I’m a sucker for things that help me work more efficiently. You know, that whole “work smarter, not harder” thing. I’ve been using Buffer for a long, long time and it’s one of those tools that I don’t think I could run my business without.
Now before you start getting sideways, this is NOT a sponsored post. I just truly love the platform, and I’m asked all.the.time, “How do you DO all that you do??”, so here’s one of the ways I save time (& sanity) while running this ol’ bloggy biz of mine. (I am using my Buffer affiliate link, though, so consider this your official disclosure.)
First of all, let’s talk quickly about paying for a service like Buffer. I have two points to make:
- It’s worth it if it means you’ll have more time to focus on running your business.
- It’s worth it if it also helps build your authority online while saving you time to focus on your business.
I post 15 tweets per day on Twitter. (I’ll get into exactly what I post in a minute.) If I didn’t use Buffer, I wouldn’t have time to tweet that often, which also means I wouldn’t have established myself as an authority as well as I have.
Get it? Got it? Good.
So, you might be wondering exactly how to use Buffer to establish yourself as an authority on Twitter.
One word: Strategy.
HOW TO USE BUFFER TO ESTABLISH AUTHORITY ON TWITTER
Whether you’re a blog educator like me, a DIY-er, a mommy blogger, a foodie…or anything else, you can establish yourself as an authority on your niche on Twitter with the help of a tool like Buffer by using a Twitter strategy.
There are 6 key components to a solid Twitter strategy. They are:
- Twitter frequency
- Twitter content
- RSS feeds
- Bulk scheduling
Let’s talk about each one, shall we?
#1 – Twitter frequency
If you want to establish yourself as an authority on any platform, you have to have a presence. That means you need a consistent posting schedule.
The average lifespan of a tweet is about 18 minutes, a bit longer if it gets retweeted, so you need to tweet a lot to start, and continue, to get noticed. So the first thing you need to determine is how often you’ll be tweeting.
I tweet 15 times each day. Why 15? Because 10 wasn’t enough and 20 was too many.
Buffer has a cool feature called an “Optimal Timing Tool”, so once you determine how many tweets you want to share each day, you can use this tool to have Buffer tell you when to share those tweets. Here’s how it works:
Add your Twitter profile to Buffer, then go to “Schedule”.
If you’ve never used Buffer before, there’s a handful of scheduling times in there by default. Otherwise, you’ll see your set scheduled times. Ignore those, and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page until you see this:
Buffer asks you to try their optimal timing tool, and you say “yes please”! Click it, then do this:
Choose your Twitter profile form the list, then tell Buffer how many times you want to post each day. Click “Calculate times” and you get something like this:
Based on my Twitter engagement, these are the best times for me to post on Twitter. One last click replaces my existing schedule, and BA-DA-BING BA-DA-BOOM, I’m rocking & rolling!
Twitter frequency – DONE. Let’s move on.
#2 – Twitter content
Now that you know how often & what times you’ll post, you need to decide exactly what kinds of content to post. I use the 60/40 rule, but backwards.
Most people say to share 60% other people’s content, 40% your own. I do the opposite. I know, I’m a rebel…whatever. But it works for me and nobody has complained once that I’m oversharing my own stuff, because I’m strategic. (There’s that word again.)
So, do the math: 15 tweets per day x 60% = 9 tweets of my own content each day, 6 of other people’s content.
What I DON’T do is share 9 tweets that are almost identical all about today’s blog post. That’s lame.
My Twitter content strategy begins as soon as I write each blog post. I write 3 tweets for every single post, and they are all saved on a tab in my massive editorial calendar spreadsheet. Look:
That goes all the way back to the very beginning of Sweet Tea, LLC – three tweets & 1 Facebook blurb per post. Why do I save them? So I can re-share! YES!
This is what my Twitter content strategy looks like:
- 3 tweets about current day’s blog post
- 3 tweets about old blog posts
- 3 promotional tweets
- 6 tweets of other people’s content
I’m easily able to go all the way back to the beginning of my blog and copy & paste pre-written tweets with the shortlink already in them, then drop them into my Buffer schedule.
Ok, so our content is taken care of. Where do you get the other people’s content to share without spending all your time reading blog posts?
#3 – RSS Feeds
Another cool Buffer feature is the ability to add up to 15 RSS feeds into each social profile you add to your Buffer. That means you can have 15 blogs to follow for your Twitter profile, a different set of 15 blogs for your Facebook, and so on.
Chances are, you either have a blog tribe, a group of bloggers you are friends with who all join forces to cross-promote one another’s content on social media; or you tend to read & share the same blogger’s content over & over. I’m in that second category.
I have a list of bloggers whom I trust to write great content that is also in my niche. (That’s important. To be seen as an authority, you should only share content that is relevant to your target audience.)
Setting up your RSS feeds in Buffer allows you to quickly & easily fill in all the gaps in your Twitter schedule just by clicking a button. Here’s how you set it up:
While viewing your Twitter schedule in Buffer, click the “RSS Feeds” tab at the top, then click “Add & Remove Feeds”.
A box will pop up, and all you do is start typing the blog URL of the blog you want to follow. It typically finds it for you, then you just add it.
*TIP: If Buffer doesn’t find the feed by the URL, add “/feed” after the URL and try again.
Now when you go to your RSS Feeds tab in Buffer, you’ll have a never-ending list of niche-specific content from bloggers you trust at your disposal. Just click the “Add” button next to each post to add to your queue.
You can change the text, add an image if there’s room (and notice Buffer pulls images from the post for you automatically), and click “Add to Queue”.
*TIP: I always add “via @TWITTERHANDLE” after each post to include the blogger’s Twitter handle so they can see that I’m sharing their content. If you are following this person on Twitter, after you type the @ and begin typing their handle, Buffer will pull up their handle for you and you can simply select it.
#4 – Bulk Scheduling
Yes, scheduling all these tweets takes time, but if you set aside a couple hours each week, you’ll have the entire week done. Promise.
Here’s the key, though – you have to be ahead of your editorial calendar for this to work. What I mean is, you need to have your entire week’s blog posts written and scheduled so you can drop them into your Buffer schedule one week at a time.
Sundays are my days to schedule for the upcoming week, and there’s a method to my madness. It goes like this:
- Start with my own blog’s new content. I copy each tweet from my spreadsheet & paste it into my Buffer schedule. For a new post, I’ll add one tweet in the morning, one around noon, and one at the end of the day. I do this for everyday on which I’ll have a new blog post.
- Add in my old blog content. I copy one tweet from an older blog post and paste those into my Buffer schedule – 3 per day, every single day.
- I add in my promotional tweets. If I have a webinar or upcoming launch, I’ll write about 6 tweets for each of those things, then scatter them throughout my Buffer schedule for the week. Again, 3 per day, every single day.
- Fill in the gaps with the RSS Feeds. After my schedule is set with all of my content, there should be 6 empty spots in my schedule for each day. I click over to my RSS Feeds, click the “add” button, and add these posts to my queue.
It takes me about an hour to schedule an entire week’s worth of tweets if I have everything organized beforehand. This is what a full queue looks like, and this makes me very, very happy:
It’s a thing of beauty! We’re almost done…Who knew @Buffer had all these awesome tools? My Twitter strategy is getting a makeover! Click To Tweet
#5 – Analytics
Remember, we’re not just trying to save time here. We’re establishing ourselves as authorities on Twitter. To be an authority, you need to know what your audience responds to so you can give them more of that great content. That’s where analytics come in.
Buffer has a built-in analytics tool for each social profile you add to your Buffer account.
Head over to the “Analytics” tab in Buffer and you’ll see recent, most popular, least popular, and all post options. Normal Buffer plans allow you to see these analytics for the last 30 days. To see more, you have to upgrade to Buffer for Business.
*Sidenote: I’m using the Awesome plan, which is only $10/month. Because, let’s be honest, I’m awesome.
I like to look at the most popular tweets. I can see how many retweets, likes, mentions, and clicks each tweet had, as well as the potential reach of that tweet. If I choose, I can also click the “Re-Buffer” button to drop this tweet right back into my queue.
If my most popular tweets are my own content, I head back to my editorial calendar and highlight these so later, when I’m re-sharing older content, I know which tweets performed better than others. I’m sure to share the most popular tweets again for added exposure.
#6 – Engagement
This is the last item on the list but I think it’s the most important. Engagement is what you get when people share your content, retweet or like your tweets. This is what will ultimately make you an authority on Twitter.
However, if you want engagement, you have to be engaged.
You’re already well on your way to being engaged simply by sharing other people’s content on Twitter and tagging them with their handle when you do so. That’s great! But don’t fill your Buffer schedule then avoid Twitter all week long.
This is a conversation I had on Twitter recently with Kayla Hollatz. THIS, my friends, is engagement. Now, do you have to have a full-blown convo with everyone who shares your tweets? Absolutely not.
However, you do need to take the time to say “thank you”, or at the very least, like their retweet of yours. If it’s someone who shares a lot of your content, like several of their tweets, retweet theirs, and maybe even send them a DM to tell them you appreciate their encouragement.
A little goes a long way, but if you do these things consistently, you’ll begin to be recognized as an authority in your niche.
Now go! Frolic on Twitter and make a name for yourself. Your people are waiting!
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