The rule of thumb in social media is to keep the personal touch – your followers and fans want to know that there is a person behind the status updates.  Still there is a place for automated twitter feeds – I use them in some of the accounts I manage.  This is not a replacement to the personal tweets, retweets and replies that I post throughout the day.

That being said I am sharing the tools I use for Twitter – one is for scheduled tweets, the other two are used for automated feeds.

HootSuite 

HootSuite has many features, many of which I have not even begun to explore. For this article I am focusing on their scheduler.  Nightly I plan out my tweets for the next day scheduling them to go out during my followers’ peak twitter times.  For new articles or posts I plan several unique tweets with links back to the article at least one per day (at different times of day) for a week.

From the Tweet text box, click on the calendar icon to bring up this scheduling form. Then type in your tweet and choose a date and time.

Schedule your Tweets using HootSuite

To view your scheduled tweets click on the arrow icon on the left hand side, choose Publisher and Scheduled from the menu.

HootSuite Publisher

Twitter Feed

This is a nice tool for automating your tweets from an RSS feed.  One of the Twitter accounts I manage receives updates on the main site throughout the day – it is not feasible for a human to track these and post manuallyy. This is where the automated feed comes in handy.   We use TwitterFeed to send them to twitter every 30 minutes (the shortest interval).

Create a Feed in Twitter Feed

With Twitter Feed I can customize my feeds by choosing which content to include, what link shortener to use and options for the prefix and suffix.  The suffix option is great for adding a twitter hash tag. The keyword filter helps you customize your tweets even further.

dlvr.it

Another great tool for auto-tweeting your RSS feed to Twitter.  DLVR.IT has many of the same features as TwitterFeed with the added bonus of being able to replace words or phrases. I use it switch to hashtags or @ mentions.

Interval. dlvr.it updates can be scheduled to post every 15 minutes (TwitterFeed’s smallest interval is 30 minutes).

Max posts. You can set the upper limit of the amount of posts that can be posted at each interval or per day.