A 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 awesome 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:
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!
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.
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.
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!