Tuesday, 29 March 2011

How to Save Time on Twitter

It can be difficult to find the time to maintain an interesting and informative Twitter account in order to obtain new followers and maintain existing ones.

With over 65 million tweets every day, Twitter can be an important tool for businesses if used effectively. Here are some tips on how you can use Twitter effectively without having to spend much of your time doing so:

1. Follow other's lists
Lists are often used to keep up with what is happening in industries you are interested in and to connect with relevant people. Sites such as "Listorious" can be used to search other people's lists by topic (for example, you could search fashion to find a large number of users relating to that industry).
Once you have found these lists, be sure to follow the accounts you find most interesting so you can receive relevant information.

2. Use Microlists
Once you start to follow more people, it can be hard to absorb all the information you receive in your Twitter feed. By creating microlists of key people to follow, you can easily stay on top of the information they are tweeting. For example, you could have a microlist just for news sources and journalists, one for businesses relating to your industry, etc. As you follow new people, you can also add them to your lists as appropriate.

3. Make Use of of Keywords and Hashtags
These features make it easy to find relevant information currently trending on Twitter. They allow you to quickly scan for content that you find interesting and would like to retweet for your followers. Also, if you use keywords and hashtags you will turn up in the searches of other users.

4. Use Existing Content
Chances are you already have a company blog and/or website. These contain lots of great content you've already researched and written about. An effective way to catch people's attention is to use quotes from the article as tweets and link back to that specific blog in the tweet.

5. Use Tools to Make Routine Processes Automatic
There are many routine activities on Twitter that can be automated. Tools can be used, such as SocialOomph, to send an automated direct message to your followers thanking them. Ping.fm lets you update various statuses (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogger, etc) at the same time from one site.
You can also develop tweets in bulk and schedule them to go out later using tools such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Twaitter.

6. Share the Work
If you are a company of more than a few people, you most likely have several employees that are trustworthy enough to tweet and maintain other social networking profiles on behalf of the company. Set some ground rules, review protocol and outline what you hope to achieve with Twitter, then let them try it out. Monitor their tweets to make sure they are representing your company correctly.

7. Experiment!
Rather than spending all your time planning, start trying new things. Have your employees each write blog posts and then spend time going over them, commenting on them and promoting them. Use your time to increase your company's exposure instead of tediously planning how to do this.

Happy tweeting!

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