A lot of brands and business owners using Twitter are just wasting time.
Many of them are not focused, and they don’t know the tactics needed to attract new clients. Yet they have these unrealistic expectations about seeing results within a couple of months!
If you’re using Twitter to market your business, here are 6 things you should do to make the most of your time:
#1. Follow selectively
Twitter is a wild and woolly space, which if you’re not careful, can lead you down multiple rabbit trails. That’s why you should focus on interacting with people or brands that add value to your business.
Profiles you should follow include your clients, competitors, people in your industry, people who live in your city (if you’re a local business), professional influencers and so on. You don’t have to follow your family and friends – that’s what Facebook is for!
#2. Use Twitter lists
A twitter list is a curated group of Twitter users that is based on specific characteristics. You may create your own list or subscribe to lists created by others.
When you view the timeline of a list, it will show you the stream of tweets from only the people on that list. In other words the purpose of lists is to separate tweets of say ‘People living in Baltimore’ from those of ‘Potential Clients’. That way you can focus on conversations from specific groups of people. Here’s a step-by-step guide for creating Twitter lists.
#3. Use time-saving tools
Tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite are not only complementary to Twitter but also necessary if you want to save time. Both Hootsuite and Buffer are great for scheduling tweets to run throughout the day (although Buffer is better for that because it automatically shortens your links).
Hootsuite makes it easier to notice what others are saying. You can create ‘streams’ to track key words or phrases that enable you to jump into a conversation that could lead to a business connection!
#4. Allocate limited time
Dedicate 30 minutes to an hour each day just for Twitter marketing. Within that time use your favorite tool (see above) to schedule tweets, listen and converse with people on your lists, and share interesting content from your blog or other sites.
If you’re wondering where to find good content to share with your followers (other than your own blog) I recommend using Alltop.com. It’s proved to be an excellent resource for me (plus I think Guy Kawasaki has a charming smile!). Once your time is up, log out of Twitter and don’t look back until the next day!
#5. Stay on-topic
I’m sure this has never happened to you – you’re on Twitter looking for key connections for your business and before you know it, you’re clicking on a link about ‘what not to say on a date’.
Without focus and some helpful tools (see #3) it’s very easy to get distracted by tweets that have nothing to do with business. That’s why it’s important to stay on topic and ignore any content that is irrelevant to your business. Again Twitter lists and Hootsuite streams are great for helping you stay focused on business conversations.
If you really must let your hair down on Twitter, better to wait until evening to tweet your thoughts about Dancing with the Stars or Shark Tank!
#6. Collect bite-sized content
I like to save time on Twitter by keeping a list of bite-sized messages on Evernote. This way I always have tweets ready-to-go especially for those times when I’m pressed for time or short on inspiration.
I get great ideas from Chinese Proverbs (e.g. “Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in.”). I also like to pull thought-provoking one-liners from books that I’m reading e.g. “Move your listeners’ hearts, and their feet and wallet will follow,” from ‘Tell to Win’ by Peter Guber.
So there you have it. I love Twitter with all my heart – it’s the one social media platform I couldn’t live without (God knows I’ve never made any money from Facebook, but Twitter…that’s a different story!). But I also know that it took a long time for me to figure out how to work it. I hope these tips will abbreviate the learning curve for you.
Your turn: What did I miss? What other Twitter time-saving trick can you share with us?