How Twibble works
Hi there, I'm Marc Hoag, CEO & Co-Founder of Twibble. First, a huge thank you for checking us out and wanting to learn more about Twibble, the best and easiest platform for scheduling content from RSS feeds to your Twitter account.
In this 10-step tutorial, I'm going to help you get started with Twibble by walking you through every step of the way, complete with pretty pictures and lots of bullet points for easy reading.
If you just want a brief overview of why you should use Twibble, how it works, and what it is, as well as any other basic questions, be sure to check out our FAQ.
So then, let's get started!
Twibble is designed to do three things very well, and very easily:
- Ensure your twitter account is always tweeting interesting, relevant content
- Increase engagement with your followers
- Gain you more followers
1. Initial setup
When you first sign up for Twibble, you’ll be prompted to provide your email address. This is something you will need — how else can we notify you of important account-related matters? — and it’s something we need to manage your account.
2. Suggested feeds
The first thing you’ll see after signing up is Twibble’s Suggested Feeds, which is basically the easiest way for you to get started with Twibble.
The idea is simple: type in a bunch of keywords for topics that interest you, and we’ll use our magic dust to find you the most relevant RSS feeds. Add the ones you like, or just skip ahead to your Dashboard if you already know what RSS feeds you’d like to add.
Ready to try it? Give it a shot!
3. The Twibble dashboard
The Twibble Dashboard is where you manage all your various RSS feeds. Here you can see that I’ve add RSS feeds for the 2016 Rio Olympics; my Answers on Quora; KillerStartups; KLM (they have a seriously awesome blog); Mashable; MotorTrend (good example of an RSS feed where we can pull videos to add to your tweets!).
From the Dashboard you can see the various feeds you’ve added, as well as general information about the feeds including recent tweets they produced, whether they’re “healthy” — are they tweeting? — and whether they have Subscribers, other Twitter users who have added that feed to their Twibble accounts.
From the Dashboard you’ll want to either click “Add New Feed” or “Edit” an existing feed.
4. Adding your first feed
When you click Add New Feed, you’ll land on the Twibble Feed Editor. This is what it looks like with a valid RSS feed added and edited as desired:
Now we’ll dive into each section of the Editor to explain in detail what it does, and most importantly, how and why it works the way it does, and what we recommend.
Let’s get started with adding the RSS URL and giving it a name.
Twibble is pretty smart. Usually we can auto-detect the correct RSS URL from just about any website you throw at us. For example, add Mashable.com and we’ll correctly parse out feeds.mashable.com/Mashable. In the event we can’t parse the correct URL, we’ll help you analyze the RSS feed to figure out if there’s a problem with it.
Once you’ve added the feed, go ahead and give it a name. This can be whatever you want; it’s (mostly) for your eyes only (we’ll also use this name when you share the feed with others).
5. Editing your feed
Once you’ve added a feed, you’ll see a bunch of settings you can edit. Let’s go through each one of them one by one:
- Check for new posts every: indicate how often you’d like Twibble to check for updates. WE RECOMMEND: check more frequently rather than less frequently.
- Trickle posting: indicate whether you’d like to tweet only new content; new content first and then old; or old content first and then new. WE RECOMMEND: new content first and then old to ensure that your Twitter stream never runs dry.
- Posting times: you can select whether to tweet all the time during a 24 hour period, or only certain times of day. WE RECOMMEND: start with tweeting all the time, and then adjust as necessary.
- # Tweets at a time: suppose the RSS feed is for a blog, and there are three new articles since the last time you checked. If you select to tweet just 1 at a time, only the most recent will be tweeted — assuming you’re set to tweet newest or newest first. But if select to tweet 3 or 5 at a time, the downside is that your twitter feed will look artificial and automated. WE RECOMMEND: start with just 1 tweet at a time, and work your way up to see what works.
- Attach featured image: our pride and joy, this automatically pulls images — and videos! — from the RSS feed entry and embeds them in your tweets to give you a beautiful twitter feed. WE RECOMMEND: never turn this off.
- Tweet text source: a more advanced feature, this lets you select whether to tweet the article title or, if available, the article description. WE RECOMMEND: article headline.
- Link clicks analytics: choose whether to use our own Twibble Analytics, Bitly, or none at all. If you choose Twibble Analytics, your links will be shortened using our own twib.in shortener; Bitly of course will use its familiar bit.ly shortener; and “none” will just use the generic URL. WE RECOMMEND: if you already have a Bitly account, definitely use Bitly for analytics; if not, you should try our Twibble Analytics as we enable very cool hashtag AB testing (see below) and other useful analytics information.
- Prefixes rotation: enter several phrases you’d like to randomly appear before your tweets in order to make them appear more organic and human-crafted rather than automated, e.g., “interesting article”, “check this out”, or simply “cool”. Add as many as you like, and we’ll randomly rotate them every time we tweet something from your Twibble feed. WE RECOMMEND: add at least three or four, but the more you add, the better.
- Via: as usual with Twitter, it’s good to @mention people from whom you share content. Because Twibble is all about pulling content from third party RSS feeds, giving due credit is all the more appropriate. WE RECOMMEND: always mention the @TwitterAccount associated with the RSS feed you’re adding. For example, if you’re adding Mashable’s RSS feed, then make sure to mention @Mashable.
- #Hashtags: this is one of our favorite features of Twibble. In fact, we loved it so much, we ripped it out and built an entire site doing just this, calledHashTest.io! The purpose of this feature is to make sure you add the most, and best, relevant hashtags to your tweets. Put another way, tweets without hashtags are useless; tweets with bad hashtags are … also useless. Just start typing a bunch of hashtags into the field; as you enter them, they’ll be color-coded to let you know whether they’re popular (green), somewhat popular (yellow), kinda popular (red), or not popular (black). Yes, we were inspired by Google Maps’ traffic density color coding. You can add as many hashtags as you like, and we’ll randomly add 2-3 per tweet depending on the available space. WE RECOMMEND: add to your heart’s content; try to stick with mostly green and yellow hashtags; don’t bother with red or black.
- Must contain these keywords: you may want to limit your tweets to only that content that contains certain keywords in the title or URL. If so, enter as many as you like here. WE RECOMMEND: leave this blank at first, see how you like the results. If you decide to add filters, the more you add, the better, as we’ll tweet content that contains ANY of those keywords, not ALL of them. So if you have only one filter, say, “social media,” you’re chances of tweeting will be lower than if you include “social media”, “twitter”, and “social media marketing.”
- Must not contain these keywords: basically the inverse to the above. WE RECOMMEND: same as above.
6. Understanding and using the tweet preview
The Tweet Preview is great for giving you an idea of what your tweets will look like. As your edit your feed, you’ll see the changes update accordingly. Sometimes there may be a delay of several — or more — seconds. Please be patient while this updates.
Once the preview looks good, you’ll (probably) want to send a test tweet; just click the blue button to do so.
Please note that once you click green SAVE button, we will immediately send out your first tweet. So if you’ve just sent a test tweet, and if you immediately press SAVE, you will likely end up with a duplicate tweet.
So that’s the Twibble Dashboard! Now what?
So one of the most powerful features of Twibble or our robust analytics. Don’t hesitate to use this once you’ve added a feeds to get an overview of which feeds are performing best; your click ratios; best times of day to tweet; geographic areas from which people engage with your tweet; and, what we think is most important of all, your hashtag data to let you know which hashtags perform the best.
8. Cleanup - the DM Cleaner
This is a neat little tool that goes back to the earliest days of Twibble: have you ever noticed how annoying it is that you can’t easily delete all your DMs (Direct Messages) on Twitter? Well, now you can. It’s super simple to use: you can either “Purge All” which will wipe out all DMs in your inbox; or you can selectively delete one after the another. The nice thing is, there’s no confirmation dialogue box when you click “Delete” on the individual messages, so you can easily rapid-fire delete to your heart’s content.
Finally, DM Cleaner also gives you the option to automatically unfollow users when you delete their messages. You can opt in our out of this as you wish; the default setting is OFF.
9. Account Management
For all account settings, just click your name/photo in the top-right corner. Here you can do things like update your email address; update your payment info or change/cancel your subscription; specify your timezone by entering you city name; manage your Bitly account and additional connected Twitter accounts; and of course, termination of your Twibble account altogether.
10. Wrapping it up