Tips for Twittering 15 Minutes a Day!

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Twitter may seem like a relatively new player on the social media front, but the site is actually nearly five years old, having debuted in 2006. Now, Twitter has over 100 million registered users who are sending out a combined 55 million-plus tweets a day. Many people still see Twitter as a waste of time – but didn’t they think the same thing about the Internet, 15 or so years ago?

If you’re looking for a quick, concise way to reach a wide audience, Twitter may be your answer. Twitter’s strength lies in its openness and its numbers. Of course, those are its drawbacks, too. It is so easy to connect with people on Twitter that it is not much of a commitment – at first, at least.

As a business owner, you should observe what the “average” user does – and then do the opposite! For instance:

  • The average user has fewer than 100 contacts. Business owners aim to increase their reach
  • The average user’s tweet is “chatty.” Business owners strive to provide value
  • The average user hasn’t tweeted in the past week. Business owners want to stay active

If you are ready to commit to Twitter, one of the best things you can do is to enlist the help of one of the numerous third-party Twitter applications, such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or Seesmic. These services allow you to track conversations according to numerous keywords, post on different profiles, and create tweets to post at a later time or date.

Here is what you want to do in your 15 minutes a day:

  • Post an update. As with Facebook, make your updates applicable to your audience. Provide a link to your latest blog post or an interesting factoid related to your market. (1 minute)
  • Check out your new followers. If they look like appropriate contacts (i.e., not spammers), follow them back. (2 minutes)
  • Respond to DMs, i.e., direct messages, and “@” messages. The latter are tweets aimed directly at you, but posted publicly. (2 minutes)
  • Check your keywords and hashtags. Through the services suggested above, you can track keywords in your niche. Read what people are talking about and asking about; answer questions where you can, and join in conversations where appropriate. (5 minutes)
  • Read your feed and see what people are talking about. Some of your followers will be chatting about your area of specialty; others won’t. Spend a minute or two joining a few conversations, even if it’s about last night’s Red Sox/Yankees game. (2 minutes)
  • Retweet useful information. Did someone tweet a useful tool or a great blog post you think your market will love? Retweet it! You will generate good karma while providing great content for your followers. (2 minutes)
  • Create a few updates to post to Twitter at a later date. Make it look like you are on Twitter more than you are by creating a tweet or two and scheduling it to post later. (1 minute)

The key to Twitter success is brevity and consistency. Users’ feeds scroll by so quickly that if you are not in the stream consistently, you’re going to fade into the woodwork. Yet if you are out there with useful information frequently, you will build a loyal following.

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