Put Twitter on Autopilot for Free (analytics inside)

As a developer, it's easy to neglect your Twitter account in favor of building new features for your product or service. That was the problem my brother and I had on our programming websites (his is C#, mine is VBA and Python).

To solve that problem, we built an app that automatically tweets the best content from up to 10 websites of your choosing - including your own website, if you have one. The app, Cohoist Autopilot, selects one of your websites, crawls their sitemap and tweets out a relevant and engaging article every 4 hours - rain or shine.

I’ve been testing it for over a month on my personal Twitter account and saw a 3x increase in user engagement, a 20x increase in impressions and a 60x increase in likes. Here's a screenshot comparing the analytics:

Twitter Growth

By choosing 10 websites in the same niche, you can really grow your Twitter following. Publishing consistent tweets about a topic helps prove you're an expert and an authority in your niche - or at least gives others that impression.

Bottom line is I went from a 28-day average of 55 impressions per day to 1100 impressions per day. Because the app lets me tweet articles from my own site and my competitors, it really builds authenticity and helps eliminate the appearance of being a self-promoter. Now when I get on Twitter, I can build relationships with my followers instead of looking like I'm only on Twitter promote my own products.

Twitter Analytics

Revenue is nice, but what we really want to do is help founders passively build a following for their brand on Twitter while building their product. For that reason, we packaged Cohoist Autopilot in both a Free and a Premium version.

The Free version has the exact same features as the Premium version. The difference is that with the free plan, there's a 4% chance that your automated tweet will promote a product or service, like Cohoist itself. (Speaking of which, if you want your product or service featured in these promotional tweets, let me know)

We made the app fully configurable so you can select 10 websites and even put the Twitter handles of the website owners so it'll tag them when you tweet one of their articles. We made the app random so it doesn't tag their handle every time you tweet one of their articles, but it will periodically. This is great because they'll often retweet your post, earning you more exposure.

Configuration Page

Cohoist Autopilot isn't a social media management tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, which require you to manually schedule your posts. (why!?) Manually scheduling tweets is a pain and sporadic posting hurts your follower engagement. Any automation these platforms do use is restricted to only posting new articles from a couple websites.

Cohoist Autopilot is a fully automatic content-generation app designed to keep your brand relevant, consistent and trustworthy without any manual input on your part - no scheduling required.

Now for the elephant in the room. The Twitter API is built essentially using an all-or-nothing authorization process. That means, when you authorize an app to post tweets for you (write access), you get this scary laundry list of items the app will have access to:

Twitter Authorization

This is the same scary list provided in Buffer, Hootsuite, Meet Edgar and all those social media management schedulers, but, like them, we're only using the feature that posts tweets for you. It's frustrating that Twitter doesn't give you an option to delineate the levels of access it actually needs, but I guess it is what it is. Suffice it to say, we're equally annoyed that the Twitter API is built this way but we'll stick to only accessing the bare minimum of what we need to automatically post tweets, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

If this is something you think will be helpful for your business, go ahead and give it a shot. The free version is free and we're running a special on the premium version where the next 25 people to join get a >25% discount. If you're still unsure, there's a live demo on our website to give you a better idea of how it can help you.

  1. 1

    Does it work with sites that don't have a sitemap?

    1. 1

      Yep! We’ve been rolling out new features each week and one of them was expanded support for websites without sitemaps. Cohoist now supports sitemaps, RSS feeds and plain ole webpages. You can run the sites you're interested in (or RSS feeds) through our demo to see how they'd be rendered.

      Since this post was made, we updated Cohoist so you can customize how many tweets per day you want and exactly when you want them to post, too. We also added support for hashtags and have a couple more neat features coming out soon. :-)

      Let me know if you have any questions or if there's anything I can help with!

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