I love Twitter. Lots. I love reading it and I love finding interesting articles to share with my followers. But it can be really hard to find the time to manage this sensibly. It can be really tempting to blast out 6 tweets in a row when you have a spare 10 minutes, but this is likely to just annoy your followers.
Luckily, there are a wide range of free Twitter tools entirely devoted to making this easier. My favourites are Feedly, Buffer and Followerwonk. Individually, they’re useful. Together, they’re amazing.
Find great content with Feedly
Feedly is a content aggregator (or RSS news reader) – one of the many that sprung up after the death of Google Reader, but this one is particularly nicely designed. It’s really easy to find interesting content and set up lists to categorise this content. When you log in (which can easily done through a Gmail account), all the recent news stories for feeds you are following will be shown to you. To start getting content in your feed, click the ‘Add content’ button on the left and type in a keyword. If you find a feed you like the sound of, click the plus button next to it. You can add it to an existing list or create a new list. There are lots of social sharing buttons along the top to allow you to share to your social network(s) of choice.
Space out your content with Buffer
Now you’re finding all this great content from Feedly, you’re going to want to share it. But your followers probably aren’t going to appreciate 6 tweets in a row. This is where Buffer can be brilliant. You can sign in with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The first time you sign in, you are going to be greeted with a blank screen. This is where all your scheduled content is going to go. Buffer will show you what is going out and when, and also let you edit and change this from this screen:
In reality, while you can share messages straight from the web app, this is unlikely to be the main place you share from. The best thing about Buffer is that it is integrated into all sorts of other apps. Including Feedly. So when you find all this great content, you can share it all at once using the Buffer share button at the top of the article, and it will schedule it to go out sensibly for you. Just remember you can only schedule 10 messages at once on the free app (although if you’re a true addict, you can spend $8.50 per month on unlimited posting).
There are lots of clever things about Buffer. If you install the Chrome app, the Buffer button will appear next to your URL, so you can easily add any articles you find. The Buffer button will also appear on Twitter, so you can Buffer retweets. You can find a full list of clever applications here.
Maximise your impact with Followerwonk
So you’re finding great content and scheduling it sensibly. But we can get even cleverer. Buffer can also integrate with Followerwonk. Followerwonk is a fantastic tool that (among other things) tells you lots of data about your followers. Including when they’re online. It can then share this information with Buffer so tweets are automatically scheduled for when your followers are likely to be active:
To access this data, go to ‘Analyze followers’ tab. Enter your Twitter username in the box and select ‘analyze their followers’. Click ‘Do it’ and scroll down until you see the screen above.
It literally takes about three clicks to get this all connected together and working sensibly. And then you have the holy trinity working for you.
One of my favourite things about all of these tools is that they are so incredibly user friendly that nobody should have any trouble replicating this. But give me a shout if you do have any questions. And happy sharing!