I am a huge supporter of using certain Twitter automation tools applications to help users manage their Twitter accounts and give them more time to focus on other things, like actually interacting with their followers.
In particular, I had been using a combination of Twitterfeed and HootSuite RSS to update my account when new posts from my favorite blogs were available. It definitely worked – I saw little to no complaints, and actually received a lot of retweets of those posts plus appreciation from those bloggers.
But I have decided to turn them both off for awhile, at least on my main account @kikolani. Here’s why.
1. Even My Favorite Blogs Have a Few Posts I’d Rather Not Share
When I turned off Twitterfeed, about a week or two ago I think, I started relying on my RSS subscriptions in Google Reader to deliver the latest posts from my favorite blogs. The goal was initially to get me back in the swing of blog commenting, and when I was auto-tweeting posts from my favorite blogs, I was rarely commenting on them.
What I discovered while going through posts, one by one, was that not everything on my favorite blogs was that great. There are still blogs that I love every new post, but there were some major ones where the topics covered were up to snuff with what I like to share with my audience. With a few, the titles were great, but the content wasn’t as in-depth as I prefer to share. It’s not something I would notice if I was auto-tweeting their content, but it was something that became apparent when I was going to read the content thoroughly enough to comment.
2. Twitterfeed Can’t Give Credit to the Authors
Whenever you setup a feed in Twitterfeed, you can only give it static post prefix and/or post suffix which is where I would add the RT @username or via @username when giving credit to the blog owner and their Twitter handle. If the post is from a site with multiple authors like Social Media Examiner, then all the tweet credit was going to @smexaminer and not the actual author – I’d rather the tweet for the post include both the @username of the author and the blog owner.
The added bonus of doing this for me is that I am now taking the time to check out the post authors’ Twitter which sometimes leads me to their blog and a new subscription for my Google Reader.
3. I Now Have More Variety in My Tweet Stream
Going the manual route means that I’m now getting a little more variety in my stream. Granted there are a lot of blogs that I used to tweet before through Twitterfeed that I’m still tweeting manually, but there are a lot of new tweets as well.
The Cons of the Full Manual Approach
With any change of strategy, while there are great pros, there are also some cons. The main one, of course, comes in time and productivity. Because I have taken more time out of my day (specifically between 6 – 8am and 6 – 11pm) to find and comment on a lot of posts, then manually schedule them in for distribution throughout the day, I have been taking a little less time actually engaging with people in my lists like I used to.
Part of that is because I’m busy as sin at work and the other part is when I do take the occasional lunch break for some “casual surfing” it is dedicated to more commenting than it is socializing.
I’ll find a better balance for that in the coming weeks I’m sure. I think so far this week I’ve been much more interactive with my lists. Feel free to shoot me a mention @kikolani to chat though – it might remind me to get out and chat if I’ve been off the stream!
Has this change in strategy made an impact in my stats?
Aside from the occasional person who was curious if I am a bot last week because of my anal-retentive strategy of scheduling my tweets on the hour (because I don’t want to tweet 20 some articles in an hour), everything seems to be running smoothly.
What’s Your Twitter Strategy?
Now it’s your turn. What’s your Twitter strategy? All manual, semi-automated, or full on automation? What do you see as the pros and cons of your approach? Do you like my new one? Please share your comments below.
Ps. Follow me on Twitter. I’ll follow you back with no auto direct messages.