read your article (TwitterFeed + SocialOomph)… I actually loved SocialOomph because it gives me the freedom to actually schedule posts – you see, sometimes I get great post ideas but that come to me at midnight :-/ I don’t think anyone would read them, so this gives me the flexibility to store my idea (post) and schedule for the morning! Awesome. Thanks again Kristi :-)

  • http://www.cicounters.com/ Ted Higson

    Glad I found this post, thank you! I actually signed up for the first two as I read your article (TwitterFeed + SocialOomph)… I actually loved SocialOomph because it gives me the freedom to actually schedule posts – you see, sometimes I get great post ideas but that come to me at midnight :-/ I don’t think anyone would read them, so this gives me the flexibility to store my idea (post) and schedule for the morning! Awesome. Thanks again Kristi :-)

  • http://www.thenerdynurse.com/ The Nerdy Nurse

    Just wish they had more automation with replies and such.

  • http://www.DatingWebsiteReview.net/ Ron Lee

    Love Tweet Old post….I wish they would update it so it was not so tempermental though

  • Sam

    I’m looking for a tool that will search the tweets of the people I am following only, and when it sees a particular keyword used, it sends a real time alert email. Does anyone know such a tool?

  • http://wpcurve.com/ Dan Norris

    I think Twitter themselves are testing something like this:

    http://recode.net/2014/05/16/twitter-starts-dabbling-with-tv-topic-discovery/

  • http://FreeMoneySite.info FreeMoneySite.info

    Cool stuff







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