Reading Time: 4 minutes (ish)
Continuing my mix of gamification and social media articles (as I need a break from writing about gamification for a week!), I thought I would write down the tools and methods I use to manage Twitter and share articles. Not the most interesting bit of writing I will ever do, but I have been asked by a few how I do it – so here goes!
I use quite a few (free) online tools to manage my Twitter stream . That includes managing day to day conversations, followers, sharing and timing.
My most common tool however, is Tweetbot on my iPhone. I have this set to alert me whenever I get a new mention, follower, retweet or anything else. That way I am able to respond to people as soon as it is convenient to me. If you take nothing else away from this, that is the most important thing to do. Respond to people. Twitter is all about (for me at least), interesting conversations!
Hootsuite.com – Daily
This is my day to day tool on the PC. I use it to follow mentions of blog posts, by saving the title as a search tab. This picks up way more than simple mentions of my name or the URL. Also good for scheduling thank you messages to people who talk about my posts. It is always nice to say thanks. I also use it to search for other people talking about interesting topics.
Commun.it – Weekly
This is a tool for managing your followers and whom you are following. You can use it to see hints on who you should be following, who is engaged, who to bin off.
Socialmention.com – Whenever – mostly when looking for ideas
Great for checking sentiment but also Keywords, people who are talking on topics. Searches blogs and all sorts as well as microblogging.
Just started using these. They both allow you to monitor social streams in real time, picking out trends and interesting people to talk too. Peoplebrowsr is related to Kred.
Whilst I am not advocating chasing the numbers these produce, they do give you a good idea of whether or not you are beginning to reach people. I personally prefer Kred as I find the score is more stable. Also, their new story view is great! I know Klout have just made some big changes, but I still find that if I don’t tweet for a day, my score drops!
Finding and sharing things I find interesting.
I share many links each day. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that I think the people following me will find them interesting. If they are following me, it is likely that they are in to similar things. I tend to read them on my phone in the morning or when I have a little spare time, then I use a system I have set up to share them throughout the day with one click. I will explain that in a moment. First, here are the tools that I use.
Google Reader – daily
This is my main RSS reader. I have about 20 feeds set up from topics and sites that I find interesting (as well as a few based on specific searches from Google News). I use Google Reader mostly to feed iPhone news apps and to manage my feeds.
These are all on my iphone. They take feeds that I have in Google Reader as well as other sources and show me articles that may be interesting, broken down into categories. When I find one that I like and have read I use the app to share the link in either Instapaper (to schedule for later posting) or Pocket (used to be read it later, this shares almost instantly to Twitter).
Trendspottr.com (Plugin for Hootsuite) – Daily
I use this great free plugin to check for recent and interesting articles that are being shared over Twitter. You can set up a search and just check each day what is new. You tend to get very good articles that way.
Bufferapp.com – daily
This is a great tool to schedule tweets. The idea is that you feed it a tweet, either manually or from another application, and it will send the tweet out on a schedule. This is really important if you don’t want to bombard your followers with a mornings worth of reading in one hit!
Tweriod.com – Monthly
This tool analyses your Twitter usage and can create a suggested schedule for Buffer. This will allow you to reach the most people possible by posting at the optimum times.
Tying it all together
To make the sharing as simple as possible, I have set up a little process that helps me share with one click. The key to all of it is If This Then That (ifttt) – a fabulous tool that lets you automate almost any web based sharing task!
It starts with me sending a link I like to either Pocket or Instapaper. If I share it to Pocket, it will be posted to Twitter straight away. If I send it to Instapaper, it gets put into Buffer. Feeds from Pocket and Instapaper are combined using Yahoo Pipes and then saved to Delicious. It is also posted daily to my link blog. These both just help me to find links later, should I need them! Using plug-ins with Chrome and the tools I have mentioned for my phone, this means I can share articles any way I want with just one click.
The following diagram tried to illustrate the whole process!
It doesn’t have to take much time and it can be great fun
I read a few articles in the morning and can share them throughout the day without ever touching Twitter! Here is how I split my “Social time” I maybe spend 3 or 4 hours combined throughout my waking day on social media.
- 30% of my time tweeting things I find interesting,
- 40% talking to / at people,
- 15% thanking people
- 15% finding new people
I wrote about Influence recently, but actually, I think the seven “rules” I came up with may be relevant here as well.
- Stop trying to be influential.
- Produce content that is original and interests you.
- Share things you find interesting.
- Talk to people who share your interests.
- Be authentic.
- Don’t just broadcast.
- For god’s sake don’t stalk people you think will make you seem more influential.
This has all helped me create and join some fabulous conversations on Twitter as well as meet some incredible people. I hope it can do the same for you!