28 August 2012

5 Ways To Automate Twitter

There are a number of tools to automate your Twitter and Facebook accounts.  They all have varying degrees of automation and fuctionality.  Depending on what you are trying to achieve, one of these many suit you better than the other.  Some of you may choose to experiment with them all.  While an automated Twitter feed gives a core of tweets, your social media accounts will need human input or you will loose followers and friends.  Here's my list:

TweetDeck - From TweetDeck you can post directly to Facebook and tweet directly to Twitter.  It also handles LinkedIn and FourSquare.  It is free to use.  You cannot schedule (set the time at which you want posts to be sent).  Its best feature is that TweetDeck has multiple columns so that you can search for multiple keywords or hashtags in real time.  This makes it an ideal listening tool.  Realistically its level of automation is poor but it lets you put all your apples in one barrel.

TweetAdder 3.0 - This application has to be purchased for a once off fee.  The price varies depending on the number of profiles you want to list. It starts at $55 for one profile and ranges to $188 for unlimited profiles.  It manages Twitter accounts only but it can manage a number of them.  Where TweetDeck is under-automated I feel TweetAdder is uber-automated.  It does not allow for any additional human input.  It allows you to generate a list of followers based on keywords, keywords in the tweebs' bios, hashtag keywords and location.  TweetAdder can be set to automatically follow this list, unfollow and follow back.  You can feed tweets from a bucket list or from an RSS feed.  You can also re-tweet based on keywords.  Automated "thank you" messages can also be set up.  While TweetAdder has all the bells and whistle, it reminds me of a visit I had aboard a submarine where crew were employed to oversee technology that automated everything.  The point is thats overkill.  But you might like overkill.

SocialOomph - By contrast again SocialOomph has a very dated interface compared to TweetAdder.  The professional version  costs roughly $36 per month.  You can post and schedule posts to Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn and our blog.  It also handles Status New, Plurk and Onlywire, if of interest.  It generates suggestions of people to follow on Tweeter.  This list of possible followers needs to be vetted before acceptance.  I didnt find any means to balance followers and following ie you can unfollow from SocialOomph.  It does handle automated direct messages to thank followers for following.

Hootsuite - This has a very user friendly interface where you can add many social media accounts and any number of them.  Your Twitter account will automatically be broken up into columns of home feed, mentions, direct messages and sent tweets.  Hootesuit creates live streams of individual subject matter which you can keep separate.  You can post to all profiles at once.  Posts can also be scheduled.  One nice feature is the use of a social bar where your posts can be sent directly to the likes of Digg and Reddit.  The possibilities are endless here.  If you are a social media manager then this one is for you. 

Tweepi -  Lists your Twitter followers in such a way that you can see how many they are following, when they last tweeted and where or not they are following you.  This allows you to flushout those that aren't following you and follow those that are following you.  Tweeti also allows you to follow a specific user's followers in order to grow your followers.  On the upgraded version you can force users to unfollow you.  All in all a power Twitter only tool.

Please let me know your views on social media automation and what you find to be most effective?