I have been blogging off and on for about nine or ten years and I seem to have accumulated quite a few posts in that time.
In the early days, I focused on human rights issues, military interventions and the games governments play. In recent times – with the Syrian crisis – I wondered how I might get some of my older but still very relevant posts out on my twitter timeline for my followers to read. More importantly, how to do this without flooding my timeline or creating more work for myself. More work is bad, mmmkay. I have 3 tools I want to share with you that made this problem go away and best of all are easy to use and free!
Tweetily – something to tweet old posts
So I searched the WordPress plugin world and found Tweetily by Flavio Martins (who you may know as the totally awesome customer experience guru). I don’t know whether Flavio actually wrote the plugin but it has his name on it. Anyway, I installed it and it worked great. With very little effort – less than 10 minutes – I was able to get all my old posts tweeted on a basic schedule – yay!
Basically you tell Tweetily which posts to exclude by category, the minimum age of posts to include and how often to tweet and away you go. It also has a nifty little feature that lets you prefix the tweets with some free flow text. This is the critical feature that makes this whole setup work.
Buffer – something to spread out your tweeting
But hang on – I also use the super-easy Buffer app to schedule my tweets, this could pose a problem. Buffer – for those not in the know – is a super-easy app that lets you schedule your tweets so that you don’t flood your timeline, but more importantly , you can optimise when you send tweets for maximum reach. Buffer also does Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and app.net.
I don’t really want another thing posting to Twitter – that might flood my timeline or need more management!
BufferDM – the bridge between Buffer and Tweetily
Then I remembered BufferDM – a happy little utility app I wrote to help me add to my buffer account by a twitter DM. Let me explain.
My ideas for tweets come to me in floods, before Buffer I just let that flood flow – not good! I pissed a few people off and they unfollowed me. That sort of tweet-diarrhea stinks.
Buffer made a huge difference for me, but it was still tedious to go to the website or even the mobile app. Typically I just use the Twitter for Mac client. So I wrote a little app that I could tweet a DM to and it would put it into my buffer on BufferApp. I didn’t need to use any other clients and the only decision I have to make was whether to prefix my tweet with a ‘d bufferdm’ or not – I could keep my flow without the flooding. Happy!!
Back to Tweetily. After a few days of using Tweetily I was a little dissatisfied with the timing conflicts of old blog posts and my other tweets from Buffer, but by getting Tweetily to tweet my post as a DM to BufferDM which then puts it nicely into my Buffer queue.
I did this simply by setting my prefix text to ‘d bufferdm’ in the Tweetily config.
Now Tweetily handles the figuring out of which old posts to tweet and Buffer does what it does best and sends them out in a very optimised way. BufferDM is the pipe that makes it all sing.
I am also noticing a generally increasing readership and a lot more conversations (that I love) on Twitter. When I have the data to prove this, I’ll share.
So if you have some old posts you want to tweet without killing your timeline, try this setup and let me know how it goes.