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Some Controversial Thoughts On Twitter Automation

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Let’s get this out in the open and discuss something slightly controversial – two things have happened to me this week that has made me put my thoughts down on my keyboard. It’s 2.30am, but I need to get this off my chest.

Twitter automationFor those that hate automation (and there appears to be plenty of you), I hope you read this – it may not change your mind, but then again, it might just a little.

At the risk of losing half of my followers who have these opinions, I will say that I have been known to automate. I’m sorry for this, but firmly believe I have a tad of justification in this. Now, whilst I can already hear the cries of  “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!” and “UNFOLLOW HIM NOW” please read on for just one more minute.

Twitter is awesome. Let’s all agree on that. In my opinion, it circulates information like no other technology that has done before it.

Now, if you’re building a network, you want to appeal to the masses, or if you want to “be social”, you need people to interact with, right? You can’t ask for an opinion on something if nobody is listening, agree? 

There are thousands of studies that tell us what the busiest days of the week are, and when the best time of the day is to tweet and share information. Well, perhaps you should try doing that from the other side of the world? For those of you without passports, Australia is the other side of the world, and for those of you who need some help here, it’s currently between 14-17 hours in front of the United States, and 8-9 hours in front of Europe.

Finding people to talk to and interact with when they are sound asleep in bed is a tad difficult if you ask me (and hence I’m writing this at 2.30am)

Where Are You Being Social From?

Twitter is awesome (oh, I’ve said that already). It’s often about breaking news and sharing it out into the virtual world as soon as it occurs. Being 17 hours in front doesn’t also mean that we can break the news first. What happens in reality is that we break it last! Our friends in the Unites States are often the news breakers, and this means that I get up in the morning and read the latest events hours after they’ve happened.

Well, whilst some of my network may want to read about this, some of them will actually think “I’ve read that 10 hours ago and it’s not new anymore” or “boring, where is the unfollow button”. Worse still, I’ll then share it when the rest of the world when they are tucked up in bed, and they will then read my “news” when they get up, some two days after it occurs.

I have news for you; this isn’t very social either, and you can’t have it both ways.

Dead Twitter Bird

When I have something to say to the masses, I can actually schedule it, so that it may actually be read for once. It may end up in someones inbox, and they may even share and retweet it, thus opening up more conversation. Isn’t that the point of social sharing?

If I say just one thing in a year, people will switch off – they’ll leave quicker than I can buy a Big Mac – so I need to keep them engaged, right?

Without sounding like a broken record, I can’t do that effectively on the other side of the world. If I tweet some useful information to the right people who are interested, at the right time of the day, who cares if I was in bed? Yes, I sometimes tweet crap, but using some magic dust, I can tweet stuff that many do find interesting. The facts are there, they thank me, they retweet me, they open conversation, they read my blog, and ignoring those people that think Klout is rubbish, I get called influential in Social Media!!

I’m sorry, but that’s social interaction, and I couldn’t do it without sharing the news when it needs to be read?

I could write for hours on this. I hope that I’ve kept my followers after writing, and if I haven’t, I’m sorry, but there are others that appreciate me. Moreover, I hope some of you share this to your friends and followers alike. It proves two things. Firstly, it’s 4.01 in the morning, and I had to stay up to share this and get a reaction (hence my point), and secondly, if it is shared and read by at least one other person, I’m being social, and the automation has paid off because there’s a good chance they wouldn’t have been following me in the first place.

If you live in New York or London, I’m happy for you, but if you do, have a little sympathy my people like me.

 

About Adrian Britton

Sometimes I will talk about things that are interesting, and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes it will be a bit of a laugh, and sometimes it will just be a downright rant about something going on in the world – I’m often accused at moaning a lot, and I consider myself quite good at it !!

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Discussion

4 Responses to “Some Controversial Thoughts On Twitter Automation”

  1. Good to hear I’m not the only one who realizes the benefits of automating twitter in Aus.

    I started my account originally as a bit of an experiment to test a few theories ( I have two accounts ). What I found was that my experiment account quickly grew and outnumbered my long standing account in just over 3-4 months due to being active at a later time.

    Posted by Steve Forbes | 17/06/2012, 3:19 am
    • The results are clear, and there for everybody to see Steve (I am also happy that someone appreciates the issue). Of course, it’s about engagement too, but without the audience, you have no-one to engage with 🙂

      Happy tweeting…

      Posted by Adrian | 17/06/2012, 4:21 am
  2. Surely you can only schedule to post stuff AFTER you have read or written it and therefore the time difference issue is only made worse by delaying the post? If automation means that you post the same thing 3 times, once per region you mention, then doesn’t that mean that only one-third of your posts are worth reading, at best 🙂 If you are automating the posting EU specific posts during the good EU times, AUS specific posts during good AUS times etc then you are a god.

    Posted by Gary Price | 17/06/2012, 7:05 am
    • Some great comments Gary. It’s common to tweet multiple times (without overdoing it) to ensure A) the people that missed it the first time get a chance to read it, and B) to overcome that exact time zone problem. The ‘automation’ goes further than that, and would also include growing the network to interact with in the first place. I agree that posting AU specific to an AU audience only would be awesome (and a million dollar idea), but most posts about social media are generic. Thanks again.

      Posted by Adrian | 17/06/2012, 7:17 am

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