Take The Hassle Out Of Tweeting With Twitterfeed
Most businesses are now on Twitter, and many of those are running multiple accounts.
While Tweet Deck is certainly an excellent programme for making the job of multi-Tweeting substantially easier, Twitter Feed, an automated RSS-to-Twitter service that saves you the painstakingly
boring and time-consuming task of manually Tweeting your latest posts or other content entries, is another tool in the Twitter arsenal that doesn’t seem to be used nearly as much.
The service works very simply.
You simply enter the RSS feed you want to see Tweeted, authorize the service to access your Twitter(s) by logging in, add a few bells and whistles in the ‘advanced options’ area, and hey presto, you have a fully automated and timely service that will send all your content as shortlinks to your Twitter feed (there’s even an option to let you choose what type of shortlinks you’d like the service to use, but bit.ly links, the gold-standard link-shortening service, is probably the safest option.)
The ‘advanced options’ entry screen allows you the option of adding up to 20 characters before or after the main part of the entry (that is, the link’s title and/or a brief description of what it contains), which is conveniently just long enough to include a mention of your main Twitter username, or a hashtag that you think would be relevant to the post.
This is obviously extremely useful for bloggers and news sources, but can be used to great effect by just about anyone churning about content on a frequent basis.
The service is completely free of charge and also allows you to add an unlimited number of ‘feeds’ to the one, or multiple, Twitter accounts.
One feed can be piped on to multiple Twitters (e.g. a blog that you want Tweeted to a few Twitter accounts you run: personal, business, PR, etc), or multiple feeds can be piped onto the one account. It even lets you choose how many items you’d like added to the account each time the service checks for new items on the feed (the choice is from one to five; three may be a safe bet to both get the posts out while also not spamming followers’ news-feeds).
It’s also useful even if you or your business doesn’t blog/post/add content all that frequently, as even then you can easily forget to add something from one feed to a certain account.
Just about the only downside is that the automated Tweets can’t be customized beyond the generic settings you programme for each Tweet in that feed — custom hashtags and mentions can’t be added to increase a Tweet’s popularity, though you can, of course, simply repeat the same Tweet twice, the second time with all the things you want included after the link.
Summary: the steps
1 – Register for a free account at TwitterFeed.com.
2 – Find your blog/content’s RSS feed (ask your IT guy or look for the familiar ‘RSS’ logo anywhere around your post or blog homepage).
3 – Click on ‘add a feed’ from the dashboard (the homescreen when you log in) and copy and paste your content feed’s RSS address into the box.
4 – Click on ‘advanced options’ if you’d like to impute certain customizations like mentions after or before the link. Also select whether you’d like to display the title only, description only, or both, and choose a link shortening service to use.
5 – Move on to step two and choose Twitter as your service to pipe the updates to.
6 – Click on the authorize button. If logged in you’ll be taken to Twitter and then automatically redirected to the Twitterfeed setup screen you were on; if not simply log in to Twitter and the same thing will happen.
7 – Click done, and once you’ve hit step three the service is set up.
8 – To cancel or modify the current service, log back in to Twitter Feed and make the changes. Just about any modification is possible: deleting the service, changing the feed, changing the advanced options, etc.
9 – Once content is added to the source (then the RSS feed), Twitterfeed should automatically send the Tweet to your chosen accounts in about five to ten minutes.