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3 Social Media Tools That Free Up Your Time

I'm busy. You're busy.

Heck, we're all busy.

You know that blog post you sweated over a few weeks back - writing, publishing and promoting - what's happened to it?

When did you last tweet? Are you keeping a steady flow of content running through the system?

When you're running your own business you need all the help you can get.

​And unless you have a VA doing your legwork you're going to need some form of marketing automation.

More...

Marketing Automation

A couple of months back I was able to attend the Big Social Media Conference in Manchester. It was a great experience from which I learned a lot.

In and amongst the various presentations there were also some more informal discussion sessions where a group of 'experts' discussed a topic.

One of these sessions featured Ian Anderson Gray, Emeric Ernoult and Susan Dolan discussing, "Marketing Automation: Should small businesses be doing it?"​ 

One of the points that Susan made was:

If you do not get somewhat automated you will get left behind.

It's a fair point. It would be a total drain on your time if you had to manually post every article or tweet or update across all of your chosen social media platforms.

​If you're a solo entrepreneur or small business, then I don't see how you can manage without some marketing automation? For example:

  • Email Marketing: Autoresponders like Aweber, GetResponse, MailChimp, etc.
  • Social Media Marketing: Management tools like Manage Flitter, Buffer, IFTTT​, MavSocial, etc.

You are most likely using some already...I know I am!

​Here's three of the tools I use to free up my time...

1. Buffer

By using Buffer I can load up 10 pieces of content per account (free version) that is scheduled to go out over a certain time-frame. I try to publish a couple of pieces of content a day like this - content I have consumed and liked and is worthy of sharing.

Things I like about Buffer:

Education:

Kevan Lee on the BufferApp blog shares great tips and strategies. I highly recommend his recent series: Amazing, Actionable Social Media Strategies!

Chrome Extension:

This simple add-on makes adding content to my Buffer queue so simple!

iOS App:

As I do a lot of my 'consuming' on the iPhone this App makes it easy to add content to my Buffer queue, along with adding to my Pocket App of course...

IFTTT:

There are a few recipes on IFTTT integrating with Buffer. For example, I use one to save all my posts that have gone out via Buffer as I then have an easy reference guide to dive back into.

2. Revive Old Post

I came across Revive Old Post a few months back after reading an article by my friend Broke Bloke. I decided to give it a go. Basically this is a WordPress plugin that publishes your old posts on a loop. Like it says on the label: it revives them!

I'm using the free version which allows you to publish to Twitter and Facebook. If you upgrade to the Pro version you can also publish to LinkedIn, Xing and Tumblr.

If you don't revive your old content and publish it again, it's just going to gather dust. Plus you have a chance to reach a new audience. The rate at which Twitter turns over new tweets means you need to tweet your content again and again to try and catch fresh eyes. 

Things I like about Revive Old Post:​

Tracking

Enabling this option allows me to track how well the revived post has done by adding Google Analytics Campaign Tracking.​

Exclusion

This feature gives you the ability to exclude certain posts by selecting categories or tags​.

Hashtags

This feature allows you to add hashtags to the twitter message using category, tags or custom fields​.

So, I have Buffer that is predominantly sharing other people's content across Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.

And I have Revive Old Post which is sharing my old content to Twitter. 

But I also wanted to gain some more traction on Twitter by posting more content with a higher posting frequency.

Enter Tweet Jukebox...

3. Tweet Jukebox

Tweet Jukebox is perhaps not so well-known as the previous two tools, so I'll give you a little more background first.​

Tweet Jukebox was created by 'Chief Tweetologist' Tim Fargo back in 2013. Initially he was just building a tool to help him in his own business as he was tweeting and scheduling content over and over again. In his words:

I just wanted a tool to save me the time of scheduling tweets.

Having created the tool for himself and seeing how beneficial it was he decided to release it to the general public in January 2015. The tool is very much work in progress and is constantly being developed.​ At the time of writing it exists as a FREE version, but a paid version with additional features is planned for the future.

Tweet Jukebox gives you 5 jukeboxes that you can fill with tweets. You just keep adding content as and when you want to. 

To help you get started, Tim has created a jukebox containing 200 quotes. It's up to you if you wish to use it. Personally, I do, and I've been pleasantly surprised to see my Twitter engagement grow as a result.

Things I like about Tweet Jukebox:​

Jukeboxes

​Each jukebox has its own scheduling system so you can decide how frequently the tweets go out. Once they've all 'played' then the jukebox turns over and starts again. But it plays them in a different order to keep the 'randomness' factor going.

Mentions

Tweet Jukebox has a built-in Mentions feature which just runs automatically in the background. It allows you to see mentions over time in a graph format, see who your top "promoters" are using two different metrics: volume and reach.

Thank You

Tweet Jukebox has a nice Friday Feature where it will automatically thank your top Twitter users that mentioned you during the week. I think this is a nice feature and gives a public shoutout to those who are engaged with you.​ 

This is not an excuse to stop engaging with people manually. Rather, it is an additional feature to highlight your top interactors!

Chrome Extension

Tweet Jukebox also has a Google Chrome Extension. This is a great little add-on and allows you to quickly add text or images to one of your jukeboxes when you are trawling the Net.

Tutorials

One of the best things about Tweet Jukebox are the amount of Video Tutorials. It is a simple system to use, but Tim not only shares the 'how-to' he shares the 'why'. For example, why is it best to share every 13 mins rather than every 15 mins. This is based on his experience and best practice of using Tweet Jukebox.

Marketing Automation: Good or Bad?

There may be some purists out there who think automation is a bad thing.

Personally, I don't believe there is anything wrong with using automation as long as you get the balance right. 

Social media is all about building engagement​ - if you just switch on scheduling and automation and don't bother to engage with users then you may as well not publish anything at all.

Be real - use tools to help you, NOT replace you!

Click to Tweet

I think this paragraph from Susanna Gebauer sums it up nicely:

Marketing automation does not mean you turn over your account to a robots completely. It means you use tools and marketing automation software to make your life easier for activities which need to be done, but do not help with holding up the conversation: Cleaning up inactive or spammy accounts, keeping the account active all day long with scheduled posts, etc. You still can and should personally handle at least some of the activities. For me that means I try to personally check all mentions of my Twitter handle and direct massages – I often fail to check all, but I try!

Wrapping Up

What's your take on marketing automation?

Can you, or do you, manage without it?

Or have you embraced it like ​we have embraced automatic devices in the rest of our lives?

Should we only be sharing brand new content or is it OK to repeat our messages?​

What tools are you using to free up your time?​

Let me know what you think in the comments below.​

David Hartshorne
 

I'm David and I'm the guy doing most of the writing around here. I'm a freelance writer helping solopreneurs and small businesses build their online presence through friendly, engaging and shareable blog posts.

  • Simcha

    The Tweet Jukebox sounds intriguing. Going to go check it out now. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Thanks Simcha! I think you’ll like Tweet Jukebox – let me know how you get on!

  • Hi David,

    These are some cracking tools you’ve included here, thanks.

    I use Buffer already and like the Pablo option it has which lets you add a nicely laid out image to your tweets. You can then schedule your image, just like any other tweet.

    IFTTT is a tool I’ve not got to grips with yet. It’s one I’ve definitely got to look at again, now I think I’ve got my head round what it actually is and does.

    Tweet Jukebox sounds excellent. I’m definitely looking into that one. I particularly like the idea of having a regular Thank-you to everyone who’s mentioned you, tweeted links to your content, etc.

    You’re so right about using automation wisely as a “help”, not a replacement. I like to use it as a base to work from, such as scheduling tweets that I can then add to and engage with people who respond.

    We can’t just be there all the time. Automation is a part of life, otherwise we wouldn’t use phones, kettles, remotes, etc.

    Great post, David, thanks, enjoyed reading it.

    • Thanks Tom, appreciate your feedback on these 3 time-saving tools.

      I’ve used Pablo a couple of times and found it to be a nice additional feature to Buffer. If you follow Kevan’s course he also comes up with some other great tips.

      IFTTT is clever. It’s one of those tools that you need to spend a little time with just to get the hang of it. Once you’ve mastered a recipe or two its easy to implement others.

      I’m sure you’ll like Tweet Jukebox – let me know how you get on.

      Have a great week Tom!
      – David

  • Hey David,

    Oh man, you got to hear Ian? I bet he rocked it, he’s such a great guy. We chat a lot on Twitter and Facebook. What a great family he has too.

    I’m coming down from my high though and want to say that I also agree that certain things do need to be automated. Not everything but a good bit or you’re really going to be spending a heck of a lot of time on some things and not enough on others.

    I use Buffer and I schedule all my tweets through that service. I don’t use revive old posts because mine aren’t evergreen so I don’t want to tweet something out that might not be as relevant today.

    I’ve heard about Tweet Jukebox but since I use Buffer I really don’t need it. I don’t think thank you’s should be automated though. I’m sure larger companies don’t have the time for that so I can see why some would want to automate that but people see through that. I don’t think it helps them any.

    Is Tweet Jukebox the service that tells me I’m someone’s top contributor or engager? I find those tweets SO annoying because the majority of people I get those from, we’re not really connected. I engage a LOT on Twitter so I don’t need to be reminded of that.

    Great list of tools though and awesome job with this. Thanks for putting it together and glad you enjoyed the conference.

    ~Adrienne

    • Hey Adrienne,

      Yes I got to meet Ian in person which is always a nice thing to do after you’ve been chatting online. Ian, and the other speakers, did a great job – both entertaining and educational!

      I think you’ve got to get a balance between automation and manual tasks as its so important to keep things personal where you can.

      The Tweet Jukebox thank you message can be switched on/off as you wish. It doesn’t send an automatic thank you to every tweet or message. Instead it runs some program in the background to produce a ‘top interactors’ message each Friday.

      Have a great weekend ahead!
      – David

  • Hi David.
    Despite the description of the tools, I really enjoy the conclusion – that automation is all about supporting, not replacing the user.
    I must confess that I haven’t tried Revive Old Post or Tweet Jukebox – need to catch up!
    But Buffer is one of my favorites. Even better results gives me the combination of Buffer and Sotrender. Sotrender gives me data-driven tips based on my (and my followers) Twitter activities and I use those insights when arranging my Buffer schedule (I use the free version), eg. posting time, best hashtags etc. Best results in my opinion, but of course I will also check the two other tools you suggest!

    • Hi Marta,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback.

      Well, I have to confess that I’ve not come across Sotrender, but having had a quick look now I can see why you would like it. There is a huge amount of data flying about, so if an application is able to get hold of that and turn into meaningful insights then all the better for us.

      Take a look at Tweet Jukebox and see what you think…
      – David

      • Just installed Tweet Jukebox – let’s give it a shot.
        How about you, David, got some time to play a bit more with Sotrender? 🙂

  • Thanks Leslie, I can see how you connected music with Tweet Jukebox, but I hope you get the idea now that you can ‘play’ your tweets rather than your ‘tunes’. It’s definitely worth checking out.
    I was very lucky to attend the SM Conference in Manchester as I won a ‘free’ ticket.
    Where are you located Leslie?

    • Leslie L Denning

      Woo-hoo! A free ticket, and you got to see Ian, too.

      I live in the Missouri Ozarks, right in the middle of the state, 5 miles from the closest town of 1,800. My state is about a third larger than your country! (Which is why I roll my eyes when I see all those postings on Facebook that say, ‘We should be like Denmark.’ Laughable in a country that is almost as big as Europe.)

      It’s a 2 1/2 hour trip to St. Louis or a 5 hour trip to Kansas City to fly out. Because of the hub system, it can get expensive, as well, depending on where I need to fly. I go on the internet and search like crazy for airline tickets, but nowadays

      I pretty much drive or stay home because flying has gotten so unpleasant. Even though I’m a senior citizen, I almost always get wanded, have someone paw through my luggage, or (ick) get patted down. I pretty much drive or stay home any more. And the flight attendants can be so cranky, except on my last flight to Dallas where they were all round and had gray hair up in buns and all looked like Aunt Bea of the Andy Griffith Show. It was like flying with your favorite grandmother. A long ways from the 1960’s for sure.

      • It is hard for us Brits to appreciate the size of your country. We tend to shudder at the thought of a 5 hour drive, not because of the distance but because we know the roads will be jam packed. That’s the downside to living in a ‘small’ country. Travelling 100 miles to my mum’s place used to take 1.5 hours…now it takes 2.5 hours. Frustrating 🙁

        • Leslie L Denning

          I’ll bet! We lived in Kansas City for 3 years in the early 90’s, and I couldn’t wait to get back to the farm, even though I grew up in Denver, which is a lot like K.C. I felt I was wasting my life away sitting at red lights.

          I drive 50 miles (80km) to my vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks, and it takes an hour with only 4 stop signs and 2 traffic lights. The only glitch is if I get behind a tractor in a no-passing zone, ’cause it’s all 2-lane highway. I absolutely love it here. Never want to move.

          I’ve never been to Europe. Used to want to go, but I just look at picture books and the travel channel and Facebook now. 🙂

  • Hi Ilka, nice to see you back and I hope you can put some of these tools to work to help you. Great to hear you had a lot of work from clients to keep you busy:-)

  • Hey David,

    Social sharing is the most powerful criteria to follow for getting better traffic results. There are many blogs, but few are there which get traffic at their best. Buffer is an amazing tool to use for automation. I haven’t used any one of from other two. I am sure these are also great in their work.
    Thanks for letting me know.
    Have a great day.
    ~Ravi

    • Hey Ravi,

      I’m not sure that ‘social sharing is the most powerful criteria to follow for getting batter traffic’ but it certainly plays an important part. I think each website owner will pull traffic from different channels depending on their niche.

      I’ve no complaints about Buffer – I think its an excellent tool and their additional training content is second to none.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing – much appreciated!
      – David

  • ➤ Hi, David,

    What an excellent post and so helpful in this day and age when everyone is so very busy. Having help making efficient use of our time is always welcome, in my book.

    I love Buffer and use this exclusively to tweet everything out, and of course it goes along with Triberr too – it’s possible to use Buffer to schedule Triberr shares later instead of the auto-shares or manual shares. Love that feature.

    Jukebox sounds intriguing, and I’m especially interested in the ‘random’ feature, which I think is missing in other tools.

    Great share, David – thank you! I’ll be Spreading the word…

    Have a great weekend.
    ?Carol Amato

    • Hi Carol,

      Hope you had a great weekend, apart from the roast dinner mishap 🙂
      We were travelling back out to Spain to enjoy some Autumn sunshine.

      I think the ‘random’ feature in Tweet Jukebox is an excellent idea. Not only do tweets come out at an offset time; e.g. every 13 mins, they also come out in a different order. That’s a win-win!

      So do you just add a post to Buffer from Triberr or is there an integrated method for this?

      Thanks for sharing the word – have a great week ahead!
      – David

      • Hey, David,

        It’s an extension in my browser that allows me to Tweet directly, or use Buffer when I share on Triberr.

        Glad you’re enjoying the beautiful weather in Spain, that’s wonderful.

        Ciao Ciao,
        ~Carol

  • Got to check out Tweet Jukebox, David! I’ve heard of it — but never used it myself.

    Hope you’re having an awesome day!

    Brent

    • It’s definitely worth a try Brent – I think you’ll like it, and I’m sure Mrs Jones would like it too as she does quite a bit of social media management…

      Have a great week Brent!
      – David

  • That’s always been my lack of social media marketing, finding the time. Not that I want to completely automate it. But it would be nice to have some of the work go on it’s own. I’ve seen people say it really doesn’t take that long, haven’t figured out how they can do it with little time spent.

    I signed up for Buffer probably 6 months or more ago and have yet to use it. Pretty sad huh?

    But, now that I’ve learned about jukebox, seems like that might be an even better solution? Sounds like it’s working for you?

    Don’t see anything wrong with posting old content on a regular basis, if you can do it so it goes out at different times. I think that is a big key. To catch people who miss your previous tweet(s). People are on at different times. Though I am no expert on social marketing.

    Great find on the jukebox David! Thank you. You’re always finding the good stuff. 🙂

    • Hey Ron,

      It’s most important to get the balance right between automation and keeping up a personal presence on social media. Tools should be there to help us, so if you find a system that works to free up some of your time then that’s good.

      I like to use both Buffer and Tweet Jukebox for different tasks. Together they do the trick for me.

      Good to see you back and good to see the PLR Store looking smart!
      – David

  • Hey David,

    Good post here. Marketing automation is something that I do a fairly bit of. Especially with things like HootSuite and even buffer from time to time.

    I’ll let met I never actually gave Revive Old Posts a shot, but it does seem as something I need to ask me start doing. Because you’re right, those old posters gather dust and unless you actively promote them, or have some plugin that promotion for you, will never get the proper eyes on them.

    As for the jukebox one, that’s something I’ll definitely need to check out as well. Thanks for this great post David.

    – Andrew

    • Hey Andrew,

      Revive Old Posts is a good way of keeping your old posts alive on Twitter, but I’m sure you could do a similar job with HootSuite. The main thing is to make sure that people have a chance to catch a post they may have previously missed.

      I’d recommend taking a look at Tweet Jukebox and the price plans I mentioned in my post are being launched in the next couple of weeks.

      Thanks
      – David

  • My jukebox is up and running. Was quite easy, very easy. And just copy and paste. 🙂

    Thanks 005 1/2

    • Good to hear Ron! Always good when somebody takes action on a tool that I recommended:-)

      • Cept I think I need a better mix, “looks” like all quotes right now. Added some of my own, but need to add more.

        Now I just need a better tool for managing followers, easy unfollow those not following, auto DM to new followers. Using one for the DM, but not sure if I like it. What do you recommend for that?

        • Have you tried ManageFlitter? That’s what I use. I tried Crowdfire previously but I don’t like the DM so much.

          • Funny, I was looking at Manage Filter just the other night. Thanks for the confirmation. Use Crowdfire myself and don’t like the DM either, Don’t like how they plug themselves in every DM. Guess that is the price huh?

            Does the crowdfire go by another name? I was looking through my approved aps a couple nights ago for it and it’s not listed. Or I missed it.

            I will say, only using jukebox for a short time, my new following has increased greatly. Pretty much every day, I have a ton of new followers. Though, they might be so-so, quality is yet to be determined.

            Thanks David!

          • I thought Crowdfire was just on the web rather than being an installed app?
            Yes my followers have increased too. I’m slowly building up a selection of my own quotes, some from my blog posts, some I just liked elsewhere, but it just helps to keep a mixture of content I think.

  • Hi David, I love them all. I have been using the Buffer premium for years now. I just started with Tweet Jukebox but am learly of too many tools especially with Twitter as they suspend accounts for it if too much and I’ve had that done twice now.
    I do use the plugin for the old posts to tweet too 🙂 It’s a great way to get the old content out there.
    I wish there was a way for the Buffer to keep on buffering some of the stuff up.
    Have you tried Triberr and JustRetweet? They are awesome too David.
    Thanks for the info on Social Jukebox as I haven’t used it much – very helpful!

    • Hi Lisa, good to hear you’re using all three as they compliment each other.

      With Buffer, there is a way to upload a file so you can re-use content again. I saw Kevan demo it some time ago.

      If you read this post: https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-time-saving-tips you’ll see Kevan reference a tool called Bulk Buffer (https://www.bulkbuffer.com/) that adds batches of updates to Buffer via a spreadsheet. There’s another tool called Bulkly (bulk.ly).

      You can also connect Buffer to RSS feeds can’t you, for your favorite blogs? I also recommend Quuu for curated content. Have you tried that?

      I’ve been using Social Jukebox quite a while now, so if you have any questions drop me a line and I’ll do my best to help you out. I use it for posting content I’ve written for clients rather my own blog posts at the moment. It’s good for evergreen content.

      Yes, I use Triberr and JustRetweet as part of my blog promotion strategy. They’re really useful, although Triberr doesn’t seem as good as it used to be.

      Let me know if you need any help, Lisa.
      – David

      • Hi David, thanks for the tips on Buffer – I do have feeds in there. I signed up for Quuu but didn’t really follow up with it. I’ll be checking it out. I still love Triberr David, you just have to sift through the content 🙁 Thanks for all the info!