Auto tweeting blog posts has become a widespread habit. It’s the easiest way bloggers can get their goods in front of Twitter followers. A one-time set up that takes mere seconds promises to save you valuable time each day. As soon as you hit publish, a third-party service (i.e. – Feedburner) will shrink your link (damn that sounds dirty), pull your headline (dirtier yet!) and automagically post to Twitter.
This is the easy way out, and as you already know, anything that is free and/or easy comes along with a price.
I’ve experimented with auto tweets. The results left me unimpressed. I’ve also toyed with taking a minute out of each day (sometimes even two minutes!) to put a bit more thought into what I’m promoting. It’s this approach that has proven more effective when it comes to click-throughs. In fact, during my auto-tweet test, I saw a 70% drop off in traffic from Twitter. Of course the content is not exactly the same since I’m always posting new blogs, but many are within the same “zone.” I’m convinced the sharp decline is because people identify auto tweets and are less likely to engage.
While your headline should be catchy, it is not always the best way to attract eye balls on Twitter. I have found that asking my followers a question or re-framing a blog post around something that is currently trending, is a great way to increase clicks. (Try Trendistic or Google Trends)
I always prefer to give my blog promotion tweets a bit more love – and I will definitely be sticking with that model.
Promoting your blog posts on Twitter is NOT a time-consuming endeavor. If you can’t afford the minute-per-post that it will cost you, it might be time to re-evaluate how you are spending your time.
Next Tuesday we’ll explore whether or not social networks really help most bloggers. The answer may surprise you.