Networking

How to schedule retweets with Tweetdeck and Buffer

If you're looking to super-charge your brand's use of Twitter, you'll want to learn how to take advantage of scheduling retweets. Jack Wallen shows you how.

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Image: Jack Wallen

So many businesses rely on social media for promotion and marketing. It's become old hat to most. But one thing many businesses neglect to make use of on Twitter is the retweet. This is a great way to redouble your efforts, once someone has tweeted about your product or service. Not only will it appear on your business account, it will show up on the original account's timeline.

The problem is, you shouldn't just log onto your Twitter account, search for posts to retweet, and then start clicking the retweet button. Instead, you want to spread them out, so to not inundate your audience. I tend to spread retweets out every ninety minutes. Does that mean I have to sit at my desktop and, every ninety minutes, remember to click the retweet button on a post?

No.

Instead, I take advantage of two very handy tools: Tweetdeck and Buffer. Tweetdeck is, hands down, one of the best Twitter account tools on the market and Buffer is what enables you to easily schedule retweets.

Although you can use Buffer with just about any Twitter client (and even the standard Twitter page), I prefer to use Tweetdeck simply because it's search tools are powerful, yet easy to use (plus, Tweetdeck is free).

Let's walk through the process of installing and using Buffer on Tweetdeck.

Installing Buffer

Buffer can be used as a full blown service (they offer accounts for individuals and for businesses), or you can simply install the browser plugin and go (click the link for your browser and allow the installation of the plugin). Once you install the browser plugin, you have to log in with an account (logging in with your Twitter account works great). When you complete that, you'll have an official free account. The free account is limited to ten posts in your "buffer". If you want more, you have to upgrade to what Buffer calls "Awesome". Awesome is $102.00 USD per year. I highly recommend working with the free version to see if A) You can make Buffer meet your needs and B) If you need more than ten scheduled items in your buffer.

I also do recommend making use of the Buffer Dashboard. Once you've logged into your Buffer account, you can then see a listing of everything you have scheduled ( Figure A), so you don't double-down on your efforts.

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen

The Buffer Dashboard can be very helpful.

Once installed, you're ready to go.

Using Buffer with Tweetdeck

In the Tweetdeck window, there's a column for Searching. You want to take advantage of this tool, to make this process much easier (and on-going). If you click on the Search icon in the Tweetdeck window, it will highlight the Search column. Click on the Settings button in the Search column to reveal the Search parameter section ( Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen

Setting up an on-going search in Tweetdeck.

Once you have your search parameters filled out, the Search column will reveal all tweets and retweets that match your settings. Locate a tweet you want to "Buffer" and you'll see a new icon that looks like three pages stacked on top of one another. Click on that icon and a new window will appear ( Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C
Image: Jack Wallen

Ready to buffer a tweet.

Click on the Add to Queue drop-down and then select Schedule Post. A small calendar popup will appear. Set the date and time for the buffer ( Figure D) and then click Schedule.

Figure D

Figure D
Image: Jack Wallen


You're done. The retweet will post at the scheduled time.

Hasn't failed me yet

I discovered the power of retweeting years ago, but only recently realized just how much power they can hold...if used correctly. By scheduling these retweets you can ensure they post regularly and at optimum times for your market. With the help of Tweetdeck and Buffer, this task is incredibly simple.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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