If there’s one thing which puts companies off using Twitter, it’s the perceived need to be present absolutely all the time. Should businesses be employing people to staff their tweetstreams twenty four hours a day, seven days a week? Even with the incredible popularity of Twitter, and the expectation that any company worth their salt will be present there, this doesn’t seem like the best use of staff power, or resources.
So what can you do to appear present on Twitter at all hours? There are quite a few Twitter scheduling apps currently in creation, and we’re going to talk about these today.
Buffer is a scheduling tool which automatically tweets the content you give it at a time calculated to have the best probability for a retweet or click-through. This is definitely a tool to use when tweeting information you want the most possible users to see; such as links back to your new product, or competition information. You can also see the analytics of each tweet: how many people potentially viewed it, and how many people clicked through. The free version allows you to add one Twitter account and have ten tweets scheduled at one time, then there are two paid options with appropriate increases in the amount of social accounts you can add, and technical support which you receive.
Timely is very similar to Buffer, with one advantage – the free option is unlimited. Unlimited accounts and unlimited tweets. Again, the times for the tweets are pre-chosen for the highest probability of a click-through or retweet, and you can view the analytics for each tweet. There isn’t an option to change the times of the tweets, and the schedule sets for three tweets a day; early morning, lunchtime, and late evening. Both Timely and Buffer do offer a ‘post now’ option, as well as a browser plug-in, so if you find an article which you just can’t wait to post then you can click on the browser button and create your tweet, and either post it straight away or load it into your queue.
Twuffer is still in Beta at the moment, which makes it slightly unreliable, but it does have a huge advantage over Buffer or Timely, and that is the ability to choose the times of your tweets yourself. You can literally schedule a tweet for every five minutes of the day. One thing to be aware of is that it doesn’t always allow you to post the exact same tweet, so even if it appears to be scheduled, it may not tweet. As it is in Beta, there are occasionally problems with the site not tweeting any of your scheduled tweets all day, and then suddenly posting them all in one go, but this is rare. The tool is completely free, with no limit to the amount of tweets which you can schedule. While you can’t add accounts as you can with Timely, you can sign in and out with different accounts.
This tool looks more complicated than the others, but its functionality is much the same. You can use it to simply schedule unlimited tweets over five accounts, or you can take advantage of its advanced features to create reports and join organisations. If you’re monitoring a particular campaign, then the analytical reports which it provides are more in-depth than Buffer or Timely’s, so if you’re looking for a great all-rounder, then this would be it.
Taking just a few minutes each morning to schedule important tweets for the rest of the day will have a huge impact on the social media branding of any company or business. Using Timely and Buffer, you can discover the most effective times to tweet. Using Twuffer or Hootsuite you can schedule more tweets around these times to really boost your on-line visibilty.
At RoryMartin.com we stay on top of the latest developments in social media branding in order to bring you the highest quality advice in promoting your brand online. We didn’t discuss the importance of engagement in this post and while we’d love to auto-tweet and never have to look back, the truth is Twitter is about CONVERSATION. You have to take time to check your Mentions and Interactions and directly engage with customers and prospects.