Twitter can be an incredible tool for improving the presence of your business online. Unfortunately, using Twitter improperly will eat up a lot of your attention and time without creating much measurable value for your business. Let’s take a minute to look at the best ways to use Twitter positively and effectively without using it simply as another way to accidentally waste time.
If you’re going to waste a lot of time on Twitter it’s going to happen one way- you’re going to log in to Twitter to post something for your business and then you’re going to get caught up in the timeline of updates posted by all the people you’re following. Twitter’s timeline provides an up-to-the-minute listing of every little message the people you’re following send out into the world. Reading just one update on this timeline is akin to eating just one potato chip out of the bag- it’s impossible. Reading just one tweet leads to reading the tweet below it, which leads to reading the tweet below that one, which leads to reading the next tweet… and so on until 15 minutes have passed without you even realizing or expecting it.
There are a couple ways you can prevent yourself from wasting time getting caught up in your Twitter timeline. The first thing you can do is not follow anyone else, which will essentially eliminate your timeline altogether and remove the biggest time sink associated with the platform. This is a very effective method of eliminating the problem altogether, but it’s not an effective way to grow your followers base on Twitter. There’s no need to follow every single person on Twitter who follows you, but subscribing to other people in your industry is an important act of goodwill and a powerful method of gaining followers of your own when you’re first starting out.
There is a more elegant solution to the timeline problem which lets you follow all the people you want. All you need to do is schedule your posts using an external program like Tweetdeck. A program like Tweetdeck lets you schedule as many posts as you want for as far as you want into the future. If you’re feeling ambitious you can schedule posts for the next few months all in one go, though scheduling too far in advance prevents you from remaining flexible and topical with the information you tweet. Scheduling a week’s worth of posts at a time is a great compromise between providing your followers with up-to-the-minute information and approaching Twitter as a daily burden. Using a program like Tweetdeck once a week will also remove the temptation of looking over your Timeline more than once a week, eliminating the program’s threat as a potential timesink.
There are plenty of other little tips and tricks associated with using Twitter effectively for your business, but none of those will provide you with too much help if you don’t have a grasp on the basic principle of the platform- provide value without getting personally caught up in its never ending torrent of noise.