Get the Most Out of Your Social Networks with Automatic Twitter Mentions

Online Marketing

Did you know that we're only three people here at Nelio? And, yet, our posts are pretty cool, huh? That's because of our new plugin, Nelio Content! Do you want to use it too?

Social networks are everywhere—you can’t escape them. And why would you want to? They allow you to be in touch with your family and friends, they are a way of gossiping about everything other people do, they make celebrities closer to us… And, recently, we found more useful uses to this tool.

As an author on a WordPress blog, for me social networks are much more than a way to keep in touch with friends; social networks are a window to the world, a way to promote the content I write on my blog and spread my ideas and opinions. They are, therefore, another means of communication and marketing. The problem is that I’m not the only one who had this happy idea of using social networks as a way to reach a larger audience—many companies and individuals have seen the potential of social networks to promote their products and services too. As a result, our timelines are now full of generic messages that are addressed to no one and everyone at the same time… and, as an author who promotes my content in my social profiles, I am part of the problem.

To correct this problem, we should focus on the “social” of social networks. That is, we have to stop treating them as bulletin boards and, instead, we should engage and connect with people. This takes time, of course, but at Nelio we work to help you achieve that goal. That’s why we have recently added to Nelio Content automatic mentions on Twitter.

Automations and Community Managers

This summer we released a new version of Nelio Content with Social Automations, a functionality that automates the process of generating social messages. That is, once you have written a post, Nelio Content will automatically generate the different publications in your social profiles (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on) to promote this new post among your followers without your doing any extra work.

To make sure that automatic messages are diverse and look original, Nelio Content uses different sources:

  1. Social Templates. If you activate the social automatisms in Nelio Content, a new tab will appear in the Settings section of our plugin from which you can manage the social templates. These templates are used to define what types of messages you want Nelio to share when a new post is published. For example, a template could be: “New blog post: {title} {permalink}.
  2. Automatically Extracted Sentences from Your Content. Our plugin performs an analysis of your text and extracts the most relevant phrases from the content, which are then used to generate messages completely related to the post they are promoting.
  3. Relevant Fragments Highlighted by You. If you want, you can select the phrases you think are the most interesting of your post and Nelio Content will use them when auto generating social messages. We’ll discuss this topic later, so keep reading!
Automatic Social Timeline
Automatically-generated social messages are based on (a) the content of your post and (b) social templates.

I know what you’re thinking right now: just a moment ago I was telling you that we should focus on the “social” component of social media so… why the heck are we talking about automatic messages? Aren’t they the complete opposite to being “social”? And you’re right, up to some extent—sharing automatic messages can be a problem if it is done uncontrollably.

In our case, we have limited the number of automatic social messages that Nelio Content can send, following the metrics that work best for each network. That is, one or two automatic messages at most on Facebook, one per hour for Twitter, etc. This guarantees we won’t be spamming our followers and, at the same time, we’ll minimize the chances of their missing our content.

As you can imagine, though, automatic messages are only part of the job that, as a blogger, you have to do on social networks. You should spend some time engaging with your followers. At Nelio, for instance, Antonio is the one responsible for monitoring our social profiles and interacting with all of you when you have questions or suggestions. Never, ever, should you stop spending actual time in your social networks, caring for your followers.

Screenshot of Tweetdeck
Screenshot of Tweetdeck that contains Nelio’s different accounts. This tool helps Community Managers to engaged with their followers.

Use the Power of (Twitter) Mentions

As I told you at the beginning, the most important part of social networks is precisely their social component and their ability to interact with other users of the network. In this sense, at Nelio we have developed a new functionality for Nelio Content that enhances the social aspect of automatic messages on Twitter: automatic mentions. Let’s see how they work.

Usually, all posts will contain several links to posts from other blogs and websites. Nelio Content detects all the links to external sources that you have added in your post and automatically adds them to the References meta box, along with all the meta information it was able to automatically pull from said link:

Reference meta box by Nelio Content
Nelio Content adds a meta box in your editor that contains all the links included in your post and automatically completes them with several meta data like the title of the referenced content, its author and the author’s twitter handler.

Without your doing anything special, our plugin is able to extract the title, author name, and author twitter username from all the links included in your copy. Then, Nelio Content uses this information to automatically create social messages with explicit mentions to the referenced authors. The resulting messages look unique and are more likely to reach broader audiences, for there’s a higher chance that the authors you’re mentioning will retweet your message.

Let’s take a look at how all this works, shall we?

Social Templates for Mentioning Authors

In the Settings section of Nelio Content there’s an option to create Social Templates. As we have already seen, these templates are one of the sources that our plugin uses to generate social messages, replacing placeholders like {title} or {permalink} with the specific values of the entry to be shared.

Social Templates in Nelio Content
You can easily customize how your automatic messages will look like by customizing the social templates included in Nelio Content.

If the template includes reference placeholders, then a social message created using such a template will use information from both your entry and a reference. The supported placeholders are:

  • {ref:title} is replaced by the reference’s title
  • {ref:author} is replaced by the reference’s author
  • {ref:twitter} is replaced by the author’s Twitter username
  • {ref:url} is replaced by the reference’s permalink

A couple of examples of templates using references might be, for instance:

  • {title} {permalink} cc/ {ref:twitter}
  • Our take on {ref:twitter}‘s opinion: {permalink}

Automatic Mentions

The problem of using only templates for generating social messages is that, in the end, the resulting messages are all very similar and repetitive. That’s why Nelio Content is also able to generate social messages from the content of an post, using (a) automatically extracted sentences (those that Nelio considers relevant) or (b) fragments highlighted by you:

Highlights for Auto Sharing
Tell Nelio Content which contents should be automatically shared by highlighting them in the editor. If one of said fragments has a link to an external source, Nelio Content will try to explicitly mention the author of the referenced content in an automatically generated tweet.

If the extracted sentence (or the highlighted fragment) contains a link to an external source, Nelio Content will try to automatically mention the author in the messages it generates. For example, assuming that the highlighted link in the previous screenshot is as follows:

  1. URL: https://wptavern.com/why-gutenberg
  2. Title: Why Gutenberg?
  3. Author: Jeff Chandler
  4. Author’s Twitter username: @wptavern

the automatic tweet generated by Nelio Content would be:

There’s plenty of reviews out there discussing the pros and cons of it https://neliosoftware.com/blog/the-futur… cc/ @wptavern

In Summary

Social networks are a fantastic tool to promote your content and keep in touch with your followers. Tools like Nelio Content allow you to automate the promotion of your blog through unique and original messages that adapt to the content of each post. In addition, with its latest update, Nelio Content is also able to take advantage of the social component of Twitter by adding explicit mentions to the authors referenced in your blog. Pretty cool, huh?

Featured Image by Josh Applegate on Unsplash.

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He obtained his PhD in Computer Science at UPC. David leads the analysis and design of our services and the user support area. He's interested in a variety of areas, including conceptual modeling, virtual reality, and 3D digital printing. He contributes to the WordPress community by participating in meetups, seminars, and the WCEU.

One thought on “Get the Most Out of Your Social Networks with Automatic Twitter Mentions

  1. It is really necessary to promote your content on different social media platforms, and for that, we can use various tools. You’re right that Twitter is getting more popular and people are using it for various purposes. promoting your brand on Twitter is beneficial because you’ll get actual comments and feedbacks for your brand or products.

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