It’s tempting to think the likes of Twitter aren’t worth the effort but it can be an effective marketing tool that will work for you. Not all social media sites are appropriate for all sites, but it would see a waste to ignore all of them.
I typically like to build a presence on Twitter and Facebook, they are sites that I actively use and tend to suit the material that I post about. Fortunately there are a few tools that can help spread your content onto social networks and today I am taking a look at TweetWheel.
The old twitter plugin I used to use sadly seemed no longer maintained and seems to have disappeared, I was looking for a goof replacement for Tweetly and I came across TweetWheel which appeared to have the same functionality that I needed, if not more.
There are plenty of plugins that will tweet out when you post but I wanted a plugin that would randomly pick old posts and tweet links to them on a periodic basis. This is exactly what TweetWheel was designed to do.
This plugin allows you to build up a schedule of tweets for all your posts and automate the posting to twitter. This allows your old posts to get fed out to your Twitter account. This is a great way to help your followers discover older content on your site.
I needed the plugin to work for custom posts, some of the alternatives do not but this was no problem for TweetWheel. The plugin also allows you to customise the tweets per post, this was important to me as I wanted to ensure a good variety of tweets, you don’t want the same thing appearing for all your posts. Your feed will just look spammy and be of no use to followers.
I would also like to draw attention to the presentation of the plugin, it really has been put together with a lot of care and attention to detail. I have written a couple of plugins of my own so I know that putting together a good admin interface can be challenging but the author of TweetWheel has done a great job at making the interface look great.
I also like the ability to add multiple templates to each post. In fact I have built up a script that automates the population of these templates which has allowed me to back populate templates for the 100+ posts that are on the site. I don’t have time for a lot of manual stuff so anything that can be automated is a big plus.
The plugin only allows you to tweet from one account. As you have to set up an application on the account this quickly becomes limiting as to do this you have to give Twitter your mobile phone number. If you run more than one site and tweet from different accounts this will be a problem. If this problem is solved I will happily invest more effort into TweetWheel and would certainly buy the premium edition.
I would also have liked to have seen some functionality that would allow me to manage hash tags. I hacked my old plugin to take #tags from the tag taxonomy and add them to the end of tweets. This isn’t a big problem as I have started setting up individual templates for each of my posts and I can just add them there.
I would recommend TweetWheel to anyone looking for a way to give life to old content. There is also a “pro” version which offers a few more features such as image attachment and multiple schedules. If multi-account support is added I would be happy to buy this version and support the authors work. The presentation is perfect, functionality is almost there, and the developer has proved very responsive in the WordPress support forum.