Social Media Time Management: Twitter

*This is the first in a series of posts of time management and social media.

Twitter is a great social media tool. But let's be honest, it's also a big distraction. Like constantly checking your email, Twitter can be compulsive. You just have to know what's happening all the time. But actually, you don't. It's important to use Twitter as a tool to help your organization grow and not just distract you from your other work.

So how can you manage your time on Twitter?

A few suggestions:

1. Get Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is a Twitter application which I totally love. The best feature is it's grouping capabilities. You get to put who you follow in categories to make it easier. Currently, my categories include nonprofits, marketing, news, fun and more. Downsides to this feature include the very annoying tweeting noise you get when someone updates.

2. Don't follow everyone who follows you

You may think it is good ettiquette to follow everyone who follows you, but I disagree. Only follow someone if their posts have value for you. Otherwise, you will just be wading through the bad stuff to get to the good. And that is definitely a waste of your time. Don't be afraid to unfollow someone either if they don't live up to your expectations.

3. Don't read every tweet

When I first started on Twitter, I thought I had to read everything that was written. But now that I'm following 174 people I know that is completely unrealistic. Don't worry about what information has been lost, instead just read when you've got time.

4. Don't agonize over what to say

Twitter is supposed to be fast, fun and easy. I do believe as an organization you should stay on message at all times but don't plan out your tweets and stress about what to say. It should flow naturally.

5. Turn it off

When I'm writing for a client, my Tweetdeck is completely off. Distractions like this, especially if you are doing something creative, can throw you off entirely. Remember, you can always come back to it.

Use Twitter to engage in conversations, share news about your organization and increase brand awareness. But be smart about it.


Anonymous said...

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Wayne Kelly said...

Nice concise post Lindsey.

You are spot on with turning off Tweetdeck when you're doing some actual work. I also think the filter function on Tweetdeck is really useful to get the most value from your feed.

Look forward to your future posts.

Rosemary Zalewski said...

I have the same problems with Twitter - I find it to be more distracting than anything. That said, I find your tips to be valuable. I quit Tweetdeck some time ago because I didn't like the interface, but with the grouping option (and the new updates), it may be time to check it out again. Thanks a ton!

Gene Howard said...

I also just recently came across your blog and find that it has great information related to social media. This is a really confusing area for most of us who are just gettng into the act and your thoughts are very helpful. I will continue to check in with you.

Lindsey said...

@Wayne: Yes, the filter function is a great tool as well!

@Rosemary: Yes, it can be really distracting. Tweetdeck does have a good interface which I enjoy, but it is still distracting!

@Gene: Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it! said...

It is a bit distracting at times, but it also keep my mind from wandering off from what Im doing. Its an odd balance of work and focus. Maybe its just the ADD talking.

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