3 Reasons to Manage Your Twitter Presence and Some Tools to Help You

Why and How to Manage Your Twitter PresenceA couple of weeks ago I cracked the 60,000 Twitter followers mark and I am already approaching 62,000…

And for me there’s no question – managing my followers has given me a big helping hand in achieving that number!

But what about you?

Do you believe that being “human” and engaging with people on Twitter is all that plays a role?

Some months ago I wrote an article about automation and more specifically whether social media automation is a good idea. The post received quite some positive mentions but along with them came lots of criticism.

And although I value the opinion of my readers, it is kinda strange to me why so many see automation as something really really evil.

Namely because of that I decided to write that post!

Today I would like to stress upon the importance of managing your Twitter followers and your Twitter presence as a whole. I will also talk about why that kind of automation doesn’t have to be bad for your reputation and your social media audience.

Below are the four reasons why you should get over the myths about automation plus some great Twitter tools you should try:

1. Because It’s NOT All Quality over Quantity


Man I am really sick of reading articles, stating that the number of people who follow your social media updates doesn’t matter. You can say whatever you want, but from my almost three years of experience with social media, that is ridiculous.

Saying quality doesn’t matter is like saying money don’t play a role in our daily lives. In most cases that is said either by people who don’t have money to brag about or by people who have so much money that they’ve stopped considering them a factor. In the end we all know that money is the name of the game.

In the same way going for quality is all good – I’d be crazy to be against that. Neglecting the quality factor is what I find weird however. A hundred trusty followers can only do so much. Yeah, they might retweet your content more often, but that content will end up being shared with the same people over and over and that is not how you increase your reader-base.

I’ve actually written an article, dedicated to the quality versus quantity issue, which you might want to check out:
Quality over Quantity: The Real Value Behind Your Followers and Fans

2. Because You Should Value Your Time


Time is one of your most important assets, so you should be really careful how you use it. That might seem like a funny advice. However how you manage your to-do list can be decisive for your long-term success or failure.

If you didn’t understand where I am going with this, my point is that although Twitter (and social media in general) is a great source of referral traffic, it should NOT be your main concern.

Say you just started writing an article for your blog and five minutes into it you realize you haven’t tweeted anything today. So you open up your browser, wait Twitter to load, sign-in, wait again, go to your profile and finally post the message. Having done that, there’s a good chance that the idea you had in mind for the article is not there anymore.

Internet marketing basically comes down to prioritizing. It comes down to knowing which tasks are less important and which are higher up the list. And believe me – social media is less important compared to having a frequent posting schedule.

3. Because Twitter is About Engagement


Yeah, I know what you are thinking. I am talking about automation and now suddenly I say that automating is actually good for engagement… how can that be?

Well let’s assume you’ve just started a blog, you don’t know anyone and need to build new contacts…

One way to achieve this would be to do blog commenting. Sharing your thoughts under the posts of some of the bigger bloggers in your niche is the start. The more you comment, the more new blogs and bloggers you will get to know. The more important thing is that poeple will discover YOU! However that works to a point – you can’t constantly grow your contacts and readership using that approach.

Now you will probably have some engagement going on on Twitter with those folks, but it won’t be much…

One thing you could do to ramp this up is to start following lots of new people that are in your niche and that are actively participating. Once the number of your followers starts growing, your engagement rate will also start growing. You will not only be getting more followers, but will also be building relationships and discovering great bloggers, who you’ve never heard of. And that of course is what social media is all about – building relationships, getting people to trust you and eventually turning a part of them into readers and blog subscribers.

Some Useful Tools to Help You


To achieve the three things I shared in the above paragraphs you need to have the right tools at your disposal. Here are some of the most important ones and how they can help you improve Twitter traffic, save time and get to know new people:

Buffer


There’s almost no way that you haven’t heard of Buffer, but are you using it?

In short Buffer is a platform that allows you to schedule Twitter updates (although it also works with Facebook and LinkedIn) in a very convenient way. You first create a daily schedule for the times at which you’d like to share an update. Then you simply fill your buffer with tweets (hence the name of the app), which go out according to the schedule you’ve created. The rest is automatic.

There are some limitations like the number of updates you can add until you fill the buffer. You also can’t create different schedules for the different days. There’s a premium plan that starts at 10$ and lifts the limitations though. Alternatively you can refer people, which gives you one extra space in your buffer.

Even with the free plan however you can save yourself quite some time that can be put into writing new content for instance!

Check out Buffer

ManageFlitter


ManageFlitter is a great tool that I am using every now and then to help who I follow on Twitter

The convenient interface allows you to find inactive tweeps (based on how much days have passed since their last update) and unfollow them in a matter of seconds. There are other cool feature such as unfollowing spam accounts, folks who aren’t tweeting in English and also tweeps who haven’t updated their profile picture.

Doing so is good, since it improves the ratio between how much people you follow and how much poeple have followed you.  Most would be more inclined to follow someone who has 10,000 followers yet who follows only say 2,000 people than someone who has the same 10,000 followers but who follows 12,000 people. It’s psychology really.

Check out ManageFlitter

If This then That


That one comes from the guys who created the Buffer app and it has to be one of my favorite social media tools. The concept of IFTTT stretches far beyond Twitter and social media as a whole. The tool basically lets you connect two different service – the first being the trigger and the second being the action.

To put it simpler, here’s an example:

If I choose an RSS feed as a trigger and Twitter as the action, I will be able to create such a mechanism that whenever the RSS feed gets  updated, the new entry will be automatically tweeted to the Twitter account I add. Or maybe I could connect my Facebook profile and Facebook page, so that whenever I upload a image on the one, the same image gets posted on the other. There are really dozens and dozens of combination.

In my case I’ve added the RSS feeds of some of the top social media blogs and connected them to Buffer. That way whenever there’s a new post on one of them, it gets added to my buffer, where I can decide to keep it or delete it after reading it.

Going through each and every blog manually on daily basis would take an awful lot of time, so IFTTT would be a great addition to your social media arsenal if you haven’t yet tried it.

Check out IFTTT

Tweet Adder


The last in the list is another great Twitter tool. That one is paid though. I’ve been using Tweet Adder for quite a while now, as it is a great way for me to grow my Twitter following and find interesting folks along the way.

The concept is simple. You follow a number of people on Twitter everyday thus letting them discover you. You have full control over the people you choose to follow. From the number of followers they have, through the country they reside, their activity and down to the keywords they’ve used in their description and tweets – it is all customizable.

By doing so you are not only expanding your reach, but you are also finding like-minded bloggers and marketers that you can build relationships with. The fact is the system can be used or abused. it’s really up to you to decide whether you will take the spammy approach by following hundreds and hundreds everyday or whether you will follow on small steps thus allowing yourself the time to engage, read some interesting content and get to know new people.

Check out my Tweet Adder review for more information!

What Do You Think?


Now let me hear what your thoughts about automation – is it really a problem to both save time by automating tedious tasks and still engage with your followers? Does automation equal spam? Let me know what you think!

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  1. I have gone back and started reading all of these Twitter articles that you wrote. They are so helpful! I finally started realizing that I need to start building my Twitter following. I have had a Twitter for a while, but only recently have I started try to get followers and post quality tweets that are useful to people. Thanks for all of these articles!

  2. i’m a heavy IFTTT user,
    its great for mirroring my blog on the backup accounts .. and i can manage my tweets better than the usual built in blog+twitter integration solutions.

    thanks for ManageFlitter, I didnt know about it..
    had been using other services to unfollow inactive/spam accounts .. but this is a cleaner and reliable looking service.

  3. Great post, Daniel.
    Never heard of ‘If This then That’, but going to give it a go, it looks awesome.

    Thanks.
    Chis G

  4. Kingsley Agu says:

    Woow… I’m just getting to know about a ton of all this twitter apps and websites today.. I’ll try out Buffer. Let me see how it goes. Which one do you personally recommend, Daniel?

  5. Hey Dan you killed it again. Well, I have always disregard automation. Why? Because they sometimes post unreasonable stuffs and it always block my password. That is to say I use it perhaps not the right tools. I will make sure I avail my self the opportunity to surf this tools you mention and the ones I saw from the replies. I can never close review N tips! You are the best man. Thumbs up!

  6. Hi Daniel,
    I’m pretty new to social media and I’m curious about your thoughts around Hootsuite. I find it relatively easy to use although I had signed up for buffer, no one knew what I was talking about when I mentioned it. Everyone I know uses Hootsuite. So what’s the difference between the two?

    Thanks and your writing is great along with the content! :)
    Amy

    • Hey Amy,

      Well honestly I haven’t been using Hootsuite that much. Just occasionally to schedule a Twitter update. From my experience though the interface just isn’t all that appealing as the one that Buffer offers. The fact is though that Hootsuite offers additional functionality that Buffer doesn’t. But then again, the latter is only about scheduling social media updates. And it does its job great! :)

      Daniel

    • Amy, some pointers to compare Hootsuite to BufferApp:
      To start with, these two tools serve completely different purposes:
      1. Buffer started as a scheduling tool, and added more functionality and channels.
      Hootsuite started as a social channels management tool, and added scheduling, but also autoscheduling..

      2. Buffer will send posts out based on a fixed schedule (but can have different schedules for week ends or holidays)
      Hootsuite lets you set the time post by post, or use the auto schedule capability

      3. Buffer’s user interface is indeed very slick and simple to use / hoot suite offers more functionality

      4. both support URL shorteners and if used, can show stats on both the web ap and the iPhone app

      5. Both offer very functional mobile apps (iPhone at least)

      6. Buffer has integration with instapaper (share from instapaper to buffer directly), both have IFTTT channels, but Hootsuite’s has only actions. Many actions…

      7. Hootsuite caters for posting to google+ pages .
      Buffer allows posting to the latest app.net (ADN) network

      8. Hootsuite has very smart add ons, especially when you upgrade to Pro, or Enterprise, with phenomenal search functionality, geo targeting /search, collaboration and team management functions, etc…etc…

      9. Hootsuite offers Hootsuite University, because of the number of features this complex platform offers..
      Let me know if you’d like to explore further…
      Raz

      • Hey Raz,

        Thank you for this comprehensive overview of the features of the two tools. And yes, I agree that they serve a different purpose in general, but in the post I was referring namely to the scheduling part and for the purpose they serve as scheduling tools.

        Really appreciate your input nonetheless!
        Daniel

  7. Hi Daniel!

    I love using Buffer to spread out my Tweets and Facebook posts. I manage 3 different profiles there and the content is really different on all of them. It’s so handy to have the Buffer extension that allows me to share just about any blog post on at least one of those accounts. I also use HootSuite for posting to my Google+ page.

    • Hey Ileane,

      Buffer does save a lot of time, especially if you’d like your updates to appear on different profiles and platforms, that’s for sure! As for Google+. do you have to have your Google Plus profile opened for this to work? I haven’t heard of Google Plus releasing their API yet and that will basically mean no scheduling.

      Really appreciate your input! :)
      Take care!
      Daniel

  8. I recently stumbledupon this blog and it really caught my interest. Lots of informative guides here that I’ll be sure to check out.

    You mentioned building relationships with bloggers.. is there another way to discover blogs and bloggers beside Tweet Adder that you can recommend? If you can that would be great, because I’m having some trouble finding blogs in my niche which I can follow and engage with.

    • Although it works, the purpose of Tweet Adder is more about discovering the right followers on Twitter rather than relevant blogs. If you are looking for a free Tweet Adder alternative, then you can try Tweepi – less functional, but similar. More in-depth ways for discovering other bloggers in your niche I will be covering in a future article. A comment wouldn’t be enough to exhaust the topic. :)

  9. Too right Daniel! Time is our most valuable commodity and learning to use automation correctly is a huge key to creating a social media presence that’s not only effective but manageable as well. Buffer saves my life and Im learning about IFTTT, will check out the other tools mentioned as soon as time permits.
    Cheers!

    • That’s true Alison! I believe that many people underestimate the potential of automation. And yes, it might not seem legitimate right off the bat, but as long as you take the time to engage and pay attention, it’s all okay. Glad you are enjoying Buffer and take your time with the other tools! :)

      Daniel

  10. Great article, Daniel. I’m dead tired right now, but I’ll be back to take some notes on some of the tools you mentioned. Thanks very much for the follow on Twitter @CinemaProfound. Now that I’ve seen what you’re up to, I’ll be happy to return the nod. I’ll be looking forward to getting to know you. Peace!

  11. Hi Daniel,

    I’ll try this programs you mentioned.

    I’ll be very interested about your opinion of Sprout Social, it will be possible?

    Thanks for your article!

    Teresa

  12. I have used TweetAdder in the past, and it’s a great software. Now, I am not using anything automated other than Triberr. My social media manager is currently SproutSocial and it works great, it has more or less every tool integrated, but I don’t use them as often as I should :)

    • Hey Jens,

      Now that I’ve reached 60,000 Twitter followers, I am also starting to put that kind of automation to use less. As for Triberr – it is an absolute must, I’ve included it in more than one or two of the articles I’ve written. Haven’t tried SproutSocial though.

      Thanks for stopping by man!
      Daniel

  13. Nice one Daniel. I’ve been meaning to try IFTTT for a while and this was just the nudge I needed. Thanks mate.

  14. Time management sure is important — particularly if you are using social media. To get the most benefit you have to participate — and on several sites if possible. I find that by the time I’ve done that an hour or two has passed, and I have less time and energy for blog posting. And as you say, that should be the priority.

    As well as using tools, perhaps another way to approach the problem is to focus on blogging for a few days, then social media, then back again.

    • Matt,

      Exactly – sometimes time just flies by you until you complete all of you social media related tasks. Taking a social media break, as you mentioned, is a great idea. I happen to do it every now and then when I fall behind on the writing part.

      Thank you for sharing your two cents Matt! :)
      Daniel

  15. Great post! I checked out the ManageFlitter and it’s really helpful. I didn’t realize it could give you that much detail on the people you’re following. I don’t really like unfollowing, but given your point that it’s better to be followed by many more than you’re following, and more importantly to have more targeted followers, I suppose it’s better this way.

    • Hey Sandy,

      ManageFlitter does provide the user with lots of useful information indeed. And as far as unfollowing goes, you should definitely not unfollow just for the sake of doing it. But for instance whenever you have tweeps who aren’t tweeting for weeks and even months, they are just “taking space” so to say. They nor share something useful, neither add up to a discussion. That’s how I see it. :)

      Thank you for stopping by mate!
      Daniel

  16. Your explanation of Buffer is the best I’ve come across, Daniel. I’ll give it a try. You’ve also convinced me to try IfTTT. Early days for me as a blogger but might as well start with good systems. Keep up the good work.

    • Glad to be of help Hillari! It’s definitely worth automating some of the things you can when it comes to social media so that you have more time for writing and managing your blog.

      Daniel

  17. Great post Daniel. I agree that we should value our time! I use the tools above, but also have been using @smqueue http://smqueue.com/ It is still in beta, but it is amazing. You can manage your Twitter, FB, Linked In posts right from the dashboard. You can schedule recurring queues by uploading files with tweets, and lots more. Check it out! It was created by by fellow tweeter, @GWPStudio

    • Hey Lori,

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed the article!

      Thanks for mentioning Smqueue! I haven’t heard of it myself, but from what you said it sounds like an app worth giving a shot. Will take a look as soon as I have some time on my hands. :)

      Have a great weekend!
      Daniel