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Is Auto Tweeting as Bad as Auto Blogging?

April 25, 2011

This is the last in a series of 3 posts about Twitter. Look for a new free ebook from me on Thursday!

Most of us are quick to pooh-pooh auto-blogs (blogs that scrape content from other sources and repost it automatically). They do nothing but steal others’ content and pollute the blogosphere.

But what about the ever-increasing trend of auto-tweeting, which involves automatically tweeting other people’s content without reading it in the first place? Is this a dangerous trend that will harm your Twitter marketing or a smart way to drive more traffic?

Auto tweet. Get it?

Auto tweet. Get it?

I currently use Twitterfeed to automatically tweet my own blog posts and Triberr (started by The Dinomeister) to retweet the posts of 15 other people whose work I generally like and admire, even though I don’t always read it. In return, they automatically tweet my blog posts. Now, I see no problem with auto-tweeting my own posts. I’d be tweeting them anyway, and having it happen automatically just saves me some time. But every day I automatically tweet (via Triberr) posts (other bloggers’) that I don’t read. And this makes me feel a bit uneasy.

[Note 1: What I’m talking about here is different from something like Buffer—which I love, btw—that lets you schedule your tweets so that they’ll be automatically posted at future times. When you schedule your tweets, they’re, well, YOUR tweets. You control what’s being tweeted. That’s not really the case with auto tweeting.]

[Note 2: And yes, I know you can delete posts from your “Cue” (shouldn’t that be “Queue”?) on Triberr, but I’m guessing the vast majority of Triberr users don’t do that. Or maybe I'm just a bad person and it's only me that doesn't do it.]

Ideally, people follow us on Twitter to see what we have to say about certain topics and to see what great links we share. If you see me tweet a blog post, it’s understood that I’ve read it, like it, and recommend it to you. But these auto-tweet services remove me, the Twitter user, as a filter. It’s 100% cross-promotion with zero filtering on my end.

So my question is, does this lessen the value of my tweets and my Twitter account (in the eyes of a follower) in general? I think it does.

Sure, it’s nice to get more retweets in the short term (though to be honest I haven’t seen much more traffic), but over the long run will this hurt my Twitter marketing?

I’ve noticed another disturbing trend in myself. Again, I don’t know if this is just my issue or if others are struggling with this, too. Because I automatically retweet other bloggers’ posts, I find myself not visiting their blogs as often. I think to myself, “Alright, my job here is done. I’ve RTd his post and it’s not *that* big of a deal if I don’t go over there to read and comment on it.” So it’s hurting their traffic (but maybe it’s made up for by the amount of traffic they get from Twitter?) and is hurting the social aspect of my social media strategy. Not good.

In short, it’s made Twitter for me less social. And the less social your social media efforts are, the worse your results will be from them.

  • Have you noticed this auto tweet trend?
  • Is auto tweeting good or bad for bloggers and followers in the long run?
  • Do you use some sort of auto-tweeting service?

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