Twitter Time Bomb

September 30, 2009

This post relates to yesterday’s update… the concept of Time Control. But unlike yesterday, this post has a little more to do with social media.  Specifically, I want to share with you my strategy to control the time I spend on Twitter.  I view Twitter as the best communication tool available to organizations today… no matter what your end goal or message is.  However, if we are not careful, Twitter will blow up in our faces.  Boom!  Our day is destroyed because we spent too much time looking at Twitter and scanning our Twitter clients (TweetDeck, TweetGrid, etc.).

Last week I sketched out a plan to effectively optimize my time on Twitter.  Like any plan, especially a new plan, it will refine itself over time.  This was a good starting point for me, and if you also feel you need some rhyme and reason to Twitter, I hope you find some value in this.

My goal was to have an agenda every time I logged on so that I could achieve the following:

  • Connect with new people
  • Stay connected with my current close contacts
  • Reply to @’s and DM’s
  • Find helpful links for reading later
  • Send out some RT love
  • Get my own message out

My plan is simple: achieve all this in thirty-five minutes a day… five visits to Twitter, for seven minutes at a time.  Sound impossible?  Well, so far the plan has worked.  And it is all about time control…

  1. Log on to twitter/tweet deck (my client of choice) five times a day:
    • Morning
    • Before Lunch
    • Mid-Afternoon
    • Rush Hour… you know, 5-6ish
    • Bed Time
    • The most important piece here is that I do not pull up or look at either twitter or TweetDeck unless it is one of these scheduled times
  2. Keep the above agenda in front of me, but with a little more detail:
    • Follow and @ reply two new people, to say “Hi, I’m following… whats up!?” (or something like that…) I keep a list of these users, so I can follow up and see if there is a a mutual interest to connect. A relationship has to start somewhere…
    • I check in on my close contacts and people who I communicate with often. I have begun keeping a list of my closest contacts with the hope of not losing touch.
    • I reply to all @’s and DM’s – this is an obvious one.
    • Next step is to browse TweetDeck for links and information that look savory and I mark those for read later – If you use Firefox, use this add-on: Read It Later It is like bookmarking, but with less of a commitment.  I quickly mark things to catch up on later.
    • Send RT love – another obvious one and I’ll leave it up to you to decide what is RT-worthy
    • I try to get my own message out, but I try not to over do it.  Self promotion is necessary, but be careful.

And that, my friends, is my plan.  As I mentioned yesterday, we have to be more careful than ever about how we spend our time.  Twitter is an almost perfect communication tool, but think about the essence of Twitter… 140 characters.  Short and sweet.  Our time spent should also be viewed the same way.  If executed correctly, we can limit our time while maximizing our efforts!

I’ll conclude by agreeing with “Debbie Downer” – because I know you are there.  You’re right, my plan will not work for everyone.  Especially if you are constantly on the go, and your schedule changes on a dime.  I care for a two month old full time, so I know about interruption.  With that said… I do think it is vital for you to have a framework, so I hope this can be a good starting point for you!

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