Truth is, I get comments on these stats regularly:
And when I do, it's as if someone told me I've grown an extra head. These numbers are always the same, so it's not a big deal, right? But then I thought about it and realized it is a big deal to many people. And someone actually asked me to share my twitter routine, so why not! Not only that, I'll share EVERYTHING, even my dirty laundry.
In addition, I'll tell you about the "7 Deadly Sins of Social Media" because we've all committed them, and we should all stop doing that.
You ready? It's going to be a bompy ride.
My Twitter Routine
It's not like I sat down one day and said, Right, let's nail that twitter routine. In fact, it developed naturally over time. But you can borrow it if you want! And if 2 hours sounds like a lot of time to spend on twitter, you can cut it in half. After all, I spend so much time on twitter because I love it, not because I "have to" do it.
30 Mins in the Morning: Catch up.
The first thing I do in the morning is get my coffee and get on twitter. Then I get over my overnight notifications (they are usually about 20+ but sometimes get up to 50+) and respond to the mentions. Sometimes I would retweet a share of my article or buffer it for later. Finally, I'd check my favorite twitter lists for some cool new tweets.
My favorite twitter lists being: my message peeps and a few secret ones. And since we're being honest here, I have the following secret lists: my favorites, pop stars, influencers, potential target audience, friends I can ping, and creative peeps.
(It says I have and follow 300+ lists, but I actually only use about 10.)
If you don't have twitter lists, you're missing out on a huge time-saver.
60 Mins in the Afternoon: Buffer & content.
This is a big one. I don't always spend so much time on content, but I do put a lot of effort into curating content for my tweets. So here are the sources I use:
- Twitter lists
- Google & Buzzsumo
- Communities (Inbound & Product Hunt)
- Top stories on Medium
When I find the content I like, I'll buffer it. Some people do it once a week, but I like to do it daily because there's great content every day and I feel like some people will only tweet old content, and I hate that. I prefer it to be fresh or at least somewhat recent.
Buffer will tweet 10 times per day for me. I will also occasionally buffer images and articles on the moment because the buffer extensions are very handy.
30 Mins in the Evening: Engaging.
I've noticed that when I fail to engage, but I just tweet and RT and favorite like a robot, people kind of start forgetting about me. And I don't want that to happen! Even if you just engage with your favorite peeps or a new follower, it makes a huge difference.
Just think of it this way: Even one engagement a day will start a chain of events that will finally circle back to you and delight you in wonderful ways.
Whenever I feel like it: RT's.
As I said, I love twitter. So I'll regularly check what's going on and RT some of it.
But there are rules behind the madness:
- I don't retweet the same person twice in a row.
- I alternate between content, original tweets, self-promotion, and quotes.
- When I get a chance, I will include visuals in my tweets.
- If someone is looking for something, I like to help out by RT'ing.
- From time to time, I look for funny tweets to lighten up the mood.
- I won't RT more than 3 things in a row, that's a big pet peeve of mine.
- I tweet random things too often. You'll probably think I'm 5.
I'm also a control freak, who does things based on the way they "look". For example, I prefer tweets that look "balanced" and follow some kind of logical order.
(Not sure if you'll continue to view me as a sane person after this article.)
Now that you know everything I do on a daily basis, I can give you the 7 Deadly Sins, which trip people up on their way to social media success.
The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media
1. You're not engaging.
When it comes to twitter - and any other social media outlet - engagement is a big deal. You could have 30K followers and still get no mentions. Which is why you should consider engaging AS MUCH as following people and spouting content like a maniac.
I'm strategic about the people I engage. They fall under 3 categories:
- my fans/followers (use the "do you even list" tool)
- my twitter friends (made over months and dozens of conversations)
- people I want to befriend (people in my industry who intrigue me)
The reason why I rarely engage "influencers" is because they're very busy. But if I have to - like if I'm doing a roundup for the blog or something - I'll engage them also. There's no reason to shy away from contacting anyone, especially on twitter!
Disclaimer: I'll also include "networking" under this category. Unlike engaging, it happens off social media and it means joining some cool communities. Communities are great because they lift you up and accelerate your growth.
2. You're not strategic.
If you're sharing everything you find that somehow connects to your topic, stop. Beyond relatedness, you also have to share content that is aligned with your values. And finally, you need to have the end goal in sight.
Where do you want to be next year? Share the content that will get you there. Make connections that will get you there faster.
People appreciate your efforts and notice the master curators. If you just tweet random stuff or whatever you're in the mood that day... that's not very strategic. This is why I like scheduling content in buffer. It keeps me on track.
3. You're not following people.
OK, here's the deal. If you don't follow people, they won't just find you out of nowhere. If you're someone famous, they will, but most of us are NOT famous.
So here's what I do: I follow people who follow people in my industry. I don't like to call them competitors, but peers, and I don't think it's "stealing followers", because: a) you can't steal something that's publicly available, and b) your services and products are unique, so what you're offering is totally different to your peers' offerings.
I also follow back if the account is relevant and looks non-spammy. Other people who do the same are: Hiten Shah and Ted Coine. They understand that following is a sign of respect (like that Indian greeting). It does NOT mean you're a loser because you're not followed by three times the people you're following.
I will also unfollow people who are inactive and don't follow me. If they're not interested in "my stuff", why should I be interested in theirs?
(Bear in mind, you will always follow someone if you list them!)
4. You're not colorful.
This is maybe the ONLY thing I've never struggled with, but it is something I notice a lot. It happens when all you do is share links. All you do is retweet stuff. All you do is... fill in the blank. Your followers will get bored with just one thing.
Instead, try to alternate between original tweets, picture tweets, content shares, quotes from interesting people, funny RT's, and so on.
The Internet is wonderful because there's variety. Same goes for social media.
5. You're not tweeting your message.
I actually find this very hard myself because for some reason, it feels self-indulgent to tweet my opinions. It's like saying "y'all should care about what I think". But it's more than opinions in this case. It's about the fact that you have a core message and you have to share said message everywhere and all the time. So people can find you!
Say your message is "business can be fun", you'll be sharing all sorts of thoughts that relate to this message, and if you find it hard to be spontaneous, which is kind of twitter's thing, you can regularly pick up stuff from your articles and tweet those.
Besides, engagement skyrockets when you tweet original thoughts.
6. You're overwhelming people.
For a while I had a morning routine that was something like: Get up, see everything I missed while I slept, and retweet a bunch of stuff. It was a flood of tweets, retweets, and mentions. So much so, a lot of people started complaining and/or unfollowing.
When people start complaining, you've crossed a line.
Sure, it was fun for me. But was it necessary? Next time you want to tweet 20 links in 2 minutes, think of your followers. Chances are, they won't like it.
7. You're not consistent.
If you take ONE THING from this entire article, let it be this.
I have tweeted on and off for many years, but every time I stopped for a few weeks or months, my activity and mentions dropped like hot potatoes. In order to reach "the next level", you have to be consistent. Consistency builds your online presence.
In fact, consistency is the key to everything.
If I didn't spend all this time engaging and tweeting and scheduling every day, I would not have reached my goals or the numbers I shared with you.
Just because I do something and it works doesn't mean you should do it, too.
Pick and choose the methods that align with your values and goals. Don't go around the Internet collecting "hacks" and trying them all. It's the start of a long series of online identity crises. Trust me, I've been there. There's no harm in experimenting, of course, but make sure those experiments fit your personal style (and brand) first.
Hopefully this gave you some ideas. Let me know what you think! :)