#54: The Power of Twitter Automation with Tim Fargo

Photo of Tim Fargo, Podcast title: The Power of Automating Your Twitter Content with Guest Tim Fargo

In this episode, Tim Fargo and I talk about the power of Twitter automation and knowing your audience.

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This podcast episode is brought to you by the #TwitterSmarter Twitter chat. Each week I host the chat and bring together hundreds of people in an active, one-hour discussion revolving around Twitter marketing. It’s every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. Hope to see you there!

Tim Fargo is the CEO of Social Jukebox, an amazing and powerful Twitter automation tool that I love and use every day for marketing my brand on Twitter. It’s a paid scheduling tool that allows you to load a “jukebox” full of content so you can schedule tweets to go out and then sit back and let it do the job for you.

I’ve known Tim for many years and even had him on this podcast a few years back (episode 28). Tim is my first guest to come back on for a second time. He’s a bestselling author, a keynote speaker, an angel investor and an entrepreneur.

Episode Highlights

Tim’s Twitter automation and marketing tips:

  • Know who your audience is so you can focus your content.
  • Use relevant hashtags related to what you’re doing so people searching a topic can find you. See what hashtags are trending and structure your content accordingly.
  • Deliver content that your audience will care about. If your content is good and relevant, people will share it.
  • Use a Twitter automation tool to automatically push out a steady drip of social media content in addition to publishing content in real time.
  • Use the time you save automating social media content to engage with people in real time and to create great content for your audience.
  • Create and use an editorial calendar so you have the opportunity to plan your content in advance.

My Favorite Quotes

“The No. 1 thing that makes automation worthwhile is your ability to plan.” – @tim_fargoClick To Tweet
“By resharing things – using automation – you give people an opportunity to see your greatest hits.” – @tim_fargoClick To Tweet

Tools, Links, and Apps Mentioned

  • Social Jukebox – scheduling and management tool for Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • Hootsuite – tool for scheduling all of your social media content, monitoring important conversations, and tracking analytics.
  • CrowdFire – social media engagement app.
  • More from Tim – Listen to Tim’s first #TwitterSmart podcast appearance in 2016.

How to Reach Tim

Connect with Tim on Twitter and through his email, tim@socialjukebox.com.

Your Call to Action

Your call to action for this episode is to sign up for a Twitter automation tool. Why not try a FREE 14-day trial to Social Jukebox? It’s the perfect tool for sending out tweets regularly so you don’t have to spend time scheduling them over and over again. Social Jukebox not only automates posts for Twitter but also for LinkedIn and Facebook.

If you try out any new Twitter automation tools, let me know what you think. Or tell me what tool you’re already using. Send me a tweet @MadalynSklar. I’d love to hear from you.

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Madalyn Sklar: Hey Tim! Thank you so much for joining the #TwitterSmarter podcast. I am so happy to have you here as my special guest. My question for you … And you know I’m bringing you back. This is the second time you’ve come back on the show. So thank you for being the first one to be my second-time guests. But I’m going to ask you the same question: What are your best Twitter tips?

Tim Fargo: What are my best Twitter tips? You know, I have to say that I need to start at the beginning ’cause that’s always a good place – to start anything. But it’s remarkable to me because I get questions all the time that people are asking something that’s very downstream from the beginning.

And for me, the beginning is: who is your audience? Who are you trying to reach? And because everything else that comes after that is dictated by that. You know, I mean, if you’re trying to be entertaining, that’s going to be one kind of, maybe, set of rules, so to speak. And if you’re being, you know, informative, that’s another set of rules. And you know it depends on, you know, how often you think people are going to be on. You need… People need to understand who their audience is and who that avatar is and what’s going to speak to them.

And the example that I like to use is … Personally, I really like 50 cent. But you know, if I showed up at the opera and he turned up, you know, I’d have a little cognitive dissonance. I wouldn’t know what the guy was doing there.

And I see some of that in social media and on Twitter where people, I mean, some things are like I’m being authentic and some things are like, who’s your audience here? You know what I mean? There are people who are like firing things all over the place.

So my first tip, and I hope I’m emphasizing it enough here, is to know who you’re trying to reach because if you don’t know that, it’s really hard to reach a destination if you don’t know what it is. So know your audience. That’s the first tip, for sure.

Madalyn Sklar: I love that. It’s a great tip.

Tim Fargo: Well, thank you. And then downstream from that, like in terms of trying to expand your audience … Now for different people that are listening because you know, you, I think TwitterSmarter has a pretty savvy audience, but for the people maybe just getting started, I mean, using hashtags – appropriate hashtags (Don’t try to surf a hashtag that’s some political hashtag just because you think you’ll get extra traction).

But if you use hashtags like #podcast or #motivationmonday or, you know, if you use the hashtag related to what you’re doing, it’s a chance to reach people that are searching on a topic and give them a chance to reach a greater audience. And that might sound like the most elemental thing, but I’m really stunned because, I mean, a lot of people that use my tool, Social Jukebox, I mean, they’re not, they’re not newbies.

I mean, these people have been around. But they don’t really, they know what hashtags are for, but they don’t really employ them. I think that you can get great traction by seeing what’s trending, seeing what’s going on with hashtags on any given day, and then structuring your content accordingly so that you get in front of a broader audience that you might otherwise do.

So that’s another tip. Fundamental – and I’m sure we’ve talked about this before, and anybody that talks about Twitter or any social media platform, and as I mentioned, the audience … Well, once you know the audience, then you’ve got to figure out what content they’re going to care about and deliver that. Content that’s meaningful, helpful, entertaining – whatever it is that your audience is waiting for – you need to stand up and deliver.

I was actually watching a TV show last night on HBO called “Ballers.” And these guys got a TV station as part of a deal they did, and they went to the network to talk to them about, you know, like what they were going to broadcast or whatever. Or getting a better position within the network was actually the topic, and the guy from the network said your position channel-wise is irrelevant. Nobody even cares about that anymore. But what you’ve gotta do is put something on the air that someone cares about. And we have that same mandate as social media people.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s Twitter or Facebook or Linkedin or Pinterest, Instagram, whatever. If your content is relevant, it’ll get shared. You know, if it’s good content that makes a difference to people, they’ll share it, they’ll talk about it. But if you’re just putting out a lot of “me-too” content, you know, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to stand up in front of your audience.

I think it’s critical that people take the time especially when (as you’re well aware, I’m a big advocate for automation)… And I think the time people saved using automation is best spent curating or creating great content for their audience.

Madalyn Sklar: I love that. I think that is super smart. All of these things you’re talking about are so great, Tim, because, you know, starting with who is your audience. It’s always important to always know who are you talking to.

And I love, when you talked about using hashtags related to what you’re doing you’re really big with sharing motivational thoughts. I love how you’ll make a video that is highly motivational. You’ll take a quote and read it and share your two cents on it and then tie it into a trending hashtag. Like on Mondays, you know, they do MondayMotivation and today is Tuesday. So it was TuesdayThoughts.

And there’s always something trending I’ve noticed in the morning in the U.S. that’s motivational. And that’s something that we can utilize if it’s relevant to our content. Right? So with what you’re doing with those videos, it seems like it’s a perfect blend.

Tim Fargo: Well, and I mean, it is. And I think that anybody can dip their toe into that water. I do motivational quotes as kind of my mainstay, but it really wouldn’t matter what your audience was.

If you felt like you had a quote that, you know, crossed the bridge between reaching that Motivation Monday crowd and also would address your audience, there is a great chance to kind of cross-pollinate. It’s always the kind of term I use for when you bring an audience in through hashtags.

So you know, through that kind of cross-pollination, you bring those people and you get in front of a bigger, broader audience. And as you said, and it’s one of the beautiful things about like, I mean … My automation is set up that I’m surfing the most popular motivational hashtags every day.

That’s just a media calendar that I’m already on. And I don’t have to do anything on a given day to make that happen because it’s already preset within my system. So yeah, absolutely. I think, and whether it’s that or you know, sometimes there’s something going.

Like when Aretha Franklin passed away, I had a bunch of quotes from her, and I took the time to like find one that I thought was really great, with a great photo meme and posted that. And it got, I want to say like 500 retweets. And that got me in front of a lot of people that I wouldn’t have otherwise been in front of.

But that’s the secondary piece, is also – kind of referring to hashtags but also – kind of maybe scanning your environment, is: If you’re a podcaster and there’s been some amazing new development in podcasting or there’s some new development in what you do if you’re a person that does a special coating for swimming pools all over the United States and there’s news about that and somehow it ends up on Twitter, you should try to surf that.

You should try to put something out that gets you into that conversation so you’re not counting on people to just happen to notice that you do that.

Madalyn Sklar: I love that. So how do we tie automation into all of this?

Tim Fargo: Well, okay, so with my tool, one of the things you can do is you can insert a hashtag into a jukebox, which is what we call a reservoir of content.

So, all your posts that will go out – Say that you’re blogging about the recording industry so, you could be using a hashtag for that. Say, you know, #recording (I actually probably should have picked something I knew the hashtags for better). But just say #recording is the most popular hashtag for that. Then you could put that hashtag to be appended to every post that goes out from that reservoir. And I think that’s a great way to do it.

And it was … That feature was created so that people wouldn’t have to edit all the posts that they have in a particular reservoir. You know, if something new comes along, right? So you don’t have to go in and search and replace all the hashtags in a particular thing. But, and then like taking automation in a broader context: I would say the number one thing that makes automation worthwhile is, is your ability to plan.

Of course, there’s always what’s happening in the moment. But, you know, the biggest magazines, the biggest TV stations – you know, all of these places – have an editorial calendar. They have a set series of topics that they’re trying to talk about over time.

And I think that it’s important for us while we maintain an eye on whatever’s trending, but also to stick to some kind of calendar so that we have the opportunity to plan our content in advance and sort of, you know, also even prep our audience.

Like, let’s say if you were coming out with a new book about Twitter, I mean, you wouldn’t want to start posting about it when it happened. You’d want to set up posts talking about it months in advance so you’re building anticipation. And then when you had a presale pop up on say Amazon, you’d want to be posting about that.

And all that can be done because when you automate, it gives you the opportunity to know that you’re going to have a certain amount of coverage guaranteed without you having to do a lot of thinking about it besides the initial planning. So, you plan it, and then the automation allows you to implement it. And then you can get back to doing what you do. And I think for anybody doing any kind of business that is absolutely critical.

Madalyn Sklar: I totally agree. I’ve been using scheduling tools, doing automation, for many years. When they first came out, it was like a godsend because you’re doing all this stuff manually. It’s time-consuming. I know there are people that are very antiautomation of any kind, and I’m very selective in what I automate. But it does help you with planning, and it allows you to free up time so you can go on social media and engage with people.

Tim Fargo: Right. Well, and I think, you know, the idea of not using automation – And I’m well aware that there are people who are not big fans … (They’ve made themselves known to me.) But having said that, let’s just take like, you know, you write some great blog posts. And the reality is when we talked about Twitter tips, I mean, many of the things that were important 10 years ago on Twitter are still important today.

And people, still – many of them – still don’t get it. So, I mean, as an example, one thing that … and this is also, you know, part of planning is: not constantly sharing the same content over and over again. And that’s a temptation with automation that people need to resist. But at the same time, the flip side of that is when you, let’s say you’ve written this awesome blog post about Twitter tips. That content was good 10 years ago, and it’s probably still relevant today.

Now you might need to update the blog post, but if you want to keep sharing that content, it’s very easy for us because we’re in social media to think that everyone knows what we’re doing. And I mean, God, if that were only the case. Right? You know, if our audience was that attentive to everything we’re doing.

The reality is something I wrote three years ago some people maybe have still not seen even though I’m sharing it. And I get frequent comments on old blog posts, and people are like, “Oh, I just read this. And it’s great.” Maybe it’s a couple of two, three, four years old. It’s still relevant.

But the purpose to me of automation is that is resharing that valuable content because your audience is shifting all the time. Twitter is the biggest channel-surfed social media platform there probably is. I mean, Facebook is much more of a nest where people tend to be herded around a particular area. But Twitter is … People can be going in all kinds of different directions. So by resharing things – using automation – you give those people an opportunity to kind of see your greatest hits. And I think automation is awesome for that.

Madalyn Sklar: I’m going to agree with you 100%. I have a great example that I can share with that because I agree with you. I think our content on Twitter has a very short shelf life, and you want people to know what’s going on with you.

And one of the tweets I have in my Social Jukebox (with your company) is – and I have several of these – tweets that are mentioning like, “Hey, I’m on this incredible list with 50 other top social marketers. I’ve been named like number 10 or something.” You know, people want to know about these accolades.

And, I have one where I say “I’m honored to be listed along with 50 incredible women in marketing to follow from S.E. Journal,” which is, you know, Search Engine Journal is a very popular blog. And every time I post this, every time it goes out – because I have it on an automation where it’s on autopilot right now – when that tweet goes out, I get so many replies from people cause they haven’t seen it yet, and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, congratulations. How awesome. What a great honor.”

And so I feel like it’s still a relevant tweet to have as part of my automation because otherwise, I’d have to remember to manually post it. And over time, how many of these pieces of content can we keep doing manually?

Tim Fargo: Absolutely. Well, and I mean to the same point: I’m the CEO of Social Jukebox. I post … Probably 5% of my posts have some reference to Social Jukebox that’s kind of like my little, you know, tug on people to like, “Hey, by the way, this is me.” I get people that have followed me for a couple of years, and they’re like “Oh, I didn’t know you were involved with Social Jukebox.” But from my perspective, I’m screaming it. Right? I’m shouting it so loud that people are probably going, “Okay. Enough already with Social Jukebox. We get it.”

But I still get people like that I know they’ve been around for a long time, and they’re like, “I didn’t know you were involved with that.” It’s in my profile. It’s been in my profile for a long time. So like you say, it’s fascinating how you might think “Oh, I posted that a couple of weeks ago.” If you think that posting something once … and that’s my biggest kind of knock against the people that think everything should be analog …

I think analog’s great if you’re Rianna because her fans go directly to her feed and see what she’s talking about. I mean, if you’re famous, that’s fine. That probably works, you know, better for someone like that. But for the rest of us mortals, you might need to remind people a little bit. You know, until you’re like going up and receiving your Grammy, or your Oscar or whatever, you might want to go ahead and just remind people what you’re doing because I think very often it’s, it’s easy for these things to get lost in the mix if you’re … if you don’t have a media plan for them like we talked about.

Madalyn Sklar: I absolutely agree. Great points there. I want to ask you, what are some of your favorite tools? And I know we’ll talk about Social Jukebox because that is your tool. And it’s amazing, and I love it. And this is not a paid sponsored ad or anything. I just wanted to bring Tim on cause he’s an awesome guy as you guys can hear – great to have on to talk about Twitter and how we can better use it. Before we, before you talk about Social Jukebox, what are some … Do you use any other tools?

Tim Fargo: Absolutely. Absolutely. I use Hootsuite as a listening tool. And I’ve just found … It’s actually … I developed Social Jukebox because I got tired of scheduling using Hootsuite, but I still love their listening capacity and the listening side of that tool. So, that’s something I still actively utilize even though, obviously, on the outbound side I don’t use it for that anymore. So, on the listening side, it’s Hootsuite.

And because my account has gotten pretty big – I’m knocking on the door of 600,000 followers now on Twitter, and I use Crowdfire to uh, follow and unfollow.  And I actually, I mean I, I haven’t used that tool in a while because somebody does it for me. But they are using my subscription to do that for my account in my Social Jukebox account.

And I looked around at different tools, and, for me, Crowdfire was fast – almost too fast. A little tip within the talking about apps: If you follow and unfollow, in particular on the following side, it may be tempting to click on the little button as fast as your finger will move. I can tell you that Twitter very often thinks that that’s automation.

Madalyn Sklar: So slow it down.

Tim Fargo: Honestly, I have more people say, “I think Twitter’s saying I’m doing something automated.” And I’m like, “Yeah, have you been following back a lot of people recently?” “Yeah, I was just doing that before it happened.” It’s like, “Yeah. You were going too fast.”

Madalyn Sklar: Slow it down. That’s a good tip, though. That’s good.

Tim Fargo: But those are the … Those are the tools – the two tools – that I actively use and pay for. And then of course, I mean the better part of my day that I spent working with my content is all spent in Social Jukebox. And, of course, part of that is because it’s mine. But I also, I really …I suppose this is obvious, but I think the fact that I use my own tool and I use it in a variety of ways so that I tried to put myself in the position of a user.

And so if something doesn’t make sense when I’m updating it, I’ll instantly start putting a note into the developers to modify it ’cause I figured if something doesn’t look completely clear to me, then it’s probably not going to be very clear at all to someone else.

Madalyn Sklar: I want to mention … I just want to stop you for a second and mentioned to everybody listening that, number one, you develop this as a need for yourself. Like, like you are even saying before that you were using Hootsuite, but, you know, you ended up developing a tool. Cause I remember when we first met and we talked about it you were just scratching your own edge, which I think is awesome, right, because you’re building something that wasn’t really out there and other people liked it and started using it.

Tim Fargo: I mean it was … I was promoting my book because that was the whole reason I got onto social media is to promote a book that I had written back in 2013. And I was uploading posts to Hootsuite, and I just got really tired of like, of two things.

One was just the scheduling, which, you know, I’m not saying it takes that much time, but I had to construct the spreadsheet, put all the times into it, put all the content into it. And the second piece, which I actually find even more of a pain in the neck was keeping track because I rotate about 6,000 quotes.

So I’d have to go through and go like, I’d have to like notate what I had sent and then like to see what I was going to send next. Right? So I had this kind of background, like giant spreadsheet of data that I was managing.

So anyhow, yeah, I had somebody build Tweet Jukebox, now Social Jukebox. And it wasn’t ever even meant to be sold from the beginning. It was just me being really tired of messing with it. And then people were a lot more interested in Social Jukebox than they were in my book. So being at least a reasonably decent entrepreneur, I said, “Maybe I should just kind of put the book to the side and see how this software thing goes.” And it’s been kind of growing ever since.

Madalyn Sklar: Yeah you’ve done a tremendous job with that. Here’s the story that’s so great about this: This particular podcast, you know, I ask at the end as my guest, “what are your favorite tools and apps?” And, and this was back when it was called Tweet Jukebox. And, Tim, so many of the guests were saying, Tweet Jukebox. I’m like, after several guests did this, I’m like, I gotta check out this tool and see what the fuss is all about.

And at the time you had it for free, and I tried it out, fell in love with it and am like “This is a great tool.” And then down the road, you started charging a fee, and I gladly paid because it’s saved me so much time. And time is money. So it was … it’s been well worth the cost, in my opinion.

Tim Fargo: Well thanks. I really do try to make sure that we make it as simple and easy for people to share their content. And, as you know, I mean, once you put the content into a jukebox, it’ll keep posting it on whatever schedule you set up until you stop it. You know, it’s like an hourglass. It just keeps turning over. And I have a lot of people that they, they also analog posts.

I think both of us do this – you and I. I have a huge presence on Twitter that’s driven by the tool, by Social Jukebox, but I also spend a lot of time replying to people. I spent a lot of time posting some analog content, but I have the time to do that and still be present because of the tool.

And it’s actually something I thought about because last week my son was with me for a week just kind of goofing around. And because of that I was a lot less available to be on social media than I normally would be.
But the beauty is I still had posts going out. I still had things scheduled.

So, you know, as far as the audience is concerned that we started out talking about, I mean, I was still there. And I think that’s another thing that’s really nice is inevitably life happens. Right? So, you know, you get pulled away from social media.

But if you have, you know, a steady drip of content (I don’t advocate leaving it going like that for too long) … But, by having a tool that will keep posting in your absence when you’ve got other things to do, it allows your audience to feel like you’re still there. And then you can always return to the fray when you have, you know, whenever the clouds, so to speak, have passed.

Madalyn Sklar: Exactly. I love that. It has really helped me have a large presence on Twitter. And I love using it for my evergreen posts, so my posts that just don’t have an expiration date. You know, with Twitter, a lot of the things that I teach and a lot of the articles and information out there, all the resources I find, are still good, a few weeks from now or a few months from now.

So I love that I can put it into a jukebox and share this stuff out and have more people see it. So I’m just a huge fan. It works well from my business. My motto is work smarter, not harder. And I feel like Social Jukebox can help people achieve that.

Tim Fargo: That’s certainly the intent is to … free people up to do what they actually do to make money. Cause I mean, social media for nearly all of us is a secondary thing that we’re doing while we’re trying to run a business. It’s important, but if we put too much time into it, we’re neglecting the core function of you know, of our business.

So, uh, I mean that should be, that should be what people get out of it is that they’ve got more time to do what they’re an absolute expert at.

Madalyn Sklar: I love that. Oh, that is a perfect way to end this awesome conversation. Very well said. I’ll have links to all the things we talked about in the show notes, as well. This has been so great, Tim. What are ways people can get in touch if they want to talk to you or get more information about Social Jukebox?

Tim Fargo: The easiest way … My email address is tim@socialjukebox.com. And you will get a response from me. There is no buffer between the email and me. It comes directly to me, and you will get a response directly from me. You can also find me on Twitter, which is my most active social channel, and my handle is @Tim_Fargo.

So you can check me out there, and between those two, you’ll certainly find me. I’m also on Facebook and Linkedin. I probably don’t spend as much time on the other two platforms. But definitely, if you email me or you send me a note – whether it’s a question about social media or just a general question about business or it’s a question about Social Jukebox – I’m happy to answer whatever I can. And if I can’t, I’ll try to find somebody who can.

Madalyn Sklar: Awesome. Thank you so much, Tim. This has been such a pleasure having you back on the podcast again.

Tim Fargo: Madeline. Thanks for having me back on. I appreciate that.

Madalyn Sklar: All right. We’ll be back next week with another great episode. See you then.