In many ways, Twitter is not unlike projectile vomiting – a forceful and uncontrollable firehose that it is.
And managing Twitter… well, it could feel like trying to take a sip from that firehose.
Many of you dread Twitter for this reason alone, and I don't blame you.
So, whatever shall a marketer do?
Out of the question, IF that's where your target audience is.
Automate the life out of it?
No siree! Might as well ditch it…
So what's the answer to this pain-in-the-neck-that-it-is suck-you-in-n-never-spit-you-out Twitter situation?
Manage it. Put yourself on a Twitter time budget.
Twitter Presence Worth Building
Before we talk about managing your time on Twitter, I feel like I need to say something.
If driving traffic, leads, sales from Twitter is your objective of being on Twitter, then you need to focus on building a meaningful Twitter presence.
Otherwise… your time would be best spent elsewhere.If Twitter is worth doing, it's worth doing well.Click To Tweet
As I mentioned in this social media traffic resource I've put together for Traffic Generation Café Readers (hey, that's YOU!), put your time into it – say, 30 days – learn everything there's to know about it, grow your presence, influence, and reach.
Master it, in other words.
- Be a part of the conversation.
Listen. Think. Weigh in.
- Focus on others.
Quote. Promote. Share.
- Add self-promotion.
Your own agenda comes LAST. And in moderation.
Of course, in order to do all that, you need a plan. A strategy. A routine that will keep you on track to achieve all of the above in 30-40 minutes per day.
Allow me to introduce you to your new best Twitter friend: the Daily Twitter Routine.
Twitter Management: The Daily Routine
Your Daily Twitter Routine is meant…
- to keep you on Twitter long enough to be productive,
- so that you can liberally attend to things that absolutely need your attention,
- and sparingly do things that are helpful IF time allows.
What you'll see below is the collective effort of several power Twitter users who seem to ‘always be there‘ – it almost seems like they don't do anything but Twitter day in and out. That's how good and responsive they are.
Of course, nothing else is further from the truth: these folks have successful businesses to run, and Twitter is but a small part of their daily routine.
However, whatever they do on Twitter is working very well.
And now YOU too can work Twitter well – with the help of the Daily Twitter Routine.
To come up with this Twitter management routine, I've taken my own daily Twitter schedule as a basis, then balanced it with what other power Twitter users (you'll hear from them below) have shared with me, and voilà – this very helpful Daily Twitter Routine was born.
- Schedule tweet blocks [ongoing]
- Read @mentions and reply to ALL [2-3x a day]
- Scan Twitter timeline for conversations to jump into and content to retweet [2-3x a day]
- Check Direct Messages (DMs) [1x a day]
- Visit influencers' profiles; read, retweet, engage [1x a day]
- Search Twitter for conversations of interest [1x a day]
You should set aside about 30-45 minutes per day to follow this routine.
Let's talk about it in a bit more detail.
Schedule your Tweet Blocks [ongoing]
My not-so-secret secret (now that I told my Bite-Size Traffic Hacks email Subscribers about it!) to increased Twitter visibility is tweeting in blocks of 3-4 tweets with my content at the top of the block.
That way, my tweets stand out in Twitter timelines, I still deliver value since only one of the 3-4 tweets is mine, and my own content has more visibility by sitting at the top of the block.
To learn more about tweeting in blocks, read How to Make Your Tweets More Visible [Twitter Traffic Hack].
Don't know what content to share? Read more!
Set up Google Alerts for your industry and have them automatically sent to your inbox.
You'll have plenty of great content to share in no time.
I try to schedule as many tweet blocks in advance as I can, but since I read a lot daily, I inevitably end up scheduling quite a bit of content on the go as well.
Read your @mentions and reply to ALL [2-3x per day]
Listen up: this is THE key to building a meaningful Twitter presence.
Respond to those who share your content, ask a question, or engage with you in any other way.
Do this at least 2-3 times per day.
Do this even if you don't have time to do anything else on Twitter that day.
Don't think you have the time for it? Ann Handley does.
Yet her Twitter timeline is something to marvel about. She responds to EVERY. SINGLE. TWEET. that mentions her. Take a look:
You should definitely follow her @AnnHandley on Twitter and learn what Twitter should be all about first hand.
Here's another great example of ALWAYS responding to EVERY single mention on EVERY single platform EVERY single time.
Talking about the King of theSocialMediaHat.com himself, Mike Allton.
The other day, he managed to amaze me even further by responding to something I posted about him on not one, not two, but three social networks: Google+, Facebook, and Twitter (I use FriendsPlus.Me app to help me share posts across those three networks – currently, it's the ONLY app that posts to your Google+ personal profiles.)
And he responded to ALL three posts within 10 minutes!
Wow… something to strive for for all of us, don't you think?
You should definitely follow Mike Allton on Twitter and any other social media network you find him at.
Scan your Twitter timeline [2-3x per day]
This is another must for a meaningful and healthy Twitter presence: scan your Twitter timeline to see what people whom you've chosen to follow tweet about.
As a matter of fact, I have a rule where I have to read and retweet or otherwise engage with, at least, three tweets from people I follow before I allow myself to post any content of my own.
Good rule, don't you think? Something you might consider doing in your own Daily Twitter Routine? I think you should.
Check Direct Messages [1x per day]
I've noticed many folks on Twitter tend to ignore Direct Messages because of potential spam.
As far as I am concerned, it's a big mistake.
You wouldn't stop checking/responding to comments on your blog just because some of them would inevitably turn out to be spam, right?
In my personal experience, only about 5% of my Twitter direct messages turn out to be spam. The rest are very much worth responding to.
Visit influencers' profiles; read, retweet, engage [1x per day]
This part of your Daily Twitter Routine is also very important.
I am sure there are a few people in your niche whom you are actively working on building relationships with:
- industry influencers,
- peers you'd like to connect with,
- up-and-coming bloggers who might peak your interest.
Paying attention to their Twitter activities should become a part of your Daily Twitter Routine.
Don't count on seeing their tweets in your Twitter timeline. Make the effort to specifically visit each influencer's Twitter profile at least once a day.
This is your chance to take note of what kind of content they share, whom they interact with, what they tweet about, and yes, your best chance to engage with them on Twitter.
Be knowledgeable, likable, and consistent.
And share their content. Generously, but tastefully, if you know what I mean.
To learn more about influencer marketing and how to apply it to your business, read:
A great way to ensure you keep up with building those relationships even if you can't follow your Daily Twitter Routine on busy days is to add those influencers' RSS feeds to an automatic service that tweets out their content as soon as it gets published.
Word of caution: do this if you are absolutely sure in the quality of the content. No relationship is worth it if you start losing followers because you keep sharing mediocre content.
There are plenty of services that will automatically tweet out new content from specified RSS feeds.
Buffer, of course, is one of them, but you do need to have at least their Buffer Awesome plan to do that (if you ask me, $10/month is well worth it).
I've also been using Twitterfeed for my RSS feed sharing for years – it's free and simple to use.
I know a few Traffic Generation Café Readers automatically share my blog's RSS feed on Twitter. I can count on them to be there for me, and am honored by their trust.
If you decide to join them, I will sing my Thank Yous to you every time I see your tweet. Are you ready for it? Here's Traffic Generation Café RSS feed.
Search Twitter for conversations of interest [1x per day]
Now you are going beyond your own Twitter Timeline to search for conversations to jump into.
Go to https://twitter.com/search-home, search for your topics of interest, and get into a few conversations.
While you’re there, go ahead and search for your own name and/or company name to see if anyone is talking about you.
And there you have it: your Daily Twitter Routine that will keep you on track and in line with your goal – to build a meaningful Twitter presence without it becoming a productivity killer.
As promised, you'll also hear from a few Twitter pros who share how they ‘do it all'.
What Twitter Pros Had to Say about Their Daily Twitter Routines
How DO they do it?
Let's find out.
Larry Kim, Wordstream.com
1. Find interesting stuff to share.
I use tools like Nuzzel and Buzzsumo, also Pinterest to find interesting stuff to share and figure out what topics are trending right now. That’s usually 30 minutes in the morning and I schedule stuff using Hootsuite.
It also inspires me with stuff to blog about.
2. Take Uber to/from work.
Last year I started taking an Uber to and from work every day (I don’t even own a car anymore) and that’s around 20 minutes on social media each way, plus it saves me 30 minutes each way for not having to take the bus.
I use that time for responding to things, retweeting things, checking DMs, scanning #ppcchat, etc.
3. Have highly organized lists of people I quickly scan and respond to.
I follow a lot of people so it’s pretty much impossible to deal with that timeline. I have 5 lists of people that I can quickly scan and engage with.
They’re organized based on how frequently they tweet and their level of influence. I’ll usually start with the folks who tweet the least and are the most influential.
I have notifications turned on for just 3 people, one of them is Rand Fishkin from Moz.
4. The biggest time suck for me is mucking around with Twitter and Facebook ads.
I’ve run over 1000 campaigns this month. Mostly testing weird ideas. It’s probably 2 hours a day!
But keep in mind I do a ton of blogging about social media ads, so it overlaps with my day-to-day work.
5. Also I have an executive assistant who helps me out with other things like email, scheduling, travel, slides, etc. That frees up time so I can do this stuff!
Mike Allton, theSocialMediaHat.com
My Daily Twitter Routine is actually pretty straightforward:
- check mentions 2 – 4x per day using Hootsuite mobile;
- check direct messages 1x per day using Hootsuite desktop;
- I use SocialOomph to power my evergreen content shares, and then mix up Hootsuite, Buffer, JustRetweet, Triberr and Feedly, plus Twitter lists, to generate curated shares and retweets.
Now, one difference for me from others is that I am not actively looking for business, so monitoring conversations and those kinds of ‘social listening' for opportunities aren't a part of my mix.
If I was looking for clients or gigs, I'd have to spend more time searching… and for that I've used saved searches as streams within Hootsuite.
Ann Handley, MarketingProfs.com and AnnHandley.com
My approach on each is different — because on @marketingprofs I also represent the brand (so things like responsiveness and customer service come into play).
I feel less of that on @annhandley, where I’m just a person and not representing a larger company.
An ‘Ann Day' in the Life of Twitter Management isn’t unlike Ana's, with some differences.
1. Read all @mentions and reply/process all (to the degree they require a response).
And by “process” I might decided to NOT reply if it’s spam or rude or ill-mannered behavior. “Process” also includes Like, Follow, Unfollow, etc.
2. Schedule tweets using Buffer.
On @marketingprofs: Tweets are generally MarketingProfs programs/posts we are actively promoting. (On @annhandley I don’t schedule tweets.)
3. Check Buffer stats from the previous day.
ReBuffer anything that either a) is popular based on Buffer metrics and therefore has broader appeal, or b) isn’t popular but should be based on my editorial sensibility.
4. Read news and industry news as well as posts from feeds/friends/publications.
Share (again, Buffer) and/or comment back on anything share-worthy (based again on my own editorial sensibility).
Then throughout the day at down time periods (my “water cooler time”):
- Repeat #1 liberally.
- Scan trending topics from time to time.
- Sometimes jump into Twitter chats and/or follow event or seminar hashtags. (Depending on my interest/the day.)
- Sometimes read the general timeline, but lately I do less and less of this. But sometimes I still do.
- Immediately click out of “Moments” when I accidentally click on it. 😀
Aside from Buffer, I use the desktop or mobile app for all this ^^.
Ryan Hanley, RyanHanley.com
The most effective way to manage Twitter is to not caught up in “Followback” mania.
There is no value in following people who you have no intention of engaging with. Doing this creates shallow connections and false sense of authority in your own work.
By following on those individuals/brands whose content you're interested in, Twitter as a communication and content discovery tool becomes incredibly valuable.
That being said, here is my routine:
NOTE: I go native. No Twitter management app.
- Check @mentions
- Respond (using Twitter native video if I can)
- Scroll my feed for interesting stuff
Repeat all of the above 3 times per day: morning, day, and night.
I'm constantly using Buffer app to schedule Tweets from articles I found (or my own).
Much of what I schedule eventually ends up in my Sunday Seven Newsletter.
I also use gigs quite a bit from Giphy.com to get eye balls on Tweets of particular interest.
Jeff Sieh, ManlyPinterestTips.com
I tend to do a lot of content curation for myself and clients like Social Media Examiner.
I'm always looking for good content that I might be able to share on other networks like Pinterest or Instagram.
I use a mix of Hootsuite and Buffer to manage my Twitter accounts. Buffer because I can schedule and share out content I find easily. Hootsuite because it lets me quickly organize my Twitter lists and respond to comments and mentions.
I also use Hootsuite to schedule tweets for content I have created. So Buffer is for curation and Hootsuite is for creation.
I also use SocialOomph to share my evergreen tweets.
Here's my typical day:
2. Check Triberr and share any posts that I find interesting.
If it applies to other platforms like Pinterest or Facebook, I schedule those.
3. Open Feedly and check those feeds.
I have carefully curated the feeds to show me the content that would be valuable to my audiences.
I find a lot of my content for the day there. I share straight from Feedly into Buffer.
4. More coffee
5. Open Hootsuite and see if I need to respond to any comments.
I also try to thank people who I see have shared my content. Not perfect, but I do my best.
6. If I have any blog post coming out, I schedule it to go out via Hootsuite.
This is when I typically plan client's tweets as well.
7. Add any new content that's evergreen to SocialOomph.
Lisa Irby, 2CreateaWebsite.com
My social media routine usually varies.
Having said that, I love it when my followers reach out to me on Twitter. I usually check my mentions multiple times per day, and it's easier to keep up with compared to email.
Sometimes I wish I could replace my inbox with Twitter. Ha!
Even though I don't always stick to an exact routine, here's what a typical day looks like.
1. Browse my feed for anything newsworthy and share it or schedule it with Tweetdeck.
I do this first thing in the morning. I rarely schedule anything before 10am and after 7pm CT.
According to Tweriod, that seems to be the ideal time for my followers.
2. Next, I'll schedule some of my own tweets (if any).
I use TweetDeck.
3. I have notifications setup for mentions, so I usually jump in and respond to those as soon as I can.
4. I follow a few chats such as AWeber's #emailchat, so I'll browse those feeds throughout the day as well.
Ana Hoffman, TrafficGenerationCafe.com
And last but not first… my own Daily Twitter Routine that I've tweaked and perfected based on the pros' routines above and have been using to build my own Twitter presence.
- Schedule tweet blocks.
I use Buffer to do that. I also use MeetEdgar app to schedule my evergreen content.
- Read @mentions and reply to ALL.
I prefer using the native Twitter site for that – like Ryan Hanley does.
- Scan Twitter timeline for conversations to jump into and content to retweet.
As I mentioned above, I NEVER share my own stuff unless I share or otherwise engage with at least 3 pieces of content from people I follow.
- Check Direct Messages (DMs).
- Visit influencers' profiles; read, retweet, engage.
- Search Twitter for conversations of interest.
Tools Pros Use to Manage Their Twitter Presence
I thought it might be helpful to include a list of Twitter management tools mentioned throughout this post.
Content Discovery Tools
With these Twitter management tools, you can quickly find content to share.
Learn more about using Triberr to increase your reach and traffic in these two posts at Traffic Generation Café:
Can Triberr Get You More Web Traffic [Or Is Traffic a False God]? – interview with Dino Dogan, Triberr founder
These Twitter management tools will help you schedule all the content you found with the content discovery tools mentioned above.
To learn everything there's to know about using Hootsuite to better manage your Twitter presence, I highly recommend you pick up Mike Allton's Kindle book:
Twitter account maintenance
These are the tools Twitter pros use to manage their day-to-day Twitter activities: responding to mentions, monitoring feeds and lists, checking DMs.
Twitter reach amplification
The following Twitter management tools increase your Twitter reach and retweets by allowing other members to promote your content using a credit system or through a tribe.
Twitter stat tracking
With these Twitter management tools, you can see how what you are doing on Twitter is working.
Twitter Management Marketing Takeaway
The best way not to overspend when grocery shopping is to bring a list of things you actually need and stick to it while shopping.
The best way not to waste your time on Twitter (and social media in general for that matter!) while still accomplishing everything you need to do to build a meaningful Twitter presence is to stick to your Daily Twitter Routine.
And now you know how the pros ‘do it all‘ and you can too.
Off to work on building a meaningful Twitter presence,