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twitter-birdsWith the recent excitement over “TweetBacks” and other similar Blog / Twitter integration, the question is raised… Should you turn on the auto-tweet function?  There are a couple of plugins for WordPress that give you the ability to automatically send a tweet about your new blog post to Twitter.  At first glance, this seems like a great idea.  Why not save yourself a couple of minutes and have the tweet made for you?  After some thought, I have decided that that’s not the way to go.

Why You Shouldn’t Auto-Tweet Your Blog Posts

Especially if you are a Twitter user who shares fun links with people all day, it’s painfully obvious when you are using an auto-tweeter to post about your blog links.  Usually the format is dry, and it just informs people that you’ve put out a new blog post.  Boring!  You’ve just put your time and energy into this article or blog post.  Why would you waste this chance to get people excited about it?  Nothing says boring like “New Blog Post:  http://www.xlkjweirjsdrs.”  Create a good headline that relates to the title or concept of your article.  Make it something your followers are going to want to click.

Another reason not to use the automatic tweet function is because it kills your opportunities for ReTweets.  Maybe somebody reads your article and really enjoys it.  They’d love a quick way to share it via a ReTweet, but who wants to tweet “New Blog Post:”  The better headline you give your article, the better your odds will be that people will want to share that fun headline with others.

A third reason is that nobody on Twitter wants to follow the guy who ONLY posts links from his or her own websites.  Sure if someone follows you that may mean they’d like to check out your work, but they don’t want to feel spammed either.  If your stream is “New Blog Post:” over and over, that makes you look like you’re just trying to use Twitter for self promotion.  Giving your articles interesting headlines will blend them in with the other fun articles you’re sharing with people.  If they appreciate your normal links, they’ll be glad to read the articles that happen to come from your site, too.

Think about these things before you get too excited about your new ability to have your blog posts automatically announced to Twitter.  Sure it’s easier, but is it really generating the highest amount of traffic to your site?

{ 21 comments }
  • Travis January 21, 2009, 11:36 am

    Great article! I turned mine off immediately and now make my tweets with a little more personality! Thanks!

  • RockDoggy January 21, 2009, 12:40 pm

    Well thought out. I’d had reservations about auto-tweeting for similar reasons. Thanks for the tips!

  • Angela Connor February 6, 2009, 5:09 am

    I really hate auto-tweets. There, I said it. I get the reasoning behind it, and I know it works for some. I won’t argue that point. I just don’t choose to do it. twitter is still very personal to me and that’s what I enjoy about it. Frankly, that’s what I think attracts followers…at least one of the things that attracts followers. I am not interested in robots, unless they are going to auto clean my house.

  • Donna Marie February 10, 2009, 6:34 am

    Hi,

    I had just downloaded one of those auto post tweet programs and before I installed it I happen to read your post. I have to say I am NOT going to auto tweet now. You made some great points. Thanks for the great post and hard work!

    Donna Marie

  • Jeremy Lindh February 10, 2009, 11:33 am

    @everyone — Thanks for the comments, I really appreciate it!

    @Angela Connor – I agree, I’d be glad to have a robot clean my house, too!

    @Donna Marie – glad you got something out of the article!

  • Andrew Bonar April 15, 2009, 10:53 pm

    Jeremy, a good autotweeter is not going to simply tweet “New Blog Post”.

    A good autotweeter will have the title of the blog post as the content of the tweet. With the power of RSS you really should come up with a good Title for each blog post, and that title should be tweet-worthy.

    Auto-Tweeters have ther place when used wisely

  • Shawn Hickman April 21, 2009, 12:46 am

    Great write up! I never thought about how impersonal those posts really can be. You made me think differently about it, and that’s a good thing. Thanks :)

  • srdha May 23, 2009, 2:48 am

    i gust want to say some thing “great job”

    Update your Twitter randomly according to your intrest Or, from Rss Feed Or, from your own tweet message list Or, Any combination of the above three

  • Ariel July 10, 2009, 11:04 pm

    Great point! I’m turning mine off now. :)

  • Andrew August 17, 2009, 3:30 am

    Agree with Andrew Bonar : A very bad system creates a tweet with the same message over and over (“New Blog Post”). I’ve written my own which includes the blog post title with a link to it.

  • wowzila October 5, 2009, 10:59 pm

    Great article and some really interesting points.

  • autotweet October 28, 2009, 3:53 pm

    Valid points, all of them.

    But as long your friends know the tweet is just a notification of a new blog post it is a good way to let them know you’ve made a post.

  • Heidi Walker January 18, 2010, 5:04 pm

    So are you saying the technology is not developed and never will be or that even if it could be developed to incorporate a great headline that you should not use it?

    BTW I am KCAVON lady in twitter.

  • Jeremy January 19, 2010, 2:22 am

    Thanks for all the great comments everyone!

    @Heidi – I think that a plugin with a dynamic headline would be a decent way to go. I wrote this article a year ago, I suppose it’s about time to take a look and see if anyone has improved upon the “auto tweet” yet…

    To those who do auto-tweet – – What are you using?

  • Rob July 14, 2010, 5:36 pm

    Thanks for the post. I was researching how to auto-post to twitter but now, I think I’ll take your advise and simply write the occassional interesting twitter title.

    Although, if I can find a way (Heidi) to post my blog title, maybe I’ll reconsider.

  • Bradford July 22, 2010, 8:28 pm

    I was looking for a plugin that will tweet the first line of my blog along with a shortened url AND have the option to have a custom line from the post page. That would alleviate some of the cons you’ve listed (which I agree with). Maybe I’ll develop a plugin that does this. Anyway, thanks for the article! It was helpful.

  • Justin November 22, 2010, 5:40 pm

    Great post, but I would have to disagree with turning auto-tweet off completely. Use the function but also make regular self-tweets and share other people blogs, etc. Also, there is a plugin such as Tweet Old Post that tweets the posts title and an excerpt. Plus make sure to share interesting articles that you read (people will like you more for it) :)

    Again, great post nonetheless!

  • Nadine January 23, 2011, 8:31 pm

    Great post. I actually blocked someone that was auto tweeting. She was sending tweets every 6 minuites. 24 hours a day. Sure she got 240 tweets out but like you said there was no personality. And after a few hours it quickly became the most annoying thing ever. even more annoying then farmville requests in FB.

  • Sue Powell April 18, 2011, 11:54 pm

    I have tried every way in the world to try to figure out how to turn the feature off. I certainly never intentionally turned it on.

  • HKR June 2, 2011, 7:50 am

    I still think people read and care much about the article and not the tweet. After all, the micro-blogging service is not for writing lengthy and beautiful posts, it’s for quick shares. BTW, Great post.

  • Josh McDonald June 9, 2011, 4:32 am

    On the contrary, Auto-Tweeting can be a good thing if done correctly. For those who have full time Jobs and a well-established blog, Auto-Tweeting could be to ones benefit. My good friend has developed and Auto-Tweeting system for his website, to post at peak times during the day, based on his website analytics.

    I definitely understand that people who follow your feed on Twitter don’t want to feel like they are getting “Spammed” with your new blog posts, but I think thats where a lot of users turn to mobile tweeting for the more personable tweets during the average persons work day.

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