One of the compliments I get most often is from Twitter followers who love reading my tweets that look like this:
I hear everything from how helpful those posts are and what a great idea it is to share older posts. However, it often comes as a surprise when I tell them I’m not slaving away through old blog posts trying to find the best ones to tweet and then painstakingly putting together a schedule of posts. Truth is, it’s one of the easiest things I’ve done for my blog… it’s just a plugin!
If you’ve read Momcomm for any amount of time, you know I’m not down with much auto-anything in social media land. But this plugin is a rock star. It’s called… wait for it… Tweet Old Post. Shocking name, I know.
How to Configure Tweet Old Post
Once you download Tweet Old Post, it’s time to configure. And you MUST configure or you’ll end up looking stupid. (I’ll explain in a minute.) You’ll find the settings near the bottom of your WordPress dashboard.
From there, select Tweet Old Post and you’ll come to a page with lots of options. While it looks like a lot at first, most of it only takes a minute or two. Here’s what you’ll want to be sure to configure:
1. Tweet Content: Title Only, Body Only, Title & Body
I just like to tweet the blog post title only. It’s shorter and I don’t have to worry about any random announcement or something I may have thrown in the beginning of a post. Of course, you can play around with this setting and see what works for you.
2. Additional Text & Additional Text At: Beginning or End of Tweet
This is where you can have some fun. I chose to customize by adding “Old but Awesome” before each tweet since I’m especially fond of the word awesome for some reason.
3. Include a Link: Yes or No
Um, is there any reason that you WOULDN’T tweet a link?
Next screenshot with details below:
4. URL Shortener Service (lots of options)
If you can, definitely use a URL shortener. For one, you can track how many clicks you’ve gotten if you care to. And your tweet looks cleaner with a short URL. You can find your bit.ly API key in your bit.ly settings.
5. Hashtags: Common Hashtag for All Tweets, Create Hashtag from Categories, Create Hashtag from Tags, Get Hashtags from Custom Fields
You can add hashtags to your posts too. I haven’t actually done this for Momcomm though I might soon. As you can see, there are lots of options. My advice is not to bog down a hashtag with your posts or use too many hashtags in a tweet. Both are spammy.
6. Minimum interval between tweets.
What should you set here? This depends on how often you’re on Twitter and how often you post. If you’re on vacation, you’ll want to up the time between tweets. If there’s anything I’d change about this plugin, it would be the ability to have it pause over the weekends. I’m just not on Twitter much over the weekend and don’t like having the same frequency that I have during the week. But hey- it’s one con in a sea of pros.
7. Minimum/maximum age of post to be eligible for tweet.
Right now, mine is set for 30 days as a minimum and I have no maximum. As I age in bloggy years though, I’ll probably add a maximum too.
I only reviewed the main places to configure but you’ll probably want to peek at each setting and make adjustments if you like. As for Categories to Omit from tweets, it needs its own section!
Omitting Categories and Posts (aka How Not to Look Like an Idiot)
I’ll be honest. This one might take some time. Why? Because if you’re categories are a mess, then you’ll have trouble.
Savvy automation is a beautiful thing but you don’t want it to backfire. You surely don’t want to be tweeting a link to a giveaway that ended nine months ago! Or talking about a “current event” from last year.
The best approach to take is to omit all categories that you suspect may need some adjusting. For example, if you don’t have a Giveaways category and only put your kid toy giveaways in your Kid Toys category, then exclude Kid Toys for now. That way you’re only tweeting categories you’re sure are clean.
If you want to change up your categories, then take one category at a time and clean them up! If you like the categories as you have them (or don’t want to bother with that mess), then click over to the Exclude Post settings from your dashboard.
On the Exclude Posts settings, you can also exclude specific posts without omitting an entire category. Brilliant! You just click to select the ones to omit. It’ll show pages and posts but if you only have it set to tweet out posts, then you won’t need to worry about excluding pages.
Don’t let all of that omitting posts and category talk scare you away though! I’ve definitely had a few posts go through that I didn’t want to tweet out again. It happens! Just periodically check through the posts that have been tweeted with this plugin and make sure you don’t havy anything wonky going out. In fact, check it daily as you first start using the plugin so you can watch it in action and catch any rogue tweets.
Tweet Old Post has brought me loads of traffic. Bloggers will often revisit posts they liked. AND you gain new followers all the time on Twitter. What’s old to one follower may be completely brand spankin’ new to another!
So tell me, do you love this plugin or what?
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