Promote your stories, books, services, and products on Twitter everyday with automatic tweets.
Is Twitter one of the social media sites that you’d like to do more marketing and promoting on? Keep reading if you want to become more productive when it comes to promoting your Medium stories, self-published books, or other online services, and products. By taking a little bit of time right now, you can learn all about auto tweeting and how you can automatically post tweets every single day. In case you’re a little worried about how long this Medium story appears to be, don’t. I can guarantee that you’re going to absolutely love scheduling auto tweets, once you get the hang of things.
Believe me, this information is not as intimidating as it might seem, and the results are DEFINITELY worthwhile! In fact, the IFTTT website that you’ll be using has all kinds of other cool resources that go well with your social media activities (but for now, let’s stick to the auto tweeting feature). To truly take advantage of this information, don’t hesitate to finish reading this story all the way through to the end, so you will know exactly how to get started.
WHAT IS IFTTT?
The website that you will use to make the magic happen is called IFTTT. The initials stand for “if this, then that”. IFTTT provides an app that you can use to trigger all your scheduled tweets. The expression, “if this, then that” simply tells the app to perform a particular function.
“IF THIS: If it’s Monday at 1 o’clock, THEN THAT: post a specific tweet with a specific image.
As mentioned earlier, the website has a variety of useful apps that serve as good marketing resources. Later, you can go back and check out some of their other Twitter related apps, as well as the other social media management tools they offer.
In the IFT TT program, we will be using the app that says: “Schedule tweets using Google calendar”. This is an extraordinary feature. Once you actually schedule the tweets in your Google calendar, you can cause everything to work by setting up this one trigger. Now let’s talk about the other two accounts you’ll need to have; a Twitter account and a Google Gmail account.
CONNECTING YOUR ACCOUNTS
Before you get started, open a blank document on your computer and treat it like a piece of scratch paper. Use this page to paste any links, text, notes and details about everything you’re about to do (including your new account details and passwords if applicable).
If you already have a Gmail and Twitter account that are linked (meaning you provided Twitter with this particular Gmail address), that’s great. You’re already ahead of the game. That means you only have to create an IFTTT account, and provide them with your existing Gmail and Twitter details. So with that point in mind, let’s proceed.
First: Make sure you have a GMAIL.COM account. If you don’t, create one real quick, then Stay logged in, while you open another tab.
Go to TWITTER and create an account that will be connected to your new Gmail account. Use the new email address. Stay logged in, and open another tab.
Go to IFTTT.COM and create an account (quick and easy), then locate the Twitter related link in the “Services” section. When you do, you will see a “Connect” button. This is prompting you to connect your Twitter account with the IFTTT website.
When you click connect, you will land on a page where you can agree to give the app authorization to connect to your new Twitter account.
PROVIDING IMAGE LOCATION
Now that all your accounts are created and ready to be utilized, get ready to start creating some eye-catching tweets in a moment. But first, let me explain about the images. When images are included in scheduled tweets, the image is not uploaded at the time of scheduling. You’ll only be providing the url address of where the image is located (hosted by Twitter).
For example, when you normally upload an Image to Twitter, they provide you with the opportunity to click and select from your desktop files. But with automatic scheduled posting, you need to supply an image URL address in advance. So, let’s see just how you’ll do that.
Open the Twitter page tab for your new account, and prepare to post a tweet that will contain an image from your files. Just post something short and sweet, and if you want to, you can even include a link. Remember, the purpose of this tweet is to create a Twitter location for the image you’re uploading right now. Here’s how:
Write a tweet, and click the little image icon so you can browse your desktop file and insert a picture.
After the tweet is posted, wait a second, then click on it so it opens in a separate window (with a black background).
Place your cursor on the actual image that is located in the tweet. Right click and select copy image location, then go to your “scratch paper” and paste the link on the page.
Now you have what you need to schedule your tweet. If you wanted to rotate 3 different images in the tweets you plan to schedule, you would simply repeat your actions 2 more times, uploading the other 2 images. You would jot down the additional Twitter url locations for each image before continuing on to the next step. You get it???
CREATING THE POST
You can set them up to post all day, every hour, if you want to.
When you write the post that you plan to tweet, start by stating the main point and including your promotional link and hashtags. For instance, if you’re promoting a particular Medium story, you might want to mention the title or refer to the topic. Add a hashtag or two, as long as they relate to the category or topic you’re tweeting about. And of course, you want to provide a link to the story, or at least to your Medium profile.
Be sure to notice your “word count” and make sure you don’t exceed Twitter’s character count maximum. Other than that, your tweet should be ready for scheduling if it looks something like this:
As you can see from the example, the Twitter link will always be easy to recognize because the url will always have “pbs.twimg.com” in the address. The other link — the link to my story — is shown here as a bitly link because I chose to shorten it before inserting it into my text post. (This might not be necessary because I think Twitter will automatically shorten real long links when the tweet posts).
Later on, once you get the hang of scheduling your posts, you can actually write out a whole list that contains diverse tweets (along with their designated image location). You can set them up to post all day, every hour, if you want to.
Not too bad, right? Once you schedule things exactly the way you want them, all you do is select the option to repeat the same choices and duplicate them so they’ll post every single day. Right about now, we’re at the step where your post is ready to be added to your Google Calendar.
INSERTING CALENDAR DETAILS
Now you’re ready to copy and paste your tweets from your list, into your Google Calendar. Go back to the tab where your Gmail page is, and make sure you’re in your new mail account. Look in the upper right hand corner and click the little “menu pad” icon (right next to the little bell and the profile image icon). Select and go to the Google Calendar.
Once your calendar opens, look to the far left and notice the miniature calendar with today’s date highlighted. Click on the date that you want the first tweet to start on. DO NOT click the “Create” button at all. Instead, go to the middle of the page, to the main calendar, and select a time that you want to start tweeting.
When you click the time slot, a small window will pop up that says: “Event Reminder”. It gives you the option to edit an event, or create an event. SELECT EDIT.
Notice how a different page pops up and displays the first box you need to fill in called “Untitled event” (it will probably already be highlighted). This title is what will be used to trigger the tweets and make them post. Instead of getting too technical, or perhaps even losing track of the titles, the best thing to do is call all the titles the same thing. This way, you only need one app to trigger all your tweets. You don’t want to “individualize” the names of the scheduled tweets by giving them different titles. If you do, you will have to set up a number of individual apps to trigger them.
DON’T WORRY IF IT SOUNDS A TAD CONFUSING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT WON’T WHEN YOU ACTUALLY PERFORM THE STEPS.
You’ll understand all of it better by the time we’re finished. For now, just name your event “#tweets” (without the quotation marks). The hashtag symbol is MANDATORY, because it helps the app find the events that need to be posted. By using this simple hashtag and title, you will be telling the IFTTT app: “Whenever you see #tweets, post the details for this event, at the scheduled date and time.“ Here is everything you have to do:
- Just below the title, and right next to the date, you will have the option of selecting the time from a drop-down menu. You can schedule on the hour or the half hour. Your start and end time can be the same since this is not really an actual event.
- After selecting the time, click the box that says Repeat. Select whichever field applies to when you want the posting to stop. You can choose for it to post every day at the same time, and never end.
- The next field you need to fill in is the “Location” field. This is where you put the IMAGE link (with the Twitter url address).
The only other text you need to insert into the calendar is the “Description”. This is where you copy and paste the actual tweet that you created, containing your comments, hashtags and link to whatever you’re promoting. Just paste the entire tweet just like you created it, and click the “Save” button.
IMPORTANT TIP: When you insert your story link into the tweet, try to put it either at the very beginning, or somewhere in the middle. You can put it at end of your tweet if you want to, but just don’t make your link the last thing in your sentence.
The reason is because once your tweet has posted, Twitter automatically displays the link location of your image. They insert it right at the end of your post, so if you already have another link at the end, it can confuse readers. The two links look like they’re combined. If they accidentally click the image link and it takes them nowhere, they may never bother to click the story link or your call to action link.
DUPLICATING POSTING TIMES
In order to have this same tweet with the same image and link post every day, but at a different time, all you need to do is duplicate the first post. Here’s how.
- If you’re already on the calendar date page that you want to modify, simply click on the new “time” that you want, and the Event Reminder window will open again. This time, click the box near the top that says: “MORE ACTIONS” (located on the same row as the red “Save” button).
- Select DUPLICATE EVENT from the drop-down menu (although you couldn’t tell anything happened, a duplicate of the event is made so you can make modifications to it now). You can simply change the time, located near the top, then click save. Continue repeating this process for every time slot that you want to trigger a tweet.
When you’re ready to create all new details, you can still use this same method. Once the “Duplicate event” option has been selected, all you do is change the “Description” and the “Location” content. By copy and pasting a new comment and a different image link, and saving it, you now have a new and different tweet. Simple as that!
TRIGGERING YOUR TWEETS
Now you’re ready to go to the IFTTT page and select the app that will trigger your tweets. Think of this like setting your alarm clock. If you forget to activate the alarm, the clock won’t go off on time.
Go to the tab where IFTTT is already open. In the search box, you need to locate the name of the app you’ll be using. Type: “Schedule tweets using Google calendar amgedosman”. This should ensure that you locate the exact app you’re looking for.
Several people may have created similar apps, but the one I prefer to use for my own Twitter management is the app created by amgedosman. This particular app allows you to include an image, whereas, some apps don’t. In case you don’t find it in the search, here is the long url address for the app you need.
To activate this app, while logged into IFTTT (just paste the above link into your browser), follow the link to the page where it asks you to authorize the app. This confirms that you allow IFTTT to access your Google calendar. Once you agree to the terms, the app will connect your Google calendar to IFTTT.
While still on the app page, click the little gear in the upper right corner of the selected app (still in the blue area). A new page opens and allows you to enter the “title” of your scheduled event. Remember you named the title #tweets on your Google calendar, so enter that and click save.
That’s it! ALL your posts are set to fire at the time and days you selected.
TEST AUTO TWEET
You can do a test of your auto tweet if you want to watch and see how cool it works? Go back to the calendar and schedule one more tweet. Simply duplicate another one, only this time, schedule it to post within the next few minutes (on the hour or the half hour). Wait for the allotted time, then go to your new Twitter account and look for the post.
NOTE: If you ever want one or more of the tweets to stop posting, you can go to your Google calendar, locate the specific time slot for the post, and either change the ending time from “Never” to a specific date, or simply delete the posting. If you want to discontinue ALL the scheduled tweets, just go into the IFTTT account. Click on “My Applets” at the top of the page. Locate the app so you can either “pause” it indefinitely, or you can delete it to stop it from triggering anymore.
The sheer beauty of using the auto tweet function is that you can take just a couple of hours out of just ONE of your busy days, and spend time scheduling tweets for the whole month. You can do it for the entire year if you want to. But however and whenever you decide to post automatic tweets, you’ll be saving time and energy from the moment they start to post.