Twitter could be bewildering for beginners. It’s still an open, rock-strewn land where even the veterans stumble along as they navigate. Twitter – like other popular social media platforms – holds promise for small business owners, bloggers, and marketers in general though.
There’s no dearth of advice online on how to get on Twitter and how to leverage it for your business. Kristi Hines already posted a helpful post on how to find twitter followers fast, so she has you covered there. Advice is good but it doesn’t do much except to help you “know”. Let’s focus on how to “do” it right, for a change. To “do” it right, however, it’s assumed that you already have your Twitter profile updated.
Ideally, you’d decide to start a website and/or a blog and simultaneously create your social media profiles. You’d also have certain assets like scheduled content to start with.
Here’s what you should be doing for every hour you spend on Twitter for your business:
Before you start with Twitter
Choose your tools
On Twitter, sending out 5 Tweets per minute is a disaster. Since you just have an hour/day/per account to work on Twitter, you’d need tools such as Social Oomph, Nimble CRM, Buffer, or HootSuite to schedule your tweets so that they are distributed throughout the day. Depending on how many fresh tweets and retweets you’d like to set up, you’d find intervals of time suitable to accommodate the total number of Tweets and retweets. For instance, if you were to do just 10 Tweets and 10 retweets with 4 other random messages (such as small talk and regular conversations), you’d have an hour gap to send out every message.
You cannot automate small talk
If you noticed, we only had a small proportion of the total tweets and retweets per day as “other messages”. You cannot automate small talk since these happen on Twitter spontaneously. So, the only time you can afford to engage with others, answer questions, say thanks to those who retweet your tweets, and to thank others who mention you on Twitter – apart from any other conversation you might have – is the one hour you set aside during the day.
Pull conversations towards you
On Twitter, it’s not really intrusion if you can pull conversations towards you. It’s more like putting your hulk or a presence in the Twitter streams that most people see. Ideally, your Twitter handle should show up on as many twitter streams as possible. You could barge in and get into conversations, for example. You could pitch in with your own inputs on a trending topic (usually found using #), ask questions, and you could even pull companies to respond to you.
Here are a few examples:
Have to send a package. Options: @aramex @USPS @fedex @DHL. What do you suggest?
It’s been a while @Adobe. It’s time to release #creativecloud to other parts of the world.
The One-hour Twitter Plan
You have the information, now all that you need to do is execute this plan. You may use your favorite social media tools for scheduling tweets as mentioned before.
Deliver 20 Fresh Tweets Every Day (Estimated time: 20 Minutes)
Start with your own content. Don’t push your content too hard since that’d be obvious. Perhaps one tweet per blog post or some other web page you’d like your Twitter followers to see per day is more than enough. This should get you 20 tweets that you created: your own content, other content that relates to your business such as news, tips, and other great content available on the Internet. Add your own input before scheduling your tweets. For example,
Here’s a tweet that you’d get by clicking on the “Twitter Button” for one of our popular posts on our blog:
Using any tool shorten the URL, and the tweet above looks like:
50 Traffic Sources U Should Milk Like Crazy (by @BrankicaU) http://nimb.li/XhtIjm via @FamousBloggers
Now, add your own comment for the Tweet. For instance,
Need Traffic? Go Get it| 50 Traffic Sources U Should Milk Like Crazy (by @BrankicaU) http://nimb.li/XhtIjm via @FamousBloggers
Now, that’s a Tweet that you found, published, and even added your two cents too.
Your goal is to publish at last 20 of these original tweets from your own account. These original tweets do not include Retweets, answers to questions, and honorary small talk such as “I am honored”, “Thanks a ton”, and “Great to see you in my/our network”
Follow/Unfollow actively (Estimated time: 10 Minutes)
Follow at least 10 people and also stop following an equal number of people per day. In a month with 20 working days, you’d be following 200 new Twitter users and “unfollow” just as many each month.
Follow other influencers, leaders in your line of business or blog topic, clients, friends, and those who retweet your tweets, mention you often, etc. Unfollow all those who don’t relate to your business, Twitter accounts that use other languages, Inactive Twitter users, etc. Socialoomph.com and Justunfollow.com are two tools you can specifically use for this purpose.
30 Retweets a day (Estimated time: 20 Minutes)
You are generous if you retweet more. Furthermore, other Twitter users notice you, they will thank you, and they are more likely to follow you. Find some of the best tweets that are already on your stream and collect these tweets so that you can retweet them. You’d still use your scheduling tool to schedule retweets instead of using the “automatic” retweet button that Twitter provides beneath every tweet on your stream.
You may even look for specific Tweets that relate to your line of blogging or business by using the “search” function by using commands such as #webdesign or #blogging #contentmarketing #finance, etc.
Small Talk (Estimated time: 10 Minutes)
This part of your Twitter work each day won’t be scheduled. You’d have to get spontaneous here and respond to mentions, thank others for retweeting your tweets, wish others well, make honorable mentions, ask questions and pull conversations towards you (as explained above). The popular #FF (Follow Friday) mentioned also falls into this category although #FF can be scheduled and automated to an extent. You’d also have to factor in responses to direct messages you might get from fellow Twitter users.
As your Twitter account grows, you’ll get busier. You might have to spend more than just an hour to manage your network and populate content. The one-hour plan, however, is good enough for accounts of most sizes. It also allows for a better way to calculate your social media ROI when you set aside a fixed amount of time each day/week for social media management.
What does your Twitter plan look like?