Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The Wonderful World of Twitter
A long time ago I promised to do an update on any tools I found to make Twitter less time consuming. I have found a few methods/tools that help me out a lot.
First off, I take care of my follows/unfollows in the morning. I quickly follow all the people who followed me (except the ones who are just trying to get me to pay for more follows). It is okay not to follow people back, and I had a hard time understanding this at first. Next, I unfollow people who haven't followed me back. I use a free program called JustUnfollow www.justunfollow.com. At the point you get over 2000 followers, apparently Twitter limits the follower to followee ratio so you need to get rid of people who aren't following back.
Next, I go onto Twitter and spend a few minutes (maybe ten) a few times a week reading articles and retweeting the tweets I find interesting. I don't do this every day, because I can waste a ton of time here. I have to limit myself to the ten minutes or so of sharing/reading other people's tweets.
After this, I go to my mentions page. It is easy to hit "reply" and send a quick message to anyone who mentioned me that day. However, I don't send a message to everyone who Tweeted me using Triberr triberr.com, only the people who have sent me some sort of personal message or given me a shout out. I also check any direct messages and reply to the ones that are actual conversations with me and not just spam to get me to visit their site/buy their product, etc.
Once a week, I use followfridayhelper.com/ a free program that tracks how many people mentioned me in an easy format where I can give multiple shout outs to thank them and alert my followers these are good folks. This is where I thank everyone who tweets me through Triberr.
All in all, I've got it down to where I spend only ten to twenty minutes a day on Twitter. Sometimes when I'm procrastinating about something else, I will go on an extra time and read/RT more tweets from people I've followed.
When I get ready to multiply my reach by joining some tweet teams (you can do this through www.worldliterarycafe.com or find tweet teams other places like Facebook) then there are programs to help schedule tweets. Tweet teams are where you join up with a group of other people and send out their tweet to your followers, and they in turn send out your tweet to their followers. The scheduling programs I've heard of to do this include hootsuite.com and www.tweetdeck.com though there are others. I'm sure there is a learning curve with both of these programs, but what they do is allow you to plug several tweets into them in the morning and stagger when they post to Twitter throughout the day.
[I have to add this information right now! Thanks Ruby Barnes for bringing this to my attention. If you are technologically challenged, like I am, Tweet 140 is so easy to use to schedule your tweets for a tweet team type of situation. The web site is http://feed140.com/ The basic account is free. All you have to do is sign up with them, then go to your settings on the top right-hand side. Select your time zone, what times of day you want tweets to go out between, and how many tweets you want posted per hour. Then, copy your tweets from your tweet teams into the queue list and hit tweet. It automatically schedules your times based on how many per hour you selected! This is so much easier for me than hootsuite or tweetdeck! One thing, it doesn't shorten the URL's for you so if they are long ones that don't fit you have to shorten them, but that can be done for free at bitly.com I'm so excited by how easy this program is! It is the one I will be using for all my scheduling. Thanks again, Ruby!]
Using these free programs significantly cuts down the amount of time I spend on Twitter each day. Do you have any other tweet tips for me?
Here are a few web sites for more help with Twitter:
New to Twitter or Need Tweet Perspective? Don't Over-Think It - good general information
writersedgeinfo.blogspot.ca - information on what kinds of things to tweet
Coming Clean About My Twitter Success - tells how to get more Twitter followers (and where I learned about justunfollow.com)