I decided to cancel my Pluggio subscription after a trial of about a month. @JimBourke introduced the service to me at a recent CPA conference in New Jersey earlier this summer. It helps me to consider that I use Twitter for two distinct purposes: 1) to comment on current events; I like to think of it “just being in the online conversation” with no expectation of tangible results, and 2) to announce or mini-publicize any written work I’ve just produced, edited or republished. The second use does appear to have real measurable value to me since a few people and Google seem to check out each piece shortly after a Twitter announcement.
I use three Twitter accounts (@tonynovak for personal, @freedombenefits for business, and @BaySave for my hobby passion) and typically put out a total of about 10 tweets per day. He is a quick summary of the pros and cons or Pluggio:
- It is an easy-to-use and well designed program.
- Justin the developer is the one-man support team provides excellent support response.
- It appears to be the best tool for automatically spacing my tweets apart, rather than have me spout off a bunch at once.
- Since I tend to work at the PC in ridiculous early or late hours, Pluggio automatically posts my Tweets in more reasonable daytime when followers will see them.
- I was unable to find enough follow suggestions. That’s not the program’s fault, but it affects my net cost/benefit results. Perhaps I’m too picky on selecting followers or there simple aren’t enough people seriously interested in the geeky financial issues that consume my attention.
- An unresolved issue with IE browser meant that I could only view the stats pages in Foxfire or another browser. Since I use IE as a primary browser, this was annoying and required me to keep an additional window open most of the time on my PC.
- I have a vague concern that the Pluggio signature on a Twitter post gives the signal that the post is contrived rather than spontaneous or organic. Or perhaps it triggers a subconscious response that the writer is just trying too hard to build social media presence.
- It doesn’t pack as much info onto a single screen view as TweetDeck.
- For $20 per month (needed to support 3 Twitter accounts), in an environment of free Twitter tools, I expect more results.
- The overall number of paid subscriptions I use is getting out of control so I need to rein in on some.
- I can get all of the same results with TweetDeck and my direct Bitly account even if more manual work will be required.
In the end, I decided to use a more organic yet let sophisticated and more manually demanding approach toward Twitter. Generally in the past I’ve gained more readers to my columns when just focus on publishing high quality information I don’t really need to focus on marketing it. When I focus my effort on improving quality, timeliness and quantity of content and spend less time on marketing and publicity somehow, much to my amazement, readers eventually manage to find me. I’ll try the same approach with Twitter. If it works, it will renew my hope that there is intelligent life on the Internet.
I’ll revisit the issue in a few months to see how the revised Twitter strategy is working.