5 Ways to use Twitter for business so it's not a massive waste of time

Posted by Murray Sye

on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 @ 11:26 AM


Are you using Twitter for your business?

Do you make use of best practices, features and tools that will help you save time? 

We all know that managing social media on a professional level is not an easy task. In some cases, managing social media can be a full-time job but it can become even more of a challenge if managing your brand's Twitter presence is only part of your daily task.

In this post, I'm going to share with you 5 different ways you can save time on Twitter so that you can focus on more important parts of your business.

Top 5 tips for using Twitter effectively, getting the most out of it and making the best use of your time.

1) Take advantage of Twitter lists

Here's a feature that is quite often underused.

You're probably following thousands of people right?

Which makes it very difficult to keep up with them all, which you won't. What you want to be able to do is follow those people that you think is appropriate to you without totally ignoring all your other Twitter followers. Enter Twitter Lists

Twitter Lists allows you to group together those people that you want to follow and engage with most often and really harvest those relationships by checking that list daily.

Creating or subscribing to a list allows you to see only those Tweets from people and accounts that you actually care about and want to hear from. And it provides you with a resource for creating or curating content that you want to share with your network. 

Some examples of lists that you can create; top influencers in your industry, top media or publications in your industry, tier one people to engage with, personal (family and friends) and so on.


@MarieSmith has over 160 favourites in her list. You can create lists of individuals or groups and have as many as you like.

In addition to creating lists for yourself, other people might find your lists useful and can subscribe to your lists. Your lists can be 'public' or 'private' meaning that anyone can access your list or you can keep a list private to you only. Twitter shows you how to create and use lists here.


2) Period or no period

The "@" symbol has caused much confusion. And if you're only now realizing that you've made this mistake, not to worry we're going to fix it for you today - otherwise it's another big Twitter time-waster.

When you "@" someone, only the person tweeting, the person being tweeted "@" and those that follow both of those accounts will see that tweet.  


If you want your tweet to be visible to your entire following, make sure you put a period before the ".@" symbol or any text before the "@" symbol.



3) Follow back or not

As your network grows, the whole follower, following thing can get complicated, and a time-waster. Don't get caught up in the numbers.

Here's my school of thought; if someone is following you, it's their way of saying "hello." So, in real life if someone was to say "hello" to you, you wouldn't just ignore them, you'd probably say "hello" back. So I have a tendancy to follow back because I think it's the polite thing to do.

Obviously you're not obligated to follow everyone that follows you. Nor is everyone you follow obligated to follow you back. But following allows you to talk to your network one on one via direct messages and have them be able to reach out to you and you can only do that if you're following the person back. 


4) Bio and branding

First impressions can't be repeated, which brings me to my fourth tip; use your bio and your branding effectively. Your banner on Twitter is prime real estate and you want to ensure your business is positioned to be a big first impression.


Use your banner to showcase what you do or what your content focuses on. Or, as in Kim Garst's case, promote your upcoming webinar – what a great idea. 

Your profile image or your avitar, first, make sure it's not a egg! Make sure it's a photo or yourself. People want to know who you are and that they are actually following a real person. Choose a profile photo that visually represents your business or brand and fits properly in a small space.

On that note: your photo doesn't just appear on your Twitter homepage, it will be shown as the icon in every Tweet you post. I like photos in profiles over avitars, but you can use a logo or character that's relevant to your business, or a graphic featuring your business's name.

Your bio should tell people why they should be following you. What exactly are you going to give to them, and what kind of value are you going to provide.


You have 160 characters to tell your story. Let people know what makes your business special and why they should be following you. You can include useful information such as your location or your business hours, and you can share a link to your website.

You have a matter of seconds when someone lands on your Twitter page, so make sure you're doing everything  you can with your bio and your branding.


5) Tweet away

Because of the instantaneous nature of Twitter, the lifespan of a tweet is short, very short. Various reports indicate that Tweets last anywhere from 18 minutes to 48 hours. Good tweets have unique and compelling content, and can last a long time.

Let's assume that you only have a matter of a few minutes. If you have a piece of content that's really important to you or your brand, you can tweet is several times a day because it's going to be hitting a different audience each time of the day and it won't be hitting everyone in your network when you send it out just one time. 

Try and space it out, perhaps sending one in the morning, one in the afternoon, one in the evening, and maybe send it out once or twice a week for the next couple of weeks after that because it's going to hit a new audience every time you send that tweet.

But that sounds like it's going to be a lot of work? Not really.

There are a number of social media tools available (some for free) that will help you save time by pre-planning your posts well in advance, 24-7. I use Hootsuite, but there are a number of other tools out there such as TweetDeck that will help you save time by scheduling your messages to Twitter and other social media channels. You can read up on that here


Now it's back to you

I hope you've found these tips helpful. If you have others that you'd like to share, don't be shy, we'd love to hear from you.

For additional Twitter tips shared by experts, access your free Twitter edition of Fish Where The Fish Are below. 

Twitter Edition - Fish Where The Fish Are

Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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