SocialTwitter Automation vs. Personalization

Twitter Automation vs. Personalization

Where do you find the time to be efficient and take care of branded tweets and followers, assuming tweeting isn’t your full-time job? Top influencers share their philosophies, tips, and tools for keeping the Twitter stream flowing without drowning.

twitter-scienceBeing authentic, honest and influential on Twitter is a key to Twitter success for brands big, small, and personal.

The question is: where do you find the time to be efficient and take care of branded tweets and followers all in a day’s work, assuming tweeting is not your full-time job?

One thing is evident about this balancing act: walking the fine line of automation and personalization takes talent, skill and a mixology of tools to get the right results.

(Just starting out on Twitter? You might want to take a step back and read “How To Optimize Twitter: Be Real, Profiles, RT, Hashtags & More“.)

The Mad Science of Twitter Timing

“The best use of Twitter is as a broadcast medium. You should be creating a ton of interesting content and sharing it with your followers,” according to Dan Zarella, the Social Media Scientist.

Wait… Isn’t Twitter all about the conversation? Are we having a conversation or are we broadcasting? As Zarella found in his research and sources in this story report, the opinions differ and seem pretty evenly split between broadcasting and conversation.

The Battle of Personalization vs. Automation

There are pros and cons to both and Twitter influencers have varying opinions.

How can you be authentic and also automate some of your messaging? Let’s fly into the tweet minds of top influencers to get their philosophies, tips, and tools on how they keep the stream flowing without drowning in Twitter riptides.

twitter-yin-yang“I don’t use automated services. In fact I’m bothered by non-human interaction. Social media should be about real interactions; not automated ones,” said Social Media Strategist Michelle Marie who was selected by Google as one of the “Most Entertaining and Interesting” personalities on Google+ and scores a 78 Klout score.

Is there a yin and a yang when it comes to automation and personalization? For some there is not a choice, but responsibility matters.

“Avoiding automation tools is often a mistake people make on Twitter. This one always gets a few folks feathers ruffled, but the fact is, most people don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish as much as they would like social media wise,” said Jason Yormark, SES speaker and Senior VP of Marketing & Social Media @ Strategies 360. “I’m no different. I have a full-time gig, and in order to grow my reach, and provide regular authoritative content, I do use a few tools to automate some tasks. As long as you use them responsibly, and as they are intended, they can be very helpful in reaching your goals.”

Have Tribe, Will Tweet. Automating Like a Social Pro

The concept of Triberr is pretty simple: a group of trusted bloggers sharing each others content. It’s so simple and makes so much sense you almost wish you thought of it and hope it stays {sort of} underground like the “old Facebook”.

The platform has multiplied in popularity over the past year. Yormark likes it so much he calls it his favorite Twitter tool.

“I use Triberr fairly religiously to share other bloggers content which in turn gets mine shared,” Yormark said. “Triberr is by far my favorite. I’ve grown my reach into the millions, and I easily average over 500 daily visits just from the traffic that Triberr sends my way. It’s a no brainer for anyone who is serious about blogging.”

Auto ‘Magic’ App Reduces Pain from Chronic Tweeting

Buffer is the new app on the block that takes the chronic pain out of scheduling tweets and posts. Buffer easily helps you add the great articles, pictures, and videos you choose to your Buffer and then automagically shares them for you through the day!

“Don’t think about Buffer as automating social posts and underestimating its value. It allows you to still post what you want when you and your customers want it. No more worrying about flooding streams or remembering to post something at a later time,” said Sarah Evans, named Forbes’ 14 Power Women to Follow on Twitter and founder of #journchat.

Rapture and Rapport on Twitter

Finding rapport with someone via Twitter isn’t always easy, unless you have Rapportive.

“Rapportive is a ‘must have’ plugin to use with Gmail for its social sharing insights,” said Bryan Eisenberg (@thegrok) who is a regular SES speaker and co-author of the bestselling books “Call to Action“, “Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?” and “Always Be Testing“.

Rapportive offers an unbelievable gold mine of ‘stalker-like’ social insights. It shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox. You can grow your network by connecting on not just Twitter but also LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and even Klout. Rapportive was acquired last month by LinkedIn.

Twitter Tips From the Experts


Marie (@imizze) shared these three tips:

  • I love the audio pop up notifications in TweetDeck, they’re useful so I can respond to mentions in a timely manner.
  • If someone retweets my post, I like to thank them right away.
  • I try to keep things simple so I only use two tools: TweetDeck and ManageFilter.


Yormark (@jasonyormark) offered a couple tips:

  • I use Hootsuite for all my CRM needs and occasionally use Tweet Adder to identify like minded users to connect with in a more automated way.
  • It’s OK to pepper in some automated tweets that connect folks to resources or content you trust, but make sure you are providing a real voice on a regular basis.

Twitter Tool Box: More Automation, Less Personalization

When in doubt, do some social dipping. As Marie notes, “sometimes social dipping is all one can do if you plan on being social in multiple places.”

What are some tools that can help with automation?

  • Twitterfeed: Set up trusted and automated feeds.
  • Wisestamp: Dymamically add your latest tweets into your email signature.
  • if this then that: Set up and make your own secret sauce of “if this happens, then that happens” in tasks and outcomes. Examples include:
    1. Greet every new Twitter follower*
    2. Thank people who give you a #FF (followfriday) nod*
    3. Post all photos shared via Twitter to Flickr
    4. Receive an SMS when someone DMs you
    5. Thank people for a RT*

Where do you stand on Twitter automation vs. personalization? Do you have any suggested tools? Tell us in the comments.


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