The most common complaint businesses make when they start using social media is that they do not have the time. However behind this complaint is a world of ignorance, social media, especially Twitter, needn’t be a taxing or time consuming task. Increasingly Twitter has become the optimal social media platform for small businesses, providing them with effective networking ability. In order to use Twitter effectively requires two tools, HootSuite and Twitter Lists. Once these tools have been mastered a daily Twitter routine which takes ten minutes or less can be established.
Set up a HootSuite account:
HootSuite provides Twitter users with a free social media dashboard. There are a number of other dashboards available, however HootSuite is exceptionally popular. Once a Twitter account has been linked to HootSuite, users are able to add streams, tabs and social networks. The following streams should be added to the first tab: Scheduled Tweets, Sent Tweets, Direct Messages, Mentions, My Tweets and Retweeted. In order to do this, simply click on the “Add Stream” button and follow the instructions provided.
Create Twitter Lists:
Now return to Twitter.com and go to the “Your Settings” section. This can be found by clicking on the gear symbol in the top right hand corner. Click on the “Lists” option and then select “Create list”. Public and private lists can then be created determining the type of content which is viewed based on a number of criteria including, topic, hashtag and user. Lists should be organised by theme and specific Twitter users should be selected to occupy them. An “Important Connections” list should also be created at this stage. This list should include the users which you will have daily interaction with. Other lists should include titles such as “Fans”, “Super Fans”, “Best Blogs”, “Industry Leaders” etc, the key is to be specific with the categorisation.
Add the newly created Twitter Lists to HootSuite:
Click on the black plus sign on HootSuite in order to create a new tab on the dashboard. In the newly created Twitter routine, this tab will be the second port of call. In this tab click the “Add Stream” button then select “Lists” from the options. Do not upload all of your lists, only upload the most important ones and make sure to upload “Important Connections”. The remaining Twitter lists can be uploaded by creating a number of extra tabs, these tabs can then be organised around topics. Four is the optimum number of streams within a tab, however the maximum is ten.
Create a hashtag tab on HootSuite:
Create another tab on the HootSuite dashboard, this should be filled with the four most important and relevant hashtags your account follows. Make sure to include the specific industry tweetups which it is worth keeping an eye on. To demonstrate writers should follow the #amwriting hashtag. This should be created under “Add a stream”, once created search for hashtags which are specific to your industry, products or services. In addition, relevant hashtags streams can be added to themed tags.
The streamlined Twitter daily routine:
Log into HootSuite and check the first tab, which will include any mentions or tweets your Twitter handle has received. If any have been received they should be responded to first. Next, check the “Important” tab, anything of interest or relevancy can be retweeted or responded to. After this, check the hashtag tab, this is an excellent source for fresh information for your blog posts and content. Ensure to make use of the “auto-schedule” feature, which enables you to optimise your posts so that they are published during periods of high traffic. These tweets will appear in the “Scheduled Tweets” section on your first tab.
If time permits browse the remaining streams, the more you make use of this routine, the more efficient you will become, enabling for a following to be built up in no time at all.