4 Steps to Killer Twitter Marketing Automation

This is a 4-step marketing automation process for Twitter. There are lots of ways to automate Twitter posts, but most require you to relinquish editorial control to some degree. As in you’ll select a few sources, then hope the content is good and relevant to your targets. What I’m going to outline for you is a better process. It isn’t full automation – you’re still going to have to work, but your work will be confined to finding great content as part of a routine, and refining tweets before they’re posted to Twitter. That’s the price of admission if you want to produce quality posts that position you as a thought leader.Here are the ingredients:

  • Twitter account (this should be obvious – hopefully you’re not just starting with Twitter – if so, this is probably not the first place you should start.)
  • Instapaper account – it’s free, just go to instapaper.com and register.
  • IFTTT account – this is also free and is the key to the whole system. Just go to IFTTT.com.
  • Buffer account – this app will automatically space out each post based on a schedule you control. This app is not free. Unless you’re an agency, you can probably get by for $10/month. It is worth the money. Just go to BufferApp.com.


STEP 1 – Create Accounts

Create the above accounts. Make sure you connect your Twitter account(s) to Buffer. It will require you to step through an easy verification process for each Twitter account.

STEP 2 – Setup Instapaper

Login to your Instapaper account (critical marketing automation component). On the lefthand sidebar you’ll see the words “Add Folder”. Click that link and name your first folder. It should be a descriptive word or phrase that describes a topic your target segment would want to know more about. This is a content strategy exercise. Just put yourself in their shoes and think about things they want to know that are related to your business or organization. Now build folders for every topic. Once you’ve finished adding all the folders you think you’ll need, install the Instapaper extension on your browser (Chrome is my choice). If you use the Zite app on your tablet – you can skip the browser extension step. Zite not only brings high-quality, current, relevant content to you, it provides the ability to save directly to your Instapaper account.

STEP 3 – Create Marketing Automation Recipe

Create a recipe in IFTTT. It stands for “If This Then That”. For this to work, you need to connect two channels: Instapaper and Buffer. It is painless, and the system will walk you through the process. Next, click the “Create Recipe” button. The first question is “Choose Trigger Channel”. It looks like this:

Step 1 - Twitter Marketing Automation


Type “Inst” in the search box, and you’ll see the Instapaper icon appear beneath – click it. Then, you’ll tell IFTTT more about the trigger. It will give you five (5) choices. Choose “Item moved to folder”. Next, select the associated folder for the recipe. It will look like this:



Next, you need to choose an action channel. This is where you connect to Buffer. Just type “Buf” in the search box – the Buffer icon will appear below. It looks like this:


It will give you two (2) choices. Choose “Add to Buffer”. Now, it’s time to write the prefix for your tweet. By default, IFTTT will send your tweet like this:

{{Title}} via Instapaper {{URL}}

Where the title and corresponding URL will be autofilled based on the article moved to the associated folder for this recipe. Here is how I have altered the Tweet:

{{Title}} – {{URL}} #hashtag

The #hashtag is key if you want your posts to get found by your targets. I recommend using Hashtagify to research the most popular hashtags for any topic. If done right, you’ll be added to lists of people who care about your topic almost immediately. This is a good thing for your Klout score (but that’s a topic for another day).

STEP 4 – Find Content

Content is the fuel for your marketing automation machine. My preferred method is using the Zite app on my iPad. I’ve been cultivating content on it for many years, and it is absolutely the most perfect magazine for me – as in specifically for me. I’ve rated thousands of articles (thumbs up/thumbs down) – and it has learned what I like across 25 topical areas. So, I get fresh content written at a level that matches my sophistication for each category. Can you tell I like it?If you’d prefer to use a browser, that’s cool. I know that Chrome has an Instapaper extension. This allows you to find content using your browser and save to Instapaper.Once you’ve found content and saved it. Login to Instapaper and move each article to the appropriate folder. This will trigger the corresponding recipe in IFTTT, and your posts will show up in your Buffer queue. If you want to improve the quality of the posts, you can now edit each in Buffer before they get posted to Twitter. I use this opportunity to make the prefixes more unique and to add more #hashtags.

That my friends is how to setup marketing automation for Twitter. Best of luck!

2017-04-25T14:08:38+00:00 By |Social Media Marketing|0 Comments

About the Author:

He has over 20 years of experience managing and leading the Ecommerce efforts of small, medium and large companies. He has held sales, sales management, marketing, operations, IS/IT, legal and executive management positions in start-up to multi-billion dollar organizations. He has also served as an adjunct professor of Ecommerce for the MBA program of the University of Missouri (where he received an MBA concentrated in Direct Marketing in 1989). He led the Ecommerce initiative for Sprint PCS (PCS) and Sprint (FON) as Vice President of Ecommerce. He led the integrated marketing efforts for Insight (NSIT) as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Ecommerce. Today, he is the CEO and Founder of Aidan Taylor Marketing – a marketing agency for small businesses (between $1 million and $20 million in annual revenue).

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