Automation on Twitter: Should you do it?

Kommentar zu einem Post von Leon Widrich



Leonhard, thank you for posing this important question. In fact, the answer is not that simple.
The point is NOT: Which kind of tools should you use on Twitter – and which not?
The point is: Who are you? And what are you using Twitter for?

For certain purposes, automation is not only allowed but required. I hope I can explain this through the following examples that all use automation to a certain degree – and yet should all remain on „the genuine side of everything“. All accounts have been set up by myself – and I had to find (or even construct) the appropriate way of automation for every single purpose.


1. Newsfeed – IF accredited account tweets THEN post to Twitter
Automation via: RSS, Twitterfeed
This is a simple aggregation channel of tweets from acknowledged sources, passing on the news for a certain circle of interest (e.g. news from/for the tourism industry in Austria/Germany). Nothing extraordinary, incomplete due to its restriction to 5 postings/30 Minutes. But it helps to keep in touch with the news.


2. Newsroom – IF accredited account tweets with hashtag THEN post to Twitter
Automation via: search via API, posting to database and Twitter
The „ÖRV Krisennewsroom“, a Twitter newsroom for the Austrian travel industry, is quite a thrilling example for real time communication in times of crisis. It gathers only tweets from accredited sources (airlines, travel operators, airports etc.) that contain the hashtag #oervinfo. In order to prevail Twitter downtimes, API restrictions etc. all postings are written to a database; the newsfeed is published on the ÖRV website, but can be embedded on any touristic website. In addition, the members (even those who aren’t on Twitter!) are able to post updates on the newsroom administration site.


3. News Service – IF tweet scheduled automatically THEN post at scheduled time
Automation via: Buffer
I have not gone this far in automation with a client yet, but I can imagine Buffer could work fine with this concept. To be honest, the main purpose of @panoramakarten is to post examples of panorama picture postcards (on which my client has a European patent). Of course the content itself IS genuine – I’m only up to find the best way to tweet automatically once a day. Therefore it should be as simple as possible in administration. From the first look, I guess Buffer could match with that requirement because we don’t have to start the ennerving procedure of scheduling every tweet by hand.


4. Pre-Written updates – IF tweet scheduled THEN post at scheduled time
Automation via: Hootsuite
These are my personal accounts which earned me the reputation of an expert and news source for communication, media, marketing, social media and tourism (@guenterexel) and Twitter (@twitt_consult). I would never have been able to do this without optimization – I can’t sit, read and tweet all day long … So, every morning, I check the news from @mashable, @Techcrunch, @rww and about 50 other sources, select the most important of them and schedule them for the day. From time to time, I check the news on Twitter & Facebook – but the framework for the day ist pre-written on hootsuite.


5. Live report with pre-Written updates – IF tweet scheduled THEN post at scheduled time
Automation via: Hootsuite
Even in the most genuine communication I could not do without some optimization. My Twitter travel reports on @TravelLiveCC are real time web „par excellence“ – but every day I pre-write some tweets about what is to happen on that very day. So the reports starts at a time (9.00 AM) when I’m usually already on the run for the next adventures!


I hope you realize that Twitter Automation is a topic as complex as communication itself.
It’s the means AND it’s the message. Hope my examples could clarify that!


Günter Exel

Leon Widrich Reply:

Günter, what can I say? Many thanks for wording out your thoughts and for taking the time to share them with me on this important topic.

The case you are making for the examples 1-3 is a perfect one where automation is required, just like you say. Having it operating instantly in case of emergencies or important breaking news – I couldn’t be more on your side on this.

I also particularly like your various degrees of automation from twitterfeed down to Buffering or scheduling via Hootsuite. Makes a lot of sense to me.

The number 5 use case you describe here is the exact one that describes myself very well. Whenever I read news in the morning I simply hit the Buffer button and add to Buffer, which then tweets them out during the day.

Again, many thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It is truly much appreciated.



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