Twitter is the ultimate temptation because day (or night), there is always someone there tweeting, something interesting to read, some raging debate or trending topic. It’s especially dangerous for those of us who work-from-home (read spend most of the day alone in a home office seriously starved for human interaction).
Easy to see why a ‘quick stop’ in the Twittersphere turns into an extended Tweet-a-Thon.
How to Avoid the All-Powerful Sucking Time-Vortex of Twitter
Twitter Time-Management Tip #1: Set Strict Time Limits
Keep your Twitter sessions to short, powerful bursts of interaction. In even as little as 5 minutes you can catch-up with your friends, retweet interesting posts and check on your Direct Messages. If you find yourself losing track of time, use a timer to stay on track!
Twitter Time-Management Tip #2: Leverage Technology
Technology tools, like Hootsuite, allow you to schedule a day’s worth of post in one quick upload. What that means is you can get out the information you wish to share that day and use your power sessions to focus on engagement.
Twitter Time-Management Tip #3: Go Mobile
Surprisingly, a lot of my daily interaction happens via my mobile Twitter app when I’m in-between other activities, whether that’s waiting for a conference call to start or in line at Starbucks. Because it’s in-between other activities, there are already boundaries for those of us who are tempted by Twitter.
Twitter Time-Management Tip #4: Use Automagic Posting
Twitter Feed is a common automagic (automatic + magic) tool for maintaining your social media activity. Again, it’s not a replacement for interacting, but a useful tool for pulling fresh content into your tweet stream.
Twitter Time-Management Tip #5: Get Help Finding Content
If automating your tweet stream isn’t your thing, try getting a little help from Zite! It’s a handy iPhone/iPad app that allows you to set topic preferences and then it learns what types of content you like best. The more you use it, the better the content match. All you have to do is connect it to your Twitter and click Tweet on the content you’d like to share!
Twitter Time-Management Tip #6: Create Twitter Lists
Chances are you have a strategic reason for using social media, whether that’s to engage with bloggers and journalists or connect with your target audience. That’s where Twitter lists come in handy. It means that you can quickly connect with exactly who you need to with very little effort.
Twitter Time-Management Tip #7: Set Tech Blackout Zones
Being ON all-day, every day is a recipe for social burnout. Give yourself technology downtime where you don’t interact. How you determine your tech blackouts is up to you – some people choose to take the weekends off, others take entire tech blackout vacations.
Twitter Time-Management Tip #8: Post from Other Platforms
The key to being successful in social media is maintaining an active profile. That means continually updating your status, which is the reason Twitter is such an effective time-vortex. If you interact on other social media platforms, like Facebook or Pinterest, make those posts do double-duty by posting those updates on Twitter at the same time (often it’s just a click of a button to post in both places).
Twitter Time-Management Tip #9: Get Help
What is so amazing about social media is that (most often) there are real people behind every profile so don’t take this tip as permission to ‘outsource’ your Twitter. But if you are like me and manage more than one account, chances are you will need a little help. That’s why the official MOMeo Magazine Twitter account is managed by myself and @HeatherSBroad!
Twitter Time-Management Tip #10: Extend Your Interaction
One of my favorite ways to maintain my Twitter activity is to post my retweets into the future. I do this for two reasons: #1 to avoid overwhelming my followers with too much information all at once and #2 to benefit the person I am retweeting by giving the post the best chance of garnering attention. The added bonus from a Twitter time management perspective is it makes it easier to maintain a consistent tweet stream.