By Scott Westerman
TweetLater is one of the growing number of support applications that can help us leverage twitter as a messaging machine. Here’s how to use it.
Signup for a free account at www.tweetlater.com
You’ll see a dashboard where you can add one or more of your twitter accounts to the system. Adding an account is as simple as inputting your twitter identity and password. You can also set up some preferences to auto-follow anybody that follows you. While there’s some debate about the pros and cons, I like to follow everybody who follows me.
Once you’ve set up your account, you can click the “Manage Tweets” link to set up future Twitter tweets. Click “New Tweet”. You will be able to input your 140 character message and set a specific delivery date and time. At the appointed hour, your tweet will propagate across the Twitter network, just as if you had manually input it at that moment.
Tweetlater doesn’t interfere with your normal Twitter activity. You can still type tweets to your hearts content on your normal Twitter home page.
The benefits: You can input a week’s worth tweets in one sitting (I do this with daily almanac data for www.keener13.com). You can send a post out at a special time, even if you won’t be in front of your computer. You can schedule posts to hit when you want folks to see them.
Imagine Tweetlater as a friend that calls you to tell you about something cool that’s happening right now. “Hey, I’m gonna watch When We Left Earth on Discovery HD tonight. See it at 8ET!” or.. “About to watch Steve Jobs WWDC keynote on UStream.”
As you schedule, remember that Twitter is like a river of information which people generally consume in near real time. Internet users are more prone to ADD and generally take action when they see something. Set up your tweets to fire at times when you think your audience will be watching and ready to act. For example, avoid sending your stuff out at 8 in the morning, unless it’s associated with something hot that’s happening at that time.
Remember that your success in attracting and keeping Twitter followers is subject to the same rules that apply to all good Internet content. It should be interesting, relevant and timely.