Version 2.13 of BlogRiffer is ready for download.

This update makes Tweet scheduling easier by adding preset schedules, similar to Buffer and Hootsuite, but with one important difference, which I'll explain below. It's related to a Tweeting strategy my brother learned from his social media advisor. More on that in a minute.

First, here's a list of changes in this update.

  • As mentioned, you can now create preset schedules for scheduled Tweets. So instead of having to manually specify the time of each future Tweet (which you can still do if you wish), you simply select a schedule, and the Tweet is automatically inserted into the next available time slot.
  • The list of scheduled Tweets now lists which Twitter account each Tweet will be posted to, as well as which schedule (if any) they are part of.
  • When scheduling Tweets and editing preset schedules, the hour, minute, and year are now selected from a dropdown list instead of being typed.
  • Scheduled Tweets that Twitter says are too long are not repeatedly attempted -- instead, and error message is displayed in the scheduled Tweet list. (This feature was working in a previous version, but Twitter changed the error message they return, requiring an update to BlogRiffer.)

How to Upgrade

  1. Upload BlogRiffer, overwriting the old files. (When upgrading from version 2.12, you may upload only the files listed below, if you wish.)
  2. Load BlogRiffer in your web browser.
  3. Click the button that is displayed to update your database.

Changed and New Files

  • conf.php
  • default-conf.php
  • edit-scheduled.php
  • feed-list.php
  • img/x-box-16x16.png
  • install.php
  • js.php
  • poll.php
  • publishing-plugins/twitter/
    • twitter-js.php
    • twitter.php
  • styles.css
  • update.php

A Tweeting Strategy

A while back, my brother's social media consultant recommended a Tweet scheduling strategy to him.

The main idea was that you should post several Tweets about your followers for each Tweet your post about your company. This accomplishes several things:

  • Since you're not always talking about yourself, you'll sound less self-absorbed.
  • If you're Tweeting about other people, you'll have more useful things to say.
  • When you retweet and @mention your followers, you get their attention, engage them, and earn their appreciation.

The recommended schedule included 3 Tweets about others followed by 1 Tweet about yourself (give first), spaced 10 minutes or so apart. During the week, the Tweets were more business related, with entertaining and human-interest Tweets scheduled on the weekend.

Where BlogRiffer's newly upgraded Tweet scheduling feature differs from tools like Buffer and Hootsuite (in addition to not requiring a monthly fee), is that you can have any number of different schedules, and they're not tied to a single Twitter account.

I can imagine circumstances where you might want some Tweets on the same schedule to go through different Twitter accounts. But I won't go into that right now.

The thing that's going to make you life easier is the fact that each Twitter account can use multiple Tweet schedules. Here's how you might set it up:

  • Create a scheduled named "Others", with slots every weekday at 8:00am, 8:10am, and 8:20am.
  • Create a schedule named "Mine", with a slot at 8:30am every weekday, and one at 10:30am on Saturday.
  • Create a schedule named "Fun", with slots at 10:00am, 10:10am, and 10:20am on Saturday. (If you want to mix some of the fun Tweets in on the weekdays, you might put the 8:10am slot in the "Fun" schedule instead of the "Others" schedule.)

I'll bet you can see how that makes your life easier. With other tools, you'd schedule 3 "others" tweets, and then schedule one of yours, and then schedule 3 more "others" and another of yours, and so on.

With BlogRiffer, you can queue up the next 50 of your own Tweets without having to carefully mix in the right number of "Others" Tweets in between. Then you shift gears and add 30 or 40 Tweets to the "Others" schedule. Then you add some "Fun" Tweets.

Whenever you come up with a good "Others" or "Fun" Tweet, you add it to the schedule without ever having to remember or double-check whether you need to inject a Tweet about your company first.

One last tip.

A while back, Buffer analyzed something like 5 million of their users' Tweets to see what time of day was best for getting clicks, retweets, and other engagement. What they discovered is that engagement is highest between 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning -- most likely because that's when Tweet volume is lowest, so there's less competition.

Of course, that will vary from person to person and industry to industry, but it's a good thing to keep in mind. Don't just assume that you should Tweet when everyone else does, or at the time when the most people are likely to be available, because your audience may be too inundated at that time to engage. Instead, try scheduling Tweets for less busy times of the day, and see whether that gets you more engagement.

If not, you can always adjust your schedule.