Social media has revolutionized the face of customer engagement because of how easy it is for people to connect with one another. Nonetheless as an entrepreneur, your time is extremely valuable and you want to get the most out of your social media efforts. I believe you should focus on one social media account to build you brand at a time. One channel to consider: Twitter. It’s the fastest-moving social network and a great tool for checking on what’s happening in your industry and connecting with customers. However without a strategy for using Twitter, it can turn into a huge time suck without a subsequent ROI. Here are five ways to maximize your time on Twitter in about 30 minutes a day.
- Set a timer.
Let’s face it… it can be difficult to do anything in 30 minutes, so set a timer to keep yourself on track. When you know that a timer is counting down the seconds, you will focus on the task at hand. A timer also provides closure. Social media has a way of sucking you in (that’s why it’s so darn effective), so starting with an end in mind will keep you alert and goal-focused.
- Have a goal.
Speaking of goals, make sure you have a goal in mind when beginning your Twitter time. This could be to attract followers, drive traffic to your website, or generate sales. Or “Connect with three influencers” or “Find five great articles to retweet.” Your goals may change and evolve as you see the results of your efforts.
- Automate your posts.
There are many services that will allow you to streamline your Twitter marketing experience. Some social media management systems will even suggest specific posts to retweet. My favorite scheduler tool is Sprout Social. It is important to keep track of topics, industry leaders, or new sources that can provide alternate sources of information relevant to your customers, so that you are not a duplicate parrot in the Twitter tree.
The best advantage that social media management systems offer is the ability to queue your posts in advance, so that your updates can spread out around the clock rather than in a narrow burst if you published them manually. Spending just a few minutes scheduling your tweets on one day can net you activity all week.
- Stay focused.
On social media it is easy to get swept up in the fray. Avoid voicing your opinion on every brouhaha of the moment (unless that is part of your brand). Keep your tweets consolidated to topics related to your field or industry. Stay on task so that you can actually accomplish something on Twitter in 30 minutes a day.
- Respond to mentions or hashtags.
The temptation to not engage is a serious one when every second counts, but social media is inherently social, so it is important to look for mentions or use of your custom hashtags and reply. While some social media all-stars will say “hi” and “thanks” for every follow and retweet, it is better to look for authentic engagement that reflects the fundamental mindset of your business.
If you start using Twitter more effectively, it could make a huge difference in your small business. Get to tweeting today. Just don’t forget to set your timer.