We hear it every day when talking with business owners, social media like twitter simply takes too much time and attention. What many businesses fail to recognize is social media doesn’t need to be the all consuming vortex of time many label it as. Twitter, which tends to contain real time and frequent interactions, often is the hardest for businesses to embrace. This need not be the case.
While Social networks like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are ever evolving and change not just in form but in function, twitter falls into the category of social platforms which remain relatively constant in nature. Among the many tools we like to encourage business owners to leverage for manning social media, one of the most effective for Twitter is the combination of the lists function within twitter itself and the populate tool Hootsuite. While we are here to help with things like Social Media Management, it is important for you and your business for you to have your finger on the pulse of your social media identity. Of course, getting set up is a big part of the battle, but we are here to help:
1. Creating and organizing twitter into Lists
Fire up Google Chrome, because it’s an awesome browser, and head on over to twitter.com, once you are logged in, navigate to your settings (the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the twitter interface). Click on Lists > Create list. Once yo hare on the list management screen you can start creating public (ones you want people to see) and private (the ones you don’t want to advertise, like clients) lists. Once you start developing lists you can organize by hashtag, user type, interest group or however you like, then begin adding users to your lists. Get creative with your lists and be sure to organize your important contacts into appropriate groups for easy management and communication.
2. Flutter on over to Hootsuite!
While it does contain loads of paid add-on features, Hootsuite is free to use in its most basic form, which is perfect for the majority of users. When managing a multitude of social media accounts there are other management systems that are available, but for the majority of users Hootsuite is perfect! Once you have registered an account with Hootsuite, link your twitter account. When you have finished linking twitter to Hootsuite, click “add stream” and add the following streams to your first tab: Scheduled tweets, sent tweets, mentions, direct menages, my tweets and retweeted.
3. Bring your carefully crafted lists over to Hootsuite.
Now you will need to create a new Tab. Go ahead and click the black plus icon to create an additional tab and label it “important”. In this tab, click on “add stream” and then “lists” and choose the lists you want to add to your new “important” tab, such as clients or contacts. Continue on with adding tabs and adding lists to each tab as needed.
4. Add a hashtag (#) tab!
Hashtags (#whodoesntlovehashtags) are how twitter and many other social networks tag and organize posts. Once you have identified the hashtags which are most important for you to be following, add them to a new “hashtags” tab in Hootsuite. Try to follow hashtags that are relevant to your industry and/or brand. You can also add hashtags to the themed tabs you have already created to enrich the content you see in those streams.
5. Start making the most of your time with Twitter.
Now its time to reap the rewards of the system you have just established for managing twitter, thats right, its a system. If you look at your tabs, they should be listed in order of priority. The first tab contains important items you need to respond to first. Second, your “important” tab, these are rarity users you may want to see posts from, retweet, favourite or reply to. Lastly, check your has tags tab, is there anything important or useful for you in there? You might be surprised to find that some of these twitter posts the perfect material to inspire your own new and fresh twitter content. Hootsuite has an awesome “auto-schedule” feature, which optimizes your posts to publish at the optimal time according to your audience for maximizing the chances for going viral.
That’s it, you’re done, and you likely just spent less than 15 minutes of your time rocking Twitter like a pro.