Send posts to Twitter with Feedburner's socialize service

This article is about using Feedburner's Socialize feature to ensure that all your blog posts are sent to Twitter.


Once you have made a feed for your blog using Feedburner, you can use Feedburner's Socialise option to automatically send new Posts to Twitter.

Advantages of using this service include:
  • Hashtags can be automatically generated based on the Labels you have applied to your post:   Feedburner is a Google product, so it understands and can access all the data-structures that Blogger uses to organise your posts.
  • You can control various other options, including excluding some categories of post from your twitter-feed
  • You can add some standard text to either the beginning or end of each twitter-message
  • If you display a counter of the number of times a post has been tweeted, then each post will automatically have at least one tweet.
  • It saves you time, because you don't have to manually tweet your posts.

    A word about Accounts:

      Using this feature can involve up to three different accounts:
      • The Google account that writes the post (may be an author or an administrator - of if you're using mail2Post, it could be neither)
      • The Google account that owns the feed (because you can burn a feed of a blog-site that you don't own)
      • The Twitter account that tweets the message about the blog post.

      Think carefully about what Twitter account to use:  if your blog is personal, then your personal Twitter account is obvious.   In other cases, it depends on your niche, and the relationship between the blog and the rest of your life.   If the blog isn't tied to your individual identity, or you don't want to bother most of your personal friends with it, then it may be best to set up a spearate account for it, like I have for @BloggerHAT

      As a general rule, if Facebook's rules say that you need to set up a Page rather than a Profile for what you are writing about, then you should probably have a separate Twitter account for it..

      Currently the Socialise service only allows sending a feed to one Twitter account.   It looks like you should be able to change the Twitter account by clicking Add a Twitter account, and having the new Twitter account replace the current one. but currently this is failing.   This means that there is no way to remove a twitter account from your Feedburner / Socialise set-up.   If you need to stop the auto-tweets, deactivate the service, or perhaps just delete the whole feed or Twitter account.

      How to set up auto-tweeting:

      Log in to Feedburner, using the Google account that owns the feed

      Click on the name of the feed you want to work with.

      Choose the Publicize tab

      Choose Socialise (currently from the left side of the screen)

      Click Add a Twitter account,.

      This opens a official Twitter screen where you enter the name and password of the Twitter account that you want to use for tweeting your posts. 
      (If you are already logged in to Twitter, it defaults to the current account, but there is a Sign-out option on the screen that lets you change accounts.)

      Clicking Allow gives permission for Google (ie Feedburner) to post to this account, and returns to you the Feedburner options screen.

      Each twitter message can only be 140 characters long, so the service will need to automatically summarise your post.  There are options for you to choose whether this is done from the title along, or from the title+content.

      There are some other options too
      • Include a link to the post or not (I can't think of a good reason not to do this)
      • Use hashtags (created from Labels) or not (this depends on how Labels have been used in your blog:  I have it turned on for this blog, but not for one of my other blogs where I have used Labels mainly for internal administration purposes)
      • Adding some standard text and the start or end of each tweet
      • Leaving space for re-tweets (ie making the original less than 140 characters long):  I'd suggest selecting this, as a lot of the value of Twitter comes from people sharing what you have said.
      • A maximum number of items (meaning Posts, I think) to include in each tweet: I think this only applies if you post more than once per day, and for BloggerHAT I've set it to 1.

      Check the the Sample Item Preview section at the the bottom of the page:  this shows you how your recent Posts would look in twitter with the options you have selected.

      When you are happy with the options selected, click Activate to start the service.

      You will know that the change has been made because the word Socialise (in the left navigation bar) has a small tick beside it.   Check for this - it's very easy to miss the Activate button because it's at the bottom of the screen and you have to scroll to get to it.

      What your readers see:

      People who read your blog through the browser or via email subscription will not notice any difference.

      People who are following your Twitter account will start to see regular tweets each time that you make a new Post, or that an existing Posts is re-sent though your blog's Feed.

      Twitter users who don't follow your blog, but who happen to search for either the hashtags or keywords that are in your tweets may see your message in their search results.   If it's helpful, they may click on the link to your post, and hopefully will become regular readers or subscribers.

      (Remember Pages do not go through the feed, so will not be tweeted.)

      Post-title == twitter-message

      Once your posts are being auto-tweeted, the contents of the twitter-message depends on the title of your post.   So you need to really focus on the keywords in the title, to make sure that you get a sensible 140 character message sent in your twitter-stream.

      Related Articles:

      Making a Feedburner feed for your blog

      Adding a Tweet button to your blog

      Linking your blog and the social networks

      Putting a Follow Me on Twitter button into your blog

      Using mail2Post to update your blog

      Tools for applying copyright protection to your blog

      Copying all posts from one blog to another.


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