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Making the most of your social media effort: Part I

Twuffer logo (One concern I hear a lot of is “How do we find time for this social media stuff?  We don’t have a full staff anymore and we’re already going nuts trying to do the things we have to do!”  There’s not a single, good answer that fits every library.  But, for those that have prioritized their social media efforts and recognize them as being crucial, there are at least some tools to help maximize their efforts.  Here’s one, the first in a series.)

I spend a lot of time talking to library staff about ways to make Twitter work for their libraries.  One of those ways is to post status updates consistently.  This doesn’t tweeting several, one right after the other, first thing in the morning and then doing nothing else for the rest of the day.  When I see libraries using this method, I usually unfollow them.  As far as I’m concerned, they’re spamming me and that’s not what I’m looking for when I follow an organization.   But, what if the library doesn’t have time to do tweets intermittently throughout the day?  That’s where tools like Twuffer come in.

Twuffer is a free, easy tool that has a very simple interface.  It allows you to schedule tweets for future posting, coming from your own Twitter account.  I use it somewhat extensively for the several different Twitter accounts that I manage.  It makes things much easier, as I can do much of my tweet statuses ahead of time and then simply forget them.  Twuffer does the actual work of posting them when specified.

What does this mean to me, Laura?

  • You login to Twuffer using your Twitter account login.
  • The service is currently in beta, but I, myself, have never noticed any issues with it (which seems to be somewhat par for the course with anything labeled “beta” anymore, doesn’t it?).
  • You can specify the day and time, but the time only on the hour, not the half-hour.
  • Twuffer does track sent tweets, so you can check for duplicates.
  • There does not seem to be a limit on how many tweets or how far ahead you can schedule them.
  • When you’re scheduling tweets, remember that the prime time for social media messages in the U.S. is between 7:30 am – 10:00 am.  That’s because checking Twitter/Facebook/etc. has replaced the morning paper for many people at the breakfast table.  That doesn’t mean that you should only schedule tweets for these hours; rather, save your most important ones for this time slot.