Automating twitter growth is one of the biggest time saving systems I have in my business. I create systems all the time for my own business and for clients’ businesses. Automating twitter is one of my favorites!
Automating twitter can be hard if you’re not used to letting go of control (when really you keep it), or if you’re someone that likes getting lost in social media. (That moment when you’ve watched cat videos for three hours, and suddenly realize none of your work will get done today? Yeah -- that.) Automation can also be hard if you’re not sure where to start, what to use, or how it should all work together.
Lucky for you, you’ve got this post. I’m going to lay it out for you nice and easy, to kick off our month of social media posts! Join us every Monday in November for a new post on how to rock your social like a VA -- even if you don’t have one!
To successfully automate, you need systems. There are tons to choose from, so here are a few of my favorites:
Buffer - I’ve mentioned them before! Buffer is a great tool for scheduling out your social media. This means you can “pre load” social content, including tweets, to be pushed live on a schedule of your choice. This prevents you from having to sit at the computer (or on your phone) when you should be doing other things. No one likes the person who’s on their phone at family dinner. Don’t let that be you.
Hootsuite - This tool is more robust than Buffer, because you can reply, retweet, and like posts inside the Hootsuite client. It does come at more of a cost, but is a great solution if you’re looking to view multiple social feeds at one time, or to retweet and like others’ tweets.
Google Sheets - a free tool that my team and I use every single day to help automate our entire social presence. YES -- Google Sheets is awesome! You don’t have to be a spreadsheet guru to like it, either. All you need are some slick social recipes and systems to help you fall in love with gridlines and boxes.
Feedly - an RSS feed aggregator (think: electronic basket to hold all of your favorite blog posts from the web) that we have helped clients use to get quality content in one place.
Pocket - my personal favorite, and the gem of my personal social workflow. Pocket is a place where you can easily save popular and recommended articles, blog posts, and content from around the web. It’s free, and it’s incredibly easy to use.
Automating twitter is the best part of my business, because I am able to consistently put out amazing, relevant, high-quality content without much effort or time spent. I created a workflow that I’ll share with you over the next coming weeks, so that you can replicate it yourself!
First, we’ve got to start with the foundation and the overview -- otherwise the system won’t work.
Content Spreadsheet: We created the spreadsheet with Google Sheets so that we have a content library. Any content we find that’s relevant to my network goes into the spreadsheet. This way we always have content to push out if we need to find an article about something, or want to feature a certain topic. We find more each week, but we’re never in a place where we’re missing content. We have a big library to choose from!
5-Bucket Theory: This one comes from my friend and colleague, Dave Shrein. Dave uses what he calls “five buckets” -- content areas or topics that his blog posts, Periscope broadcasts, and other outreach avenues must be focused around. Keeping content focused on five areas makes sure that it’s always relevant to what you’re doing, and that you don’t spread yourself too thin. Picking five areas might seem simple -- that’s good. We want simple!
My five areas? Productivity, Time Management, Automation, Delegation, and Small Business Owners
Creative Collateral: Tweets with visual content (images, gifs, emojis) get shared more often than tweets without. Making sure that you have strong visuals is a big deal -- and one to not skip over if you’re doing it yourself. I have a part-time graphic designer on my team, Shaina, who helps me take care of visuals, like our worksheets and such. Making sure that you include photos with your tweets is not only helpful, it’ll make your content magnetic. (PS - if you use Buffer, they’ve made it really easy to include photos with content you tweet out.)
Respond Authentically: I’ll include a video for you in the coming weeks about how we do this on my team. For now, it’s important to know that you must have a quality rubric to follow when you’re responding to new followers. What makes someone a quality follower? What makes them worth following? Will you follow companies back? Will you follow someone back that only has 20 followers? What about following someone back that doesn’t have a profile photo, and instead opts for the super-sexy egg photo that Twitter loves so much? Decide your criteria. Once you’ve decided, respond to the people that meet your rubric/list of qualifications.
When we respond to someone via twitter that fits our criteria, we include the following things:
- Their username
- Their first name
- A thank you for following
- A question or personal comment about their site/blog/bio
You can look at my twitter feed for lots of examples of this!
Building Relationship: Keep it going after the initial follow and messages above. Check in with their content. Check on them; how are they doing? If you keep up with relationships, you secure your business for the long-term.
Relationship is the best business you’ll ever have -- keep it going with your twitter feed!
Are there bad examples of automating twitter growth? YES. Absolutely.
For the love of vegan chocolate, please stop sending me automatic direct messages. DMs are not meant to be abused. (Hint: automatic DMs after I follow you count as abuse.) No one likes them, they feel spammy, and they make me sad. If you send an auto DM, you’re missing out on public conversation, which will raise your social even more. People will see that you’re a human being, not a robot, and they’ll notice that you talk to your followers. If you respond in a DM, no one can see it, and you look like a quiet, private person -- a giant no-no for social media.
Auto responses that are canned make people feel cheap. If your entire feed is saying “Hi @username, thanks for following…” over and over and over… you’re going to make people upset. It looks spammy, and that’s not why you’re here. You’re here to be a force of connection, influence, and authority on social media!
I want to hear from you - what are three steps you’re going to take to automate your twitter growth this week?
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