I must admit it. I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. Sometimes it seems pointless to try to keep up with its fleeting nature. Yes, it’s fun seeing celebrity tweets or what brands have to say about World Cup controversies. But really…
- Follow the leaders. Business leaders, industry influencers and tons of marketing folks are on Twitter, sharing thoughts of the day or links to their blogs. Check out this list of “must-follow marketing minds.”
- See what’s trending. Have you been living under a rock? (Or just busy with work or life?) Twitter knows what the world is talking about via Trends.
- Track your clients. What are your clients putting out there? Learn about their businesses, see what conversations they’re having and engage with them by replying to tweets.
- Connect with your network. Did you meet new people at an event or start working with new colleagues? You can hook up on LinkedIn, but Twitter is great for quick, casual conversations.
YOU’RE ON TWITTER. NOW WHAT?
To gain followers, start following some people with similar interests and they may follow you back. I have a modest number of followers and did it all organically and gradually over time — some are friends, family, past or current colleagues, but most are complete strangers who are likely interested in marketing and social media.
The majority of my tweets are links to articles I personally read (ok, skimmed!) and found helpful, humorous or hot (as in hot topic). I usually spend about 15-30 minutes per day curating content, retweeting or replying to people. I do this on my iPhone 90% of the time, when I have a few minutes here or there!
FINALLY, TIPS AND TOOLS FOR YOU.
- Feedly. This slick RSS reader replaced my Google Reader when it died. It is my secret content curation weapon. The mobile app makes it easy to flip through stories and quickly schedule posts with Buffer.
- Buffer. Not only do they have a fantastic blog, but this awesome app allows me to click a couple buttons to queue up tweets that are posted at optimal times during the day. I have mine set to 5 tweets each day between 9AM and 8PM, though I do live retweets and replies through my Twitter mobile app when I can. Buffer even has tweet suggestions which I often use. Lastly, I get a weekly email summary to see how many tweets I sent and if people retweeted or favorited them.
- HootSuite. There are many reasons why I prefer Buffer over Hootsuite. But for social listening and responses, Hootsuite’s desktop interface lets you easily set up streams using hashtags, keywords, lists, etc. Within those streams, you can quickly review and respond to replies, mentions and direct messages.
- Lists. Create different types of lists directly on Twitter to keep track of your favorite companies, people or publications. Lists streamline your tweet feeds, so you see content that may be more interesting. Bonus Tip: if you care about the Following to Followers ratio, you can just add people on your lists and not follow them! (I have done this with pubs that will likely never follow me back.)
- Twitterfeed. Want to auto-tweet your favorite blogs? Twitterfeed is your answer. I only do this with a select few blogs that don’t publish too often, but have high-quality, relevant content every single time.
- Hashtags. To extend reach beyond the few that see your tweets, use hashtags to add keywords (#socialmedia), live-tweet at an event (#sxsw) or if it makes sense, ride a trend (#AngelinasJoliesRightLeg, #EverBeenOnTwitterWondering).
Now you should be well on your way to enjoying the Twittersphere without sacrificing too much time. Maybe you’ll even come to love Twitter! Let me know, did I miss anything?