By Julian, author of Devil’s Advocate…
This week we’ll finish up our creation of a replacement Amex Offers automatic syncing machine. Last week we used Offersbot and IFTTT to create a single Twitter account that could retweet selected Amex Offers (or all of them if we wished). Today we’ll expand that to include multiple Amex cards and multiple Twitter accounts.
If you didn’t catch last week’s post, you’ll want to check it out here before continuing since today’s procedure builds on last week’s work.
There are actually several different ways of leveraging last week’s Offersbot/IFTTT engine into a multiple card machine. Any of them will work, but there are pros and cons to each. For all these options, you’ll need to create a separate Twitter account for each Amex card you have in order to use Amex Sync offers. You can name each of them with the same format as the main one we made last week (such as “tda_amex1” “tda_amex2” and so on). Then sync each of your Amex cards to each of the Twitter accounts.
Option #1: Multiple IFTTT accounts.
IFTTT only allows us to link one Twitter profile per IFTTT account, so you’ll have to create extra IFTTT accounts for each of your Twitter profiles. Feel free to use the same names for your IFTTT accounts as your Twitter accounts — it’ll all be easier to remember that way.
We could set up each IFTTT account with the recipe we created last week, but for reasons that will become clear in a moment, we might actually be better off linking them to our main Amex Twitter profile instead. So for each of our additional Amex Twitter accounts, we’d want our IFTTT search parameter to look like this instead:
I’ve listed my main Amex Twitter account in this search parameter (“tda_amex_main”) but of course you’ll want to change it to your own main Amex Twitter profile. We also don’t need any hashtags since all that filtering has already been done by the main IFTTT recipe we made last week.
Now if an Amex hashtag gets tweeted by our main Amex Twitter account, it will be retweeted by all our additional Twitter accounts.
This means if we decide we want to manually tweet an Amex hashtag (assuming we didn’t set up our system to tweet them all), then we only have to tweet it on our main Amex Twitter profile and it will automatically filter down to all the others. This method also has the advantage that if you want to later update your main search to include or delete any additional Amex Offers hashtags, you only have to change the main IFTTT recipe (the one we created last week) and it will automatically filter down to all the others.
Obviously the major disadvantage to this method is setting up all the extra IFTTT accounts. Which brings us to…
Option #2: Hootsuite and other Twitter management tools.
There are numerous services around the internet that will allow you to set up automatic retweeting of multiple Twitter accounts. Hootsuite is a popular example of one of these services. You can use the Hootsuite Dashboard to add your Twitter accounts, then set them up to retweet everything from your main Amex Twitter profile.
I could go into more detail on how to do this with Hootsuite, but the major issue with all these services is that the free versions are highly limited in the number of Twitter profiles you can connect at once. Hootsuite only allows 3 Twitter profiles before you have to pay a monthly fee of $9.99. That fee allows for 50 Twitter profiles at once, which isn’t bad. But of course we’d prefer to find a free option that doesn’t limit our number of Twitter profiles. Which brings us to…
Option #3: Twitterfeed.
The best free retweeting option I’ve found is Twitterfeed, which allows you to connect as many Twitter profiles as you’d like to one master account. This sounds like the perfect solution, but Twitterfeed has one small problem — it can’t directly retweet from another Twitter account. Instead, it requires an RSS feed as a source.
Not too long ago it was easy to get an RSS feed from Twitter, but unfortunately Twitter eliminated that option when they updated their API a little while back. The good news is there’s a workaround, though it’s a little complicated. Luckily it’s extremely well described in this step-by-step guide at the Digital Inspiration website. You’ll even find a video there that will walk you through the process. Just keep in mind that the widget you’re creating with that method should be the timeline from your master Amex Twitter account (the one we created last week), not the Offersbot timeline.
Once you’ve got your RSS feed, the steps in Twitterfeed are easy. Click “Create New Feed” on the main Twitterfeed page to start…
Enter any Feed Name you’d like and add the RSS Feed URL that you just created at the Digital Inspiration website. You’ll also want to change a few settings by clicking on that “Advanced Settings” link at the bottom. This will open a whole slew of options, but you only need to adjust
two three of them. Unclick the “Post link” checkbox so that it’s empty, and change the “Post Content” option to “description only.”
(UPDATE: After further experimentation, it’s been discovered that you also need to change the “Update Frequency” from 1 new update at a time to 5. Otherwise if you don’t make this change and more than one Amex Offer comes out within a 30 minute period, Twitterfeed will only retweet the first one.
Leave everything else just as it is, scroll down to “Continue to Step 2,” and you’ll be brought to the screen where you can add all your Twitter accounts. Add your Twitter profiles one-by-one by clicking the “Twitter” button under “Available Services.” You’ll need to authorize Twitterfeed for each of your Twitter profiles, but the on screen instructions are straightforward. Eventually all your Twitter accounts should be listed like this…
Click “All done!” at the bottom and you’re set. Twitterfeed will retweet everything from your main Amex Twitter account to all your other accounts as well.
So which option is best?
As you can see, there’s no perfect or ideal choice to make all these Twitter accounts work in tandem. Either you have to create a bunch of IFTTT accounts, do some lengthy setup work with Twitterfeed, or pay for a service like Hootsuite. But with all these options, you only need to set them up once. After that, you can sit back and relax, knowing that all your Amex cards are being synced automatically and exactly as you desire.
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