How to Manage Twitter in 20 Minutes a Day

One of the chief complaints I hear from business owners about Twitter is that they don’t have time for it. The idea of managing Twitter is overwhelming and they’re afraid it’s going to turn into an activity that will consume their day.

Although it’s certainly possible to spend your entire day on Twitter, you can easily put some parameters around your efforts to help you be more focused in your daily regimen. And, it’s possible you can manage Twitter in 20 minutes or even less each day.

Don’t believe me?

Here’s a short checklist of items to help you expand your network, develop relationships and grow your influence on Twitter – all within 20 minutes a day.

  • Review searches. Set up Twitter searches and look through them to see if there are any conversations to join or new people to follow. I talk about how to set up Twitter searches here.
  • Follow new people. Follow a few new people to follow that you’ve discovered through your searches, @ replies or using Twitter’s recommendations in the sidebar. You can also look for industry leaders using tools like Twellow, WeFollow and Listorious.
  • Respond to replies. If anyone replied to you through an @ mention, respond to them. Often, the gold on Twitter is in the conversations you have here.
  • Respond to direct messages. Don’t bother with responding to all of the automated direct messages you get (i.e. thanks for the follow, check out my Facebook page!). However, it is a good idea to respond to the other messages you receive.
  • Share a few interesting articles relating to your industry. Make it part of your routine to share items you find online that relate to your industry or will benefit your followers.
  • Share something personal. You don’t have to talk about what you’re having for lunch, but sharing your experiences can help people better relate to you and your business. For instance, you can ask a question (i.e What are you doing this weekend?) or talk about something fun that you are doing (i.e. Getting ready to watch the Mizzou football game!).
  • Share a link to your latest blog post. Have a blog? If so, Twitter is the perfect place to spread the word. If you don’t have a blog, then share something about your business or provide a link to articles or publicity you’ve received. Although it’s a good idea to share your stuff, just make sure that’s not the ONLY thing you’re sharing.
  • Retweet others. Take a few minutes to look through your stream and retweet interesting or useful comments and articles you find.

As your network grows, it does indeed become harder to manage Twitter in less than 20 minutes a day. And, like most things, the more time you put into it, the better results you will achieve.

However, by focusing your energy on these tasks, Twitter doesn’t have to take all day.

How much time do you spend on Twitter every day? Do you have any items you would add to this list?

Image credit: Pixie Little

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Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

11 replies on “How to Manage Twitter in 20 Minutes a Day”

Laura, Thanks for the checklist!
 It’s so easy to get sucked in to the Twitter vortex and before you know it, you’ve been messing around for an hour. 🙂
 I use SocialOopmph to schedule some of my tweets to make sure that the important messages get sent throughout the day.
 And then I check in manually to see what’s happening on Twitter for about 5-10 minutes 3 times a day.
 That’s when I have the opportunity to engage in conversations and meet new Tweeps.

Glad you like it, Shannon!

You’re right – it is so easy to get sucked in. That’s why it helps to have focus when you dive in. This list helps with that. Scheduling tweets can also help. Admittedly, I do some of that too. But, as you pointed out, it’s important to jump in throughout the day to have meaningful conversations. If you don’t do that, then it’s not worth being on Twitter at all.

Laura, this is a great list for folks jumping into twitter! I wish I could tame my need to be “on” to just 20 minutes a day, but I’m fairly certain is around an hour now (sometimes more).
 I’m working on better prioritization with it and think Triberr will help me with sharing content on a more regular basis, but I also have to admit that it’s just plain out fun!

I think this is something a lot of folks struggle with. I know I do. There are definitely days I spend an hour or more on Twitter. And other days, I keep it to less than 20 minutes. A lot of it is just being focused while you’re there. But you’re right – in addition to being a great business benefit, it IS fun. That’s why I spend more time there – because I WANT to and because it’s a large part of my business.

Hopefully, these tips will help those who are afraid to jump in for the time commitment. If you can only spare 20 minutes to do it each day, that certain is enough.

Thanks for the tips, Laura! My favorite time-saving Twitter tip is to use lists, which come in really handy when your “followees” start to number in the thousands. You can create separate lists for personal friends, networking contacts, customers, favorite “gurus,” etc. and create a separate feed just for them. Matter of fact, I can’t even remember the last time I checked my general feed! 🙂

Amen! I don’t know what I would do without lists. I have lists and searches set up in Hootsuite so it makes it really easy for me to dip in and get what I need without getting flooded by the main stream. Good advice!

Hi Laura –

Yep, you got all of the most important things down. I remember when I couldn’t imagine how people could spend *more* than 20 minutes a day on Twitter. Boy, I guess time can change a person, eh? 🙂

Great post – as always. You rock!

So true! It’s crazy to think there are people like us who could spend all day on Twitter and then there are others who break out into a rash just thinking about 20 minutes. 😉

Thanks for the kind words, friend. YOU rock! 🙂

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

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