Why schedule and automatically tweet old blog content?
If you want to continue to grow a steady Twitter following, encourage more replies and RTs, and increase traffic to your blog, then posting regular tweets containing links through to your best content is a must. However, carrying out this work manually can be a laborious task.
In this post, I'll show you one method of automatically posting a continuous stream of scheduled tweets containing links to your blog's best evergreen content; a method that ensures that your Twitter followers are given ample opportunity to check out the valuable content that you produce, and are reminded of it often.
The whole process takes just a few minutes to do per day (or every few days, depending on how much you want to tweet), and won't cost you a penny. Let's get started!
1. Sign up to Buffer
The tool I use to schedule and post tweets to Twitter is Buffer. Head on over to https://bufferapp.com/ to sign up or sign in using your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn credentials.
Buffer has two main plans for its users. A free plan that allows you to schedule and publish up to 10 pieces of content per day (that's tweets in our case), or an "Awesome" plan for $10 per month that enables an unlimited amount of scheduling and an unlimited amount of posts per day. If you're like me, you'd rather save $10 per month in favour of sacrificing just a few minutes of your time every few days. So we'll take stick with the free option, thank you!
2. Choose your schedule
Once you're logged into Buffer and have added your Twitter account, click on the Schedule tab to choose when you want your queued tweets to be sent. You can choose to post tweets every day, or on individual days. In the example above, I have chosen to post one scheduled tweets at five points throughout the day. This ensures that I have a consistent (but not too spammy) feed of content being distributed, and that I catch as many followers as possible, who will be looking at Twitter at different times throughout the day.
With an allowance of 10 tweets to schedule at any one time, this means that I will have to refresh the queue once every two days. Depending on how often you choose to post, you will need to do the same, or more, or less. Now, let's look at how to do it:
3. Prep your tweets in a spreadsheet
With a schedule set, it is time to prepare the tweets containing links to your awesome content, ready to upload in bulk to Buffer. In the context of this whole process, this step is likely to be the most time consuming, particularly if you have a lot of old (but still valuable) blog content that you want to share.
- Open up a spreadsheet - I'm using Microsoft Excel, but the idea applies to any similar program. In Column A paste in the text that you want to include in your tweet, including the link to your content.
- Every time you publish a new evergreen blog post onto your site, add it to this document in the same format as above.
4. Randomise the order of tweets
Since Buffer will only allow us to schedule 10 posts at a time - whether that's 10 in a single day or spread out over a week - it is necessary to randomise your list of tweets every time you want to upload them to your queue, so that the same few tweets don't go out again and again. Over time, this will ensure even exposure to the tweets in your list. While the following instructions might look heavy, this process will only take you a few moments to do when you know how:
- In Column C of your spreadsheet, type =rand() to generate a random number.
- Highlight the cell containing the randomly generated number, hover your cursor over its bottom-right corner, click, then drag downwards to duplicate the creation of a random number against all of the rows (as pictured above).
- Highlight all rows in Column C and copy them. Paste Special as Values into Column B.
- Delete Column C's contents.
- Lastly, highlight all of the content in your spreadsheet and sort it by Column B.
Here's the finished result, a random list of awesome tweets! Before you finish, delete the contents of Column B (you don't want random numbers appearing in any of your scheduled tweets!) and then save the document as a .csv file.
Always remember to randomise your list of tweets every time you need to upload more to your Buffer queue.
5. Upload and queue your tweets
The last step in the process is to bulk upload the list of tweets you have created in your .csv file. For this, I use https://www.bulkbuffer.com/ (free at the time of writing). Click the "Let's get started" button, allow Buffer to authorise the app, and you're ready to go.
To upload your file, simply drag and drop it from wherever it is saved on your computer over the "Drop a text file on me to import updates" box.
When the tweets are in the queue, scroll down to the bottom of the page, click your Twitter account icon to confirm that is where you want the content to be sent to, then click the button below "Send to Buffer!"
You will be provided with real-time confirmation about the status of your tweets being queued to buffer. Green means the tweet is sent and scheduled, while red means it has not. Failure to schedule will occur if you already have any more than 10 tweets already scheduled to be post. In the case above, I have 9 posts already scheduled to go for the next two days, so only one is accepted.
And that's it! Just repeat this short process as often as is necessary (Buffer will even send you an e-mail when your tweet stash in running low). It shouldn't take more than a few minutes once you've done it a few times - and you'll maintain a constant flow of great tweets that old and new followers alike can enjoy. Don't forget to check on the progress of your Buffered tweets by clicking the Analytics tab from time to time, too!
Do you schedule your tweets? Will you be giving the above method a go? Let me know in the comments!