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Social media's supposed to be all about connecting and conversations, but how can you have a conversation with a bot? On the other hand, everyone loves tools that make our work easier and more efficient. In our "Discussion of the Week," we want to know: What's your opinion on using software/tools that automate your Twitter activity? Do you use them? Do you recommend clients use them? If so, how much? If not, are automated tweets ALWAYS a bad thing, or are there acceptable situations/uses? The floor is open!
Comments15 Comments  

Comments

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 1042 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I used to be very much anti-automation when it came to my Twitter presence. I ignored or unfollowed many accounts that were all or partially automated. I still don't connect my blog's RSS feed to get new posts sent out automatically -- those get posted manually. My main @mattmcgee account is probably 99% real, i.e. - manual posts/replies/retweets/etc.

But over time, I've come to sense that it's a bit of a losing battle to completely resist. The tools are out there and I do use them on other accounts that I have. There are some tweets that I like to repeat every couple days and it's nice to have tools that let you automate that and pre-schedule the timing for (hopefully) maximum effectiveness.

So I'm at the point now where, while I still keep my personal Twitter account as real/manual as possible, I do see the value of automation on other accounts.



Avatar Moderator
from JulieJoyce 1042 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I think that there is a definite place for automated tweets, such as if you have audiences in vastly different time zones and you write a new blog post that you want to reach them all, or if you find a few gems that you want to tweet but you don't want to blow up someone's tweet stream. With the tools that tell you when you can best reach the most people, if you're tweeting in order to promote something and you can't be physically there when the best time comes around, I see nothing wrong with setting the tweet up to run then.



Avatar Moderator
from nickfb76 1042 Days ago #
Votes: 1

my personal twitter account @nickleroy is 100% real with zero automation.  I do however have a football fan site in which it automatically tweets new blog posts.  My first account is maintaining my brand reputation and encouraging personalized discussions where as the fan account is strictly to blast out new content to fans of the site.  I have seen success in both.



Avatar Moderator
from hugoguzman 1042 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I'm cool with automation when it's done right (@graywolf and @fantomaster) but I'm like Nick; my twitter stream is 100% live. No automation whatsoever.



Avatar Moderator
from Realicity 1042 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Automation can be valuable for saving time doing repetitive tasks for industries such as manufacturing and for uses such as planning and scheduling, but few other industries and processes fare as well with automated tasks.  Marketing and communications might be the most difficult to automate successfully.

Now as to Twitter.  Know your audience.

In general, Internet marketing professionals abhor automated tweets, follows and DM's and most claim that they would never use them.  Especially Influencers.  So if this, is your audience you might be best to avoid this technique.

But many other companies use them to successfully grow and manage their massive Twitter presences.  How many normal people would think it cool to be followed by [insert brand here] and follow them back?

To be clear, I don't use automation for my mostly professional twitter presence, but would recommend it to certain clients to try.



Avatar Moderator
from toddmintz 1042 Days ago #
Votes: 0

What Hugo said. I can't say it any better.



Avatar
from seotheory 1042 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I get more traction with my automated tweets than with my live tweets.  And it was my live tweets that got me into trouble with Twitter last week.

I don't follow many accounts but of the accounts I do follow several are obviously automated.  I nonetheless value those links and often look at the articles.  I guess that's why so many people like MY automated tweets.

The signal-to-noise quality tends to be higher with a thoughtfully curated selection of RSS feeds.



Avatar Moderator
from MelissaF 1042 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think automated tweets can be very irritating and I don't like those that are obvious about it. I know there are ways to do it effectively and save time, but I can tell you all the people I follow that use automated tweets. I don't follow many people so automated tweets are easy to spot.

If I am going to spend time on Twitter I want to speak to real people. I have quit following people that use automated tweets because I wasn't getting great info, but the same thing over and over.



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from Cloud36 1042 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Twitter, at least the way in my industry, is all about real time news.. So automated tweets can be very useful to make sure you get the latest news out there.  I have a main twitter account that has an rss of the blog for breaking news and other profiles that take a more social approach within niches of the industry.  So you should take both approches to capture both types of followers.



Avatar
from kevinpike 1042 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think it depends on the level of automation too. Auto-tweeting your personal blog feed is nothing compared to becoming an @Mashable clone. I have seen Twitter terminate some accounts for violating terms, but they give no specefic reason as to what the issue was - be careful!

I keep my imporantant accounts real as possible and monitor them. These are truly a social medium for me. My "for fun" accounts are more automated, and I hardly keep tabs on any social engagements they get.



Avatar
from St0n3y 1041 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I'm not a big fan of seeing the same tweet over and over, but that doesn't make automation bad. I'm not one that gets to spend a lot of time on twitter so if I tweeted everything live I'd be blowing up the streams and then silent. Some automation allows you to be effective at putting out info, and even conversation, but in a more balanced way.



Avatar
from pageoneresults 1041 Days ago #
Votes: 1

AutoTweets from a personal account suck!

AutoTweets from a business account that is set up solely for information purposes is fine. I have a few of those that I manage and we view them as an alternative to the RSS Feeds.

Did someone say that @graywolf and @fantomaster are doing it right? Give me a break! @fantomaster has been AutoTweeting the same Tweets for at least 2 years now. I Unfollowed @graywolf due to the AutoTweeting and Archive stuff, it was nothing personal.

If I'm Following you, the person, I don't expect to see AutoTweeting on any large scale. I can see sending specific Tweets into your Timeline automatically on occasion, just don't get carried away with it.

If you have a Twitter account and do mostly AutoTweeting, then your audience should know that. If they don't, you end up with folks replying at a time when someone is not available to respond immediately. I've replied to a few AutoTweets not knowing and I didn't think much of the person who didn't reply promptly.

Another problem with AutoTweeting is quality control. Some folks think that pushing a couple of buttons and leaving on auto-pilot is all you need to do. Think again! I just unfollowed @beanstalkseo the other day because of their AutoTweeting and lack of quality control. They Tweet everything twice. They probably haven't looked at that Twitter account for at least of couple of weeks. If they did, they'd notice the problems and fix them!

Don't expect me to Follow your personal account if you're AutoTweeting. I have a couple that I Follow now who are next in the queue for Unfollowing. I hate that crap!

There, I said it!

Formatting Note: How about a little more white space between paragraphs and such? Right now, there is very little margin between, need more white space!



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1041 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Must be leftover effects from yesterday's total eclipse of the moon, but I agree 100% with @pageoneresults including what he said about @graywolf and @fantomaster's twitter accounts. I unfollowed both of them ages ago as well due to the horrible use of repetive autotweeting.




Avatar
from hcooan 1040 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I think it makes sense to automate certain tweets, like blog posts through an RSS. But for the most part, I don't automate tweets. I'll schedule them, but I feel the content needs to be real and relevant.

I tend to unfollow accounts that autotweet, even paper.li auto tweets are starting to annoy me. Not to mention you never know what might end up in those papers!



Avatar Moderator
from graywolf 1037 Days ago #
Votes: 0

the @graywolf bot is actually much better about not repeating tweets, is it perfect nope but it's always improving. If you don't think there's value in repeating tweets you need to take a big step back realize the rest of the world isn't on twitter all day just you are, and repeating your tweets is an effective strategy that works 


The archive tweets are interesting and what most people especially the "old timers" get annoyed about, hey if you want to unfollow me because of them feel free, and I won't take it personally as I'm sitting poolside, while you are sitting in front of twitter all day ... just kidding ;-)




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