Just a few weeks ago I was looking at the Twitter streams of those I follow, and I noticed something strange. They seemed to be tweeting all the time! Shocked and dismayed by this overwork that everyone must be doing, I decided to inquire from one of the best bloggers in the business, Jeremy Biberdorf (of Modest Money). He quickly assuaged my worries and introduced me to the world of Twitter automation.
Tweet For Traffic, Money
There’s a stupid simple fact about Twitter: The more you tweet, the more you’ll gain followers and visitors to your site. As a writer and blogger, gaining these numbers will be both motivating and rewarding. The fact is that most writers are fighting off obscurity. When you realize that some people are actually reading your material, it can be a wonderful feeling.
The problem is that you likely don’t want to stay up all day and night tweeting. Not only is that not the best use of your time, it can feel demoralizing and repetitive to keep sharing. This is where automation comes in.
How Can You Automate Twitter?
As Modest Money’s founder and owner was saying, the busy Twitter users you may follow are probably automating their process. And I can tell you from first-hand experience, by creating a regular tweeting schedule, I’ve seen terrific increases in traffic.
After learning about this, I researched a couple options. The two major players are Dlvr.it and IFTTT.com. Dlvr.it offers a variety of professional grade options for sharing your own website’s articles and others. You can schedule the delivery of your articles and track the statistics associated with them (i.e., how many people clicked on a specific tweet?).
But the one I recommend is IFTTT.com. The website is an acronym for If This Then That. Every single automated ability asks you to choose one option (If this) and then you can choose what to do with it. Not only is it free, but it also offers an incredible platform for automation across technologies. Snap a picture from your phone? You can automatically blog it. Write a new blog post, now you can email friends, share it on Facebook, and even tweet it out – all free!
Automate Your Blog, Tweets
If you’ve made it this far through the article, you’re probably interested in some direction. The following portion is a specific “how to” for automating your website and turning it into a Twitter machine.
The first step is signing up for an account on IFTTT.com. Click here to join. After you’ve confirmed and registered for the site, you’ll be brought to a dashboard that shows all of your current recipes (IFTTTs). This virtual hub is a great way to glance at statistics and “Create a Recipe.”
Here’s where the fun begins. Once you click to create a new recipe, you’ll be given the IFTTT option. Click the blue, underlined link that says, “this.” The page should automatically move down to “Choose A Trigger Channel.” IFTTT is full of trigger (this) options and makes it an exciting platform to work with.
For this step, we want to choose feed (the RSS icon). By selecting feed, IFTTT will know that the automation process starts with your website’s publication of stories. The page will automatically scroll down further and you will be given two options. Choose “New feed item.” For me, I would navigate to my site’s feed, copy it, and paste it into the box shown below.
At this point, you’re nearly there! By selecting “Create Trigger,” the page will have you select would you’d like to do with it. You might assume that you’d select Twitter for your “action channel,” but you shouldn’t. If you want to include Twitter @ symbols, you’ll need to choose Buffer. Buffer is an application that can take your automated tweets and space them out over time and give you in-depth statistics on the success of certain stories. If you don’t have your account attached to IFTTT or haven’t ever used Buffer, it will ask to pair the accounts. You’ll need to register with your Twitter account on Buffer and then link to IFTTT. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to select “Add to Buffer.”
When you are ready to “Add,” click the entry title and entry URL area and add “via @YOURTWITTERNAMEHERE.” Click “Create Action” and then “Create Recipe.” Once you hit that, you’re all done! You’ve created your very first automated Twitter recipe. Your RSS feed will update IFTTT, which will send a notification to Buffer for Twitter publication. While it sounds complicated – technically, it is – the process will save you hours and hours over the course of your site.
Sharing Is Caring
Beyond automating your own Twitter and site, people often automate other people’s websites and blogs. Sharing is caring when it comes to this. When you share someone else’s blog automatically, they will be inclined to share your work and visit your site. Do them a favor and you may just get one in return. If not, it makes for good karma.
Hope this little how to and tutorial helps! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!