This week I met with Jeff Hayes of The Vector Group, who is working with me to create a plan to measure and reduce my carbon footprint. As usual we talked about blogging and Twitter. Jeff mentioned that it would be great to highlight text in blog entries and have it auto feed his Twitter account. Out of curiosity today I searched for any such tool. I didn’t find exactly what Jeff was looking for, but I did find a few tools that can help any marketing department or individual who has a strategic plan for getting their message out through social networking tools and wants to automate some of the process.
Below I list 3 Twitter tools that let you schedule Tweets ahead of time. I hope the list is helpful to you, but for me it also raised the question: do Twitter tools help the spammers or those who are trying to “game” social networking?
Twaitter lets you schedule your tweets ahead of time. It also has an option to set up recurring Tweets with an end date, much like setting up a recurring event in Microsoft Outlook.
FutureTweets has similar features. On their site a suggested use is to schedule in Tweets for friends’ birthdays and other recurring events.
TweetLater appears to have more features, including the ability to autofollow those who follow you, automatically send a welcome to new followers (please do not use this to send a spam sales message – rather send a link to a helpful article about Twitter), get Tweet alerts based on keywords, and manage multiple accounts.
I’m a believer of leveraging technology to achieve successful marketing results. I also believe in strategic marketing. Any time you can set up a system that is transparent to your audience and supports your strategy, do it! I think a tool that schedules Tweets could be especially helpful for a product or event launch, where you want a certain volume of messages going out to your followers but you don’t want to leave the frequency to chance.
Major news organizations have recurring Tweets, because they know that different followers are watching their Twitter feed at different times. Setting up your most popular Tweets to recur occasionally might be a good idea, but that might be gaming the system. If you have to retweet yourself, maybe you need new material!
What do you think? Is using automation tools for Twitter gaming the social networking system? Should we stay purely organic and real-time when Tweeting? Or, can organizations use Tweet schedulers to achieve marketing objectives? Please answer any of these questions or add your comments in the comment link below.