Twitter: Creating Social Media Clones

Genetic cloning montageFinally, the ability to be two places at once! For a while, Hootsuite users have loved the ability to schedule tweets and now the new Tweetdeck is taking it one step further by including scheduled tweets and Foursquare check-ins. Correct me if I’m wrong, but how can we check-in via Foursquare if we’re not physically there? How do we engage conversation without being around to respond? Tweetdeck has given us the opportunity to have a social media clone ensuring our presence is still in our community without physically doing the work.

Last week during the #u30pro chat, hosted by Lauren Fernandez, David Spinks, and Scott Hale, the group discussed pros/cons to scheduled tweets and many users chimed in. Here are some reasons members dislike the feature:

  • Lauren: Q3: I think scheduling tweets is defeating the purpose of social networks. #u30pro
  • Silver Vasquez: If you are scheduling tweets, you’re probably missing opportunities for engagement. #u30pro
  • Scott: Not very genuine. RT @CubanaLAF: Q3: I think scheduling tweets is defeating the purpose of social networks. #u30pro
  • Jeff Esposito: Agreed, loses authenticity RT @cubanalaf: Q3: I think scheduling tweets is defeating the purpose of social networks. #u30pro

Like any great chat, members openly disagreed and did a stellar job at explaining the benefits of using scheduled tweets. Here are some other key points:

  • David: @jeffespo @cubanalaf Disagree. Depends how you use social. If you want to be an effective content source, scheduling helps. #u30pro
  • Ellen Nordahl: I like to schedule links to interesting articles. I want to share but don’t want to share all at once.
  • Calvin Lee: @davidspinks: I share links 5 at a time and throw in some convo. #u30pro
  • David: Social doesn’t always mean talking. It’s also sharing. Rather than sharing 30 links at once, I space them out. Better sharing. #u30pro

After thinking about what David, Ellen, and Calvin shared, I started to re-think my whole stance. However I was still wondering whether or not this engaged the community. But then I thought, does it really matter?

People use Twitter for a variety of reasons. If sharing content is a major strategy in building your community than scheduled tweets is a godsend. But in addition to receiving great information, communities want to actively engage in conversation regarding what you shared. Sure, you’ll recieve alerts when people respond, but your response will be delayed whether it’s by minutes or hours. If it’s not, than why even schedule tweets when you can simply do it in real time?

I use Twitter to learn, engage, and build relationships. I share links sparingly as do most of the people I follow. If you tweet too many links, how do I know what’s truly interesting or important? It’s been said that the more selective one is with what he shares, the more inclined people are read what was shared. At the end of the day, regardless of scheduled or non-scheduled tweets, when we share a link it’s to spark an idea or conversation and we should be there to engage/discuss.

What do you think? Is it cheating by using scheduled tweets? If you schedule tweets, I’m interested to hear the opportunities / challenges you’ve faced, so please comment below!

(Note: Big thanks to #u30pro a great conversation last week. If you’re not checking in to this chat you are truly missing out. You can find more information about it here: http://davidspinks.com/under-30-professionals/ or join the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/u30pro.)

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