Say what you will about Twitter, but the social networking site has quickly grown into a valuable tool for bloggers — both for connecting with other bloggers and potential readers in a less formal environment and for self-promotion.
Today I want to share a variety of tools for sending your posts to Twitter, but before I do that, it’s important to point out that Twitter should not be used solely for self-promotion.
There is a very select group of people who can get away with doing nothing but posting links to their blog posts simply because of who they are and the following they already have. But for the rest of us, Twitter should be used for conversation first and foremost and then for selective self-promotion.
But this post isn’t really about developing a Twitter strategy, so let’s focus on the real topic — tools for sending your posts to Twitter automatically.
Twitterfeed.com allows you to add RSS feeds to your Twitter stream and set a schedule for when the tweets should be sent. This is a great option for bloggers who use Blogger because it will automatically add your posts to your tweet stream for you.
That said, my experience has been that it’s hard to customize the exact schedule for sending tweets and that it doesn’t always work as expected. It still gets the job done, especially for the Blogger platform, but it’s not my first choice.
2. Twitter Tools
For bloggers using WordPress, I highly recommend Twitter Tools. I’ve been using this plugin for about six months now, and it works flawlessly while offering a ton of additional features. Although there are other plugins that supposedly do the same thing, it’s hard for me to recommend any others because this one stands heads above the rest as far as functionality and reliability.
Twitter Tools automatically sends your posts to Twitter when they’re published. However, there is a checkbox that you can easily uncheck right on the post page for any post that you don’t want to send to Twitter. In addition, there are dozens of add-ons available that give this plugin additional functionality:
- Shorten your URL with the shortener of your choice: bit.ly (installed with main plugin), su.pr + more
- Exclude certain categories from being tweeted (installed with main plugin).
- Add custom hashtags to individual tweets (installed with main plugin).
- Track clicks with Google Analytics
This plugin really automates sending your posts to Twitter while offering you the ability to customize the way it works if you want to, making it a win-win.
Do you share your new posts on Twitter? If so, do you use a plugin or app, or do you do it manually?