Here's a handful of tools that can save time posting to Twitter. These free programs let you preschedule Tweets and automatically add your Facebook, blog, and Linked In posts to Twitter. I've also included a freebie that adds links for your blog and social media pages to your e-mail.
For those in a hurry, here's the list of the tools:
- Hootsuite for prescheduling posts. (I schedule a week at a time)
- Hootlet, a free Hootsuite tool that makes it easy to capture Web pages you want to post to Twitter, as well as Facebook, Linked In and social media groups you follow.
- Tweetdeck automatically posts your latest blogs to Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In. (There are some notable gotchas, noted later in this blog.)
- Linked In and Facebook include tweaks that will automatically post your activities to Twitter.
- WiseStamp enhances your emails with a signature that can include icons and links to your social media profiles. The tool has recently added some slick enhancements.
- The end of this blog has some additional Tweeting tips.
Preschedule Tweets with Hootsuite and Hootlet
Hootsuite allows you preschedule posts to Twitter, as well as to your other social media profiles and groups, including those on Linked In and Facebook. (I apologize if I sound like a shill for this product. I use it and can recommend it. Other people use Tweetdeck, which has made some concerning announcements, and other Twitter automation tools.)
How the Hootsuite Scheduler Works In Three Steps
|Create your Tweet. Here, I'm planning to promote a link from my blog. I want to schedule it for Thursday at 11:25 p.m..|
|Then, I choose where I want to promote the link. My options, which I previously set up in Hootsuite, include my two Twitter profiles, as well as some groups I've joined on Linked In. (The free version of Hootsuite limits you to five options.)|
|Hootsuite also includes a calendar where you can view scheduled Tweets and posts.|
Hootlet, a free tool included with Hootsuite, lets you quickly share interesting Web pages and links with your followers. When I come to a Web page I want to share, I click on the Hootlet bookmark I created and it captures the link. Here are the basic steps for using this tool:
|Hootlet is listed under Hootsuite's tools button. I installed it and then bookmarked it. When I see a Web page I want to share, I click the button on my bookmark menu bar. (top red-highlight).|
|Once I click Hootlet, it captures and shortens the link for easy posting to Twitter and elsewhere.|
Automatically Share Posts from a Blog, Facebook, and Linked In to Twitter
Twitterfeed: Share Your Blog Posts
This freebie automatically forwards your blog posts to Linked In, Twitter, and/or Facebook. It's straight-forward and easy to set up.
|Twitter has three simple steps and allows you to automatically share blog posts to Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In.|
|After adding your blog address, Twitterfeed lets you add social media for automatic posting.|
Notes and Gotchas: Twitterfeed will grab your headline, description, and a piece of art and create a post for Linked In and Facebook. You are relying on Twitterfeed to decide how your post will look best -- the program may truncates text or do other weird stuff. For Twitter, I don't really care because I will post the same link multiple times with different headlines. Also, Twitter followers may be more accepting of text slop. But my Facebook Fan page is too important to risk a weird, computer-generated post. So, in the Feed Publishing screenshot above, I had NOT clicked the Facebook box. For my Facebook Fan page, I post my blog manually and write a custom description.
|Automated posts can turn into a bit of a mess with Twitterfeed. It's probably fine for Twitter, but you may not want this type of slop to appear on Linked In or a Facebook Fan page.|
Share Facebook and Linked In Posts to Twitter
|Adding your Twitter handle to Linked In lets you post truncated versions of your post to Twitter.|
This tool is pretty straightforward. This link provides the details.
Other Tweeting Tips
- Don't just post links: Include some full statements or comments or musings that don't need links. I post statistics, one-line jokes, etc. Posting photos and videos is another good way to mix things up.
- Leave 15 or so characters at the end of Tweets, so people can retweet your tweet without cutting off text. (instead of using all 140 characters, consider using only 125.)
- Don't use too many hashtags -- three is a good limit -- in one tweet or it will look like gobbledy gook.
- Repost your own tweets. Post one at 9:00 a.m. one week and at 5 p.m. the next. You never know when people will be checking Twitter. By experimenting, you can find out which times are most effective. I've read that immediately before and after work are best times. I have no data to back up that claim.
E-Mail Freebie: Include Your Web Sites and Social Media Profiles in Messages
WiseStamp lets you add a fancy signature to your e-mail messages. I've been using it with Yahoo! Mail for over a year and haven't had any problems. Also, they recently added the capability to include a Like button for your Facebook Fan Page.
|The WiseStamp interface is relatively straight foward and allows you to add icons and links for blogs and your social media profiles to e-mail messagess.|
|WiseStamp adds a signature with links and icons to the bottom of your e-mails.|
More Social Media TipsQuick and Dirty Facebook Tricks for Writers
Linked In Tips for Writers
Just for FunChronically Single? You've Got Company (a recent comedy performance promoting my novel and one-man show.)
How One Group of Writer's is Making Living
Art attribution: Twitter image by Twitter_logo_initial.svg:en:User:GageSkidmore, modified by User:Cproderivative work: Zapyon (Twitter_logo_initial.svg) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons