Scheduling Posts On Twitter Via Tweetdeck; My Process

In the beginning of March I wrote a post titled Promoting Yourself In Social Media; My Personal Study. In that post I talked about how I was doing a lot of things to try to get myself noticed more. That’s because I knew I needed more traffic, and I wanted more people to recognize me as someone who might know something about blogging, social media, etc.

Follow us on Twitter - Open Atrium
Creative Commons License Todd Barnard via Compfight

In that post I mentioned how things had been progressing for me, and a lot of it had to do with Twitter. At that time I mentioned that my traffic had gone up 15%. Right now I can tell you that, in a comparison of the period I compared to after my initial test that my traffic has gone up 100%; that means it’s doubled. Twitter is now my 4th largest referrer overall but my #1 referrer from social media; that’s pretty cool right?

Now, to be fair, that same progress hasn’t happened with my business blog, where traffic has actually come down, even though I’ve had lots of people adding me to lists on Twitter. However, for my business website, traffic had gone up 200%, or 3 times the level it had been before. A lot of that might have been due to the marketing I’ve been doing for my latest book Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy, which has the package available only 2 more days; after that I’m only selling the book on its own (gotta get that last plug in lol). Twitter is my #2 referrer; there you go!

Anyway, in that previous post I talked about scheduling posts but didn’t say how I was doing it or where I was getting my stuff from. I decided to talk about the process I go through and why I do it this way.

Obviously, I’ve already mentioned Tweetdeck in the title. There are lots of clients out there that people use to connect with Twitter. I was originally using Tweetdeck before Twitter bought it & changed it up. I fought using it for a while but realized that, overall, it still fit my needs best. More about that later.

The next thing I did for both this blog and my business blog was start with 15 to 20 posts that I thought highlighted myself best on the topics I initially wanted to be known for. For this blog it was blogging and social media; for my business blog it was leadership. I went through all of 2014 for these posts, but for my business blog I had to dip back into 2013 to find enough posts to get started, since, while I was on the road, sometimes I only wrote one post every couple of weeks on there.

The easiest way to capture the information you need after you select your articles to share is to use the social share buttons on your post (you’re using them right?) for Twitter and copy it into something like Notepad.

You’re doing this for two reasons. The first is that it’ll give you the title and the link, though you might have to remove your “via ‘yourname'” if you have it on there so you’re not tweeting yourself. The second is because you’re going to want to add hashtags to it. Add the hashtags before you move to the next step; a hint is to add the tag, and then add a space after it. I’ll tell you why in a minute.

Hashtags are a big deal when you’re trying to show yourself as an authority on a certain thing. It seems that not only do a lot of people specifically look for certain hashtags, but many of them have lists they’ve created so they can follow their favorite people on those topics. For this blog, most of the hashtags are either #blogging or #socialmedia (remember, never add spaces on a hashtag). For my business blog most of the hashtags are #leadership or #motivation.

You’re doing all of this up front so you don’t have to type it all out again, and it’ll be the beginning of your database. Yes, I said the beginning, as you’re just starting.

Bird 2
Eva the Weaver via Compfight

Next, I go into Tweetdeck. Before I go that far I want to mention that I notice a lot of people using a plugin called Tweet Old Post. In my opinion, either people are using it wrong or they don’t have the ability to set up the posts they want the way they want. Using my way, you have a lot more control over everything. Also, it’s possible you can do what I’m doing on other platforms; this is just the one I use.

What you do is go into Tweetdeck and act like I’m about to write an original tweet. Then I go to my file, highlight one post, copy it and paste it into the message window. The reason I put a space after the hashtag is because if it’s a common hashtag it’ll come up as being highlighted in the message window and you’ll have to go the extra step of having to push the spacebar. It might not seem like much but if you’re going to be doing it often, like me, eliminating a keystroke makes sense.

After pasting that in there you’ll want to go to “Schedule Tweet”. The reason we’re doing it this way is because you’re going to postdate all your sweets; in essence, you’re creating a schedule so that posts are going out all day, or multiple days, when you may or may not be around. You get to pick the date and the time, and it must be in the future. Once you’ve picked the date, if you’re going to do multiple posts for that date you don’t have to select it again until you’re going into a new day.

Here’s something I don’t do all that often with the posts but you can do it if you prefer. As long as what you put into the message window leaves you at least 22 characters, you can add an image, which is just above the Schedule Tweet bar. The reason I don’t do it with most posts is because the first image I’m using in the post is a Flickr Creative Commons image, and I don’t feel comfortable using someone else’s image. If the first image is something I own, then I may use it.

I space my articles out over a hour, and I base it on Eastern time. Every day I start at a slightly different time, anywhere between 9:30 and 9:55, in 5-minute increments. I usually go until between 11 PM and 11:25 at night. Every once in a while I’ll post something later in the evening/early morning, since I tend to stay up late.

My purpose for doing it this way is twofold. One, I get to select what I consider is the best of my articles. Two, Twitter is one of those places where you need to promote yourself more than once and often enough without being too much. It’s estimated that for the majority of people who are actually using Twitter a lot, a tweet might have impact for maybe 20 minutes… after that, it’s like it never existed with your audience.

This is how I started, but I haven’t stopped there. At this juncture my blog posts file is 15 pages, and I’ve moved it to Word. I’ve done that because I can highlight what post I want to start with the next day, or whenever I start the process again. You can’t do that in Notepad. Also, I can segregate the post between blogs easier in Word. I started with only the two blogs but I’ve added posts from some of my other blogs.

I also go back at least 4 years, but not further. Once again, I’ve done this for two reasons. The first is that some people don’t like reading old posts, even if the content is evergreen, so going back only 4 years pushes the boundary without overdoing it. The second is that I shut off comments at 4 years to help protect against spam, since a lot of it goes after older posts.

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One final thing with the blog posts. You’ll want to mix your latest posts in with the marketing of all your other posts. The reason I start between 9:30 and 9:55 is that I set up my newest posts to go out between that time. I usually have new posts on Mondays and Thursdays for this blog and Tuesdays and Fridays for my business blog.

I want those to be my first posts of the day from my blogs. I will also schedule those posts again later in the day but with a hashtag, since Twitter won’t allow you to post the same exact thing in the same exact way more than once every 24 hours.

What this does for me is make it seem like I’m always around, which in a weird way I am. If I get comments on the links or someone retweets it, I get alerts on my smartphone and can check in if need be. I think that’s a big part of what’s helping, acknowledging people who share.

Earlier, I mentioned advertising my new book. What I did with that was create multiple marketing messages to share in a file, along with the link. I have 11 links, although they will be changing on Wednesday once I’ve finished marketing the package deal and it’s only the book. What I did initially was pop a link in every 2 hours in the half hour between the blog posts. In the other half hour I post motivational messages that I obtained from my business blog. Now I post the links in 4 hour increments, although for Tuesday I’ll probably post the links hourly since it’ll be the last time I use them in the format they’re in now. Those posts have been shared a lot, and since it’s always the same link I’m sure that’s helped my site gain a bit more traction.

There you go; that’s my process. Like I said, I’m not sure why Twitter isn’t driving as much traffic to my business blog as it is to my website, but I’ll figure it out one of these days. If you have any questions on all of this, or just want to share your opinion, go ahead and leave a comment. And above all, share! 🙂
 

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Social Media Can’t Be Your Only Marketing

Often I talk about the need for businesses to get into social media so that they don’t get passed by because their competitors have gotten into the business. Whereas that’s true, what can’t be missed is that there must be a real world component to social media marketing.

The Other Cola (Peru)
Creative Commons License Geraint Rowland via Compfight

For instance, say you make contact with someone because of your blog. Most probably they’re going to reach you by email or phone if you’ve remembered to add a contact page to your blog, or at least have a link to your business website, which should have contact information on it. This means that you’re following up with people in a more personal manner, whether it’s email or phone or, if you’re lucky, meeting someone in person.

I point this out because if your website or blog is so good that it actually does attract business, what you can’t take a chance on is that people are letdown by what they see once they’ve reached out to you. I don’t hide from anyone that I’m a one man operation, but some companies represent themselves as large corporations and suddenly find that they don’t have either the skills or resources to handle certain types of work that might come their way.

Another thing I’ve recommended businesses should do is follow both their business name and their industry on Twitter using hashtags. Many businesses have done this and have used the customer service potential to their benefit. However, what I’ve also seen is some companies using the opportunity to go on the attack rather than help their customers out, or reach out to a customer, answer the first query, then not follow up with any visible action.

Social media isn’t a game where business is concerned. Irk just one person, the wrong person, and you can believe that thousands will know about it soon enough. And when that happens, it’ll be hard for any business to follow up with all those other people to apologize, if it’s warranted, because they won’t know who they all are.

You can’t avoid social media because whether you like it or not, you’ll be pulled into it if you don’t act. It’s better if you make the decision to do it on your own. But be proactive across the board. Get it as right as you can. Your business will prosper and you’ll thank me later. 😉
 

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Keeping Up With Blogging & Social Media Marketing

On Thursday I talked about the concept of social media marketing and why I think it’s a more important way to handle your business online rather than blatantly spamming all over the place. Today I’m talking about the difficulties in keeping up with it all, especially if you’re also trying to keep up with blogging as well.

with-ducklings

Do you believe that doing something so many times can help it become a habit? I have mixed emotions on that one. There are things I’ve done that have stuck, while other things I’ve done for a long time were good for that moment, but some months later, maybe even a year, it’s like I never did it to begin with.

Bad habits are an entirely different thing. Maybe it’s dessert you just can’t stay away from or something you enjoy drinking. Maybe it’s coming home, sitting on the couch in front of the TV and not moving again except to eat or go to the bathroom until it’s time to go to bed.

You know what that is? Comfort, plain and simple. Sometimes we get complacent and don’t do the things we need to be doing. Sometimes it’s because we have other things going on in our lives, while other times we get ourselves involved in something else that we like more and never give it a second thought.

Let’s equate that to blogging and social media marketing. It’s easy to do nothing at all; trust me on this one. However, if you’re in business, doing this means you’re not doing all you can to market your business. When you consider that it’s the easiest way to promote yourself as well as the most cost efficient long term, it makes no sense to not even try to give it some time and consideration.

Both of these things takes some kind of dedication, even if you can’t give it a lot of attention all the time. For instance, I was on the road for 18 months, traveling between the northeast and the south on a somewhat regular basis, and found it difficult to keep up with all my obligations continuously. That’s why I shut down a business and a blog. This blog has suffered some, as some of my traffic’s been declining in the past year, and thus so has this part of my business. Yet another part of my business is going strong right now, thus the priorities have changed somewhat.

Still, I haven’t abandoned the blog and I don’t see it happening. This post and a few others I’ve written while I’m traveling proves that, as I worked hard at sticking to a 2-post a week schedule; my commenting lagged though. Sharing older posts on Twitter and participating in other social media circles helps to keep my name prominent in some fashion, and I’m working harder on that these days. It all helps, even if I have less time to get to it all. Dedication is always essential, even if you have to budget it and share the limited time with other things.

Never forget to get your social media and blogging time in. Even if you only have 30 minutes a day, you can stay in the public eye and you might even get some benefit out of it. Would you be mad if that happened? No way! 🙂
 

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The Concept of Social Media Marketing

The concept of social media marketing is one that’s missed by a lot of people. Some people assume it means trying to sell products online by sending out a lot of spam email. Some people believe it’s related to those late night TV gurus who tell you that they’ll have you making millions of dollars within weeks if you learn their system.

Friendlies
Mo Riza via Compfight

There are a few differences between social media marketing and internet marketing, which is what a lot of people might be thinking of.

With a lot of internet marketing, there is little attempt to actually make a connection with someone. The idea is to push products, whether they’re products created by the marketer or not. Their push is to try to get big email lists of addresses and pound the masses to earn their 1 – 3% of sales and live off that. Some internet marketers do really well with that concept, while others fail because they were too late into the marketplace to truly be effective.

Social media marketing is much different. Its purpose is to establish a long term relationship with an audience in some fashion and hope to drive those people to them. If you have a traditional business location, social media marketing can help get people to come through the doors if done properly.

It can help you reach an audience who might have never heard of you. It can give you the opportunity to show some expertise in your field that people might relate to and thus help you build sales. At the same time, since it’s mainly done over the internet, and can be much more comprehensive, being known as an expert by more people works better.

How can it do a lot of these things? What kind of purpose can it serve? I’m going to say more, but first I’m going to share some links where I talk about social media marketing in some detail. Here are 5 links to articles on social media marketing in general terms that might help you understand what it’s all about.

Using Social Media To Grow Your Influence

What Is Influence?

Social Media And SEO

SMM – Audio And Visual Options

Social Media Marketing Won’t Work If…

Here’s what I see more of unfortunately. Though things might seem slightly better than they were in 2009 when studies showed that Twitter was mainly blather, spam, aka advertising, seems to have caught up, or possibly is just slightly under. It depends on what category you want to put advertising one’s own content, blog or otherwise in. Much of the automation that’s out there is to get the word out for an individual or specific company.

Just last week someone who’s known as a big time player on Google Plus actually posted the same link 6 or 7 times an hour between 6 and 9 in the morning (unfortunately I was up; ugh…). He did share a couple of things from others but in my timeline he was kind of irritating. To me, that’s spam to the nth degree.

On the other side, there are people who retweet others all day and never share anything they do; is that less irritating? In the last month I’ve dropped people I was following who only do that, or only post pictures or only post quotes. Is that engagement? Is that social media marketing?

I’m certainly not going to say I’m perfect at it but I think I’m pretty good. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve started sharing a lot more of my present and past posts from this blog and my business blog, as well as some quotes I’ve made in blog posts over the years from my business blog that I think might be motivational. I’m also sharing some of my video links. But I share as much content from others, moreso than my own stuff, and I add a comment to at least half of that, which sometimes leads into conversation.

To me, that’s what social media marketing should be about, adding in the concept of social media engagement. If you’re not giving yourself a chance to talk to your audience then why not just stick to email campaigns? Do you really think anyone is reading your posts on Twitter or Google Plus or Facebook if they know that you’re never reading any of their stuff, or that you’ll never respond to a comment they make back to you in those spaces?

Of course, this is my opinion. I ask you now, do you agree with any of what I’ve said, do you have your own thought on it? Let me know; I’d love to hear it.
 

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Blogging And Social Media Marketing

Last Monday I was interviewed by a lady named Meloney Hall of Big Uptick Social Marketing, a consulting company that helps businesses with their social media presence. I had a good time and the interview is below, though be warned that it’s almost an hour long. Hey, you can put up with me for an hour of stories and advice can’t you? 🙂

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Over the years I’ve always talked about blogging being a very crucial aspect of social media and marketing, and I’ve supported that view by pointing out the types of links that most people end up sharing on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Outside of images, blog posts are probably number two, or at least a very close third to news stories, and at least in my Twitter stream blog posts are easily the top link shared.

Why is this so? People tend to share what they like for the most part and the blogging community is like no other. We read each other’s posts, and even if we don’t leave a comment sometimes we just feel like sharing a post we’ve come across with those who we’re connected to. Most of the time when I do it I offer a brief bit of commentary, but really it’s more about the sharing and approval of another post that’s pretty cool.

By the way, let me just say here and now that anyone who says that their sharing a link isn’t an endorsement of what’s at the link who hasn’t actually read the post is being disingenuous to both the writers and those who see those links. Sharing must be an endorsement of one or the other; otherwise, your credibility is shot and, well, who’d want to trust anything you had to say?

Anyway, in the interview I offer my thoughts on sharing, my thoughts on why if you’re representing a business or your own skills and such that it’s important to monitor how and what you say because there are many tales of someone crashing and burning when they thought they were just out there having fun. Remember, if it’s out there and even slightly intriguing it’ll remain forever, so bad behavior, which is your right, can also be your downfall.

What’s your general thought on the topic of blogging and social media? Let me know, and please, if you decide to watch the video leave a comment there or at least give it a thumbs up. And, if that’s still too long for you, then think about taking a gander at my 100th YouTube video where I gave a perspective on making videos and hitting my first true milestone with video. Yeah, I’m like that. 😉

 


 

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