Freedom! Reclaim your Life from Twitter and Facebook 4


HootSuite...helping automate your Twitter and FacebookLet me introduce you to a wonderful friend of mine, HootSuite. Why is HootSuite so great? I just spent an hour and now have posts on Twitter for the next two weeks. Yes, I can go on vacation, right now, and have Twitter working for me the whole time. I drink margaritas, and my followers get content.

Do you want to do the same? It’s extremely easy. What’s more, you can also apply “some” of this to Facebook. Do you want to get away from all the social media crap so you can write great music? Or just have a day to yourself?

Let me outline some easy steps to get this done. But first, I would like to thank Internet Business Academy for educating me on awesome tricks like this. If you ever want to create your own internet business, I cannot recommend these guys enough. In fact, your band is, in part, an internet business…

Make Your Twitter Posts Recyclable

Twitter has a short memory. No one will remember your posts 2 to 3 months from now. Use this to your advantage!

Create three months worth of posts. This is much easier than it sounds, and it doesn’t need to be done all at once. In fact, you can do it a week at a time. And it’s fun!

Let’s start with the post. Make it something relevant to your band. Something generic and informational or entertaining to your followers.

Here’s an example:

When stagediving, make sure there’s someone to catch you. #shiparty

Simple, right? Here’s the basic format:

[interesting content][hashtag][link]

Interesting Content:

Something funny, informational, or controversial. If you know what your band is about, think of something that would interest your followers. This content should be timeless, not tied down to a particular show or current event. You want this to be reusable in the future.

Hashtag:

A hashtag is anything on Twitter that starts with the ‘#’ symbol. When you click on it, Twitter will show you all conversations with that hashtag. The reason you want this in your posts is to generate conversation around your posts. If you get your followers to contribute to that hashtag, you might be able to create something greater than yourself. Make it fun for your followers to join in on the conversation!

Link:

Here’s the optional part. I’ve been using this with quite a bit of success on this very blog. If your interesting content has anything to do with a blog post of yours, use http://bit.ly to create a shortened URL that points back to your site. Drive traffic back to your site! For instance, if your tweet is about beer and you have a blog post about beer that relates to it, give a link back to your blog post.

Create 60 to 90 posts

Sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Well, don’t worry, you don’t have to do it all at once. Here’s how I’m doing it. I create seven posts for the week. I have a google doc that I keep adding to, week after week, recording every tweet that I can reuse.

Here’s where HootSuite comes in. It allows you to schedule when your posts go out. I use it to schedule my posts to come out at different times during the day, throughout the week. Since different people log on to Twitter at different times, it’s a good idea to post at different times of the day.

Can you see why I love HootSuite? Seven days worth of posts completely automated.

But here’s the beauty of the whole thing. After you hit 60 or 90 posts, you can start reusing them! That’s right, you can start back from the beginning and repost those little suckers. Remember, Twitter’s memory is short. No one will remember that same post you launched two to three months ago.

And you can keep adding to the list. Whenever you get new content like a song, video, or blog post, create another tweet for the list.

Facebook is a different beast

So, why can’t you do the same with Facebook? Well, Facebook actually has a memory. People have interacted with your posts and will remember them if you do the exact same thing again. With Facebook’s commenting system, you will be called out immediately. You don’t want that.

But, you can create a large number of automated posts to go out ahead of time. Again, with HootSuite, you can schedule your posts to go out throughout the week…or month. You can still take that two week vacation, sipping Bacardi, and have HootSuite post to Facebook like you’re not leaving the computer!

Your strategy has to be different than Twitter, though. To accomplish automation, you have to realize something essential about Facebook; it’s core essential purpose to most users. Facebook is made to waste your time.

Waste People’s Time Effectively

When people visit Facebook, they want a distraction. They want something they can waste their time with. Give that to them.

Ask questions. Insult something in the news. Make an odd observation about your daily life. Say something slightly controversial that is sure to get comments going.
In short, your posts should incite comments. Every thing you post should get someone talking. This is the template you should use to create a large number of posts.

You don’t have to study Aristotle to come up with posts. People are extremely interested in donkeys getting lost on farms. Banality will win each time. An observation of the weather will win out over your deep political philosophy.

Your friends are already showing you how

Watch your own news feed on Facebook. Look closely at which posts are getting the most comments. Surely, one of your friends has posted something that’s getting a ton of comments. Otherwise, it wouldn’t show up on your news feed.

By default, your news feed only shows the most popular posts. These posts are the ones that are the most engaging by your friends. Look at the ones that you are wanting to comment on. How are they structured? Do they piss you off? Make you laugh? Are they asking for advice?

Tip: Pictures make all Facebook posts more noticeable.

How to automate Facebook posts

Automating Facebook posts takes more work. You can’t recycle them like Twitter. But, on a weekly basis, you can get ahead of the curve.

Create 10 posts a week, but only post one per day. That way, you’ll have 3 days of posts added on to your weekly postings. Each week, you’ll gain another 3 days. So, every month, you’ll gain 12 days. 12 days you could use doing something else than posting on Facebook.

Fortunately, you can also do all this on HootSuite. For free. Try it out! You will soon have a new best friend in this program.

This doesn’t get you completely off the hook

Though you can automate your posts, you cannot automate interaction with your followers. And you wouldn’t want to! When you automate your Facebook and Twitter, you will still need to stop in and reply to anyone who has commented, retweeted, or shared your posts. This is what builds relationships with your followers.

If you want to take that magical vacation, just let your followers know you won’t be able to communicate for a bit. Or, you can just stop in two or three times a week to quickly respond.

Also, one post a day on Twitter or Facebook is just not enough! Twitter requires quite a few posts a day. Facebook needs about 3 posts a day.

So, your automation is just not over yet. However, to fully fill your social media machine is the topic of another post.

Until then, happy automating!


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4 thoughts on “Freedom! Reclaim your Life from Twitter and Facebook

  • Scott Colesby

    I’ve been doing this for about a week now. It has saved me so much time spent wasted on Twitter/Facebook. I’ll normally just take an hour out of my day and plan everything for the next day. I’ll check in to HootSuite a couple of times a day just to check DMs and Mentions, but most of my tweets come from that hour of work.

    Another service I suggest if you are using HootSuite is the HootLet Add-on for browsers. This makes posting links to blogs, articles, and videos even simpler. And you can schedule to all of the accounts you have linke to HootSuite.

    • Chris "Seth" Jackson Post author

      Ooo, I need to check out this HootLet! Anything that makes my life easier, I love! Thanks, Scott!

      Oh, and I just saw that HootSuite has added new features for Facebook. I really wish HooteSuite had an easy way of setting thumbnails for your post. And, I wish Google+ was added to HootSuite. I’m noticing a fair amount of traffic coming from there, even with my limited interaction on it.

  • Candice Payne

    I would argue against reusing tweets. Most people won’t notice, but some people will notice, and those who do notice are more likely to be your biggest fans, since they’re paying the most attention to you. When I’ve noticed an account behaving that way in the past I’ve used it as my cue to unfollow (and yes, I will recognize posts I’ve seen months ago). I don’t like reading automated tweets in general, actually. I tend not to follow those accounts to begin with (they’re pretty obvious). I don’t know how typical I am, though, so I guess do whatever seems to work.

    • Chris "Seth" Jackson Post author

      I totally see your point. And I would agree if all tweets were automated. However, there is one aspect I think might be relevant: new followers. New followers have never seen the old posts. Plus, the tweets can point back to cool material on your blog that they might not be aware of. And considering the pace of Twitter, it’s likely you might have missed the post as well.

      In future posts about Twitter, I was planning on elaborating on easy ways of putting out cool, new material that requires next to no energy or thought. I think your stream needs reflect your current activities to keep people into it. Plus, Twitter is a good way to promote other cool bands and blogs in the community. If it’s all just automated crap, your Twitter stream would have no life.

      However, social media is a huge time suck. We need ways of putting some things on remote while we create new music. I think the worse alternative is not posting anything. Going silent, if you’re an unknown band, can really hurt you.

      But I really do see what you’re saying. I’ve wrestled with this automation thing, too. But, I think it’s about striking a good balance.