Time-shifting tweets to reach global audiences
Another in my sporadic series of looking behind the social business curtain. This time I discuss value of time-shifting your tweets for a global audience, and the steps to help you automate such a concept.
First off, let me be clear: this post is about content promotion and amplification through social channels; it is NOT about engaging socially. Automation should only be a small part of your entire social topology as a content marketer, where it only serves to allow you more time to actually have conversations around your content rather than worrying about how or when it is being promoted.
So, presuming you want your self-hosted content promoted more than just the moment you post to your blog or website, you are probably doing so manually by creating and scheduling posts at different hours. In my industry, we have a global audience, but most of our content is published during North American business hours. Because of this publishing schedule, our content is most heavily promoted on social channels during that same time frame. However, knowing how people across the globe use channels like twitter, it is quite possible, and even very likely, that people in different time-zones are missing the content we’re promoting because it hits their time-lines when they’re away from the office and not paying attention… where’s the automated solution to address this business issue and get our content in from of our global audiences when they ARE watching their tweet streams?
I’ve got a recipe for that:
- Create an ifttt.com account
- Create a bufferapp.com account and associate your twitter or Facebook accounts
- Enable the BufferApp channel in ifttt.com.
- Create the recipe…
Using ifttt.com, I created two recipes. One which pulls our RSS feed from our blog and posts it immediately and directly to twitter when the blog post is initially published, and a second recipe which takes the same RSS feed, and queues up the posts for publication time sifted by approximately 12 hours. To make the post unique from the initial posting and meet Twitter’s terms of service, I add a hashtag specific to posts queued through buffer.
While the logistics may seem confusing, they’re actually quite simple. Set up your recipe in ifttt.com to pull from your blog’s RSS feed and publish via your connected BufferApp channel. In BufferApp, this is where some basic scheduling is set to ensure you don’t overlap content publishing within minutes of each other. To do this, I’ve set mine to publish one post every hour and ten minutes between 6:30pm PST and 8:30am PST. This makes sure that nothing from this particular feed is posted through bufferapp during my normal working hours in North American time zones, and that we have a constant flow of content pushed through in global time zone friendly hours.
By implementing this time-shifted tweeting, we effectively doubled our reach over night. Not only did we increase our reach immediately and substantially, but we also reduced the administrative overhead needed to manually schedule these time shifted tweets, freeing us up to focus on conversations and engaging where needed.
Just remember, this automation is only intended to ease some pain of manual creation. It doesn’t take the place of actual social engagement; rather it helps you focus on the right things to do and not spend time on the logistics of doing it.